Automakers have touted the coming of electric cars for years now, but as they begin to make their debuts, the hardest part is yet to come.

Reuters reported Monday that as automakers begin to inject their portfolios with more electric cars and electrification, profitability will begin to suffer. It’s been a tale of two worlds for many automakers as they boast about electric-car investments and battery technology while executives quietly acknowledge the cars will sell at a loss.

Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel manufacturer PSA, perhaps gave the most fitting simile in saying, “What everyone needs to realize is that clean mobility is like organic food—it’s more expensive.”

He added the industry needs to accept that electric cars will cost more and clean mobility comes with a price, or “we put the European auto industry in jeopardy.”

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One strategy may be for automakers to take emissions penalties into account when pricing more mass-market electric cars. Rather than pay fines under new emissions regulations, automakers like VW will simply sell their first electric cars at a loss to hopefully jump-start the market. Eventually, battery production and other technology is expected to reach price parity with traditional cars, but likely not until next decade at the earliest.

According to the report, electric cars cost, on average, nearly $9,000 more to produce than a traditional car with an internal-combustion engine. Even plug-in hybrids fall victim to higher prices; a PHEV costs roughly $5,700 more to build. And as the market shows, without subsidizing the price in some way, few vehicles sell with such higher premiums over standard cars.

It’s a scenario that will simply have to play itself out with time. Demand isn’t spurring investments into electrification, but emissions regulations demand investment.