dashboard of volkswagen
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Volkswagen's factory in the heart of the east German city of Dresden was conceived as a showcase for the auto giant's electric future but on a September afternoon the production line stands still.

Rather than serving as a shining example, the site, where the group's flagship electric model ID.3 is finished, is more of an illustration of the challenges facing Volkswagen's transition away from internal combustion engines.

Production of battery-powered vehicles at the plant is small scale and slower than its foreign rivals, which have left the storied German group for dust.

Chinese and American carmakers, such as BYD and Tesla, are well ahead of Volkswagen on the key components needed to make electric vehicles — notably in the area of battery technology.

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