German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn are seen next to a Volkswagen E-UP electric car at at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2009. ((Michael Probst/Associated Press))

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and top executives of the country's main carmakers and energy companies are meeting in Berlin to launch a new initiative to develop electric vehicles.

The so-called "national platform for electric mobility" being started Monday comes after Merkel pledged to have one million electric vehicles on the road within the next decade.

Merkel is pushing sustainable technologies that will help limit the effects of climate change.

BMW AG's chief executive Norbert Reithofer says Germany is well positioned to become a technology leader in that market.

"To make this happen, our leaders in politics and industry have to be pulling in the same direction," he said.