Deceived by automakers about clean diesel technology, European regulators have little faith in the industry’s recent pronouncements about its commitment to all-electric vehicles.
Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have all adopted plans to boost electric and hybrid vehicles to between 15 and 25 percent of overall sales by 2030, but these are voluntary targets that they can change at any time.
To ensure that the industry does not go back on its word, the European Commission may force carmakers to meet minimum binding sales quotas for electric cars, according to Handelsblatt sources in Brussels.
The quotas would come as part of a broader package, proposed by European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, that would also include sharper restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions.
The commission has not made a final decision, but observers both inside and outside the auto industry believe Mr. Canete will propose a quota of 10 to 15 percent for 2025 and a quota of 25 to 30 percent for 2030.