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Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe -- just not in North America. Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fueling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city's annual auto show.Still, industry executives in Detroit said hitting the brakes on electric vehicles in the United States would not relieve the pressure to bring them to market, because China and Europe are forging ahead with policies to expand sales of plug-in cars.IHS Automotive predicts Chinese plug-in deliveries will hit 1 million in 2019, four years before the United States. China pulled ahead in 2015 with a fourfold sales surge before adding 55 percent last year to 348,000 vehicles, with the United States at 138,000 .
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