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London — “Let me begin with the obvious: e-mobility has won the race,” Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, said on Monday. “It is the only solution to reduce mobility emissions fast.”

Diess was speaking at an event VW dubbed “Power Day,” at which the company laid out its big plans for beating Tesla and becoming the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles. Instead of talking about cars, design, or other customer-facing features, however, most of the splashy event was spent on a boring-looking thing that goes inside EVs: the lithium-ion battery...

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