STUTTGART -- Volkswagen Group's labor chief Bernd Osterloh said the automaker needs to sell 1 million electric cars by 2025 to comply with proposed European Union anti-pollution rules, a step which may ruin profits.
European lawmakers will vote on tightening emissions rules in July to help the bloc cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Osterloh, who spoke on Wednesday, said the industry would struggle if EVs did not gain traction with consumers given the investment companies were having to make to develop the new vehicles.
He said without sufficient demand from consumers, automakers faced a choice between paying fines for exceeding carbon dioxide limits or encouraging sales with knock-down prices too low to earn a profit. "Once prices are ruined, we will never get them back up," Osterloh said.
Automakers say governments need to help subsidize the roll out of essential infrastructure, such as charging points on streets and in homes, to help make the vehicles popular.
"Of course, the auto industry has some homework to do – but if the infrastructure is not there, then it is difficult to convince a person to buy an electric car," Osterloh told the Stuttgart Press club.