June 28, 2018 / 4:24 PM / 23 days ago

VW's labor boss says EU C02 rules could ruin profits

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) labor chief Bernd Osterloh said the German carmaker needed 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.

“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.

Carmakers 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.

Osterloh, who spoke on Wednesday, said the industry would struggle if electric cars 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, carmakers 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.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Edmund Blair

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