PSA, BMW among carmakers seen avoiding European emissions fines

PSA Group and Volvo Cars, along with BMW AG and Renault SA are among carmakers on track to meet European Union emissions rules after sales of battery-powered vehicles tripled during the first half, according to a study.

BMW's first iX3 model.
BMW's first iX3 model.

The surge in electric-vehicle sales helped cut average carbon dioxide emissions of new cars registered in Europe by 9% to 111 grams per kilometer -- the steepest drop in more than a decade, according to a report by researcher Transport & Environment.

“Electric car sales are booming thanks to EU emissions standards," Julia Poliscanova, a director at the Brussels-based group, said in a statement. “Next year, one in every seven cars sold in Europe will be a plug-in."

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Also Read : European Commission to propose more ambitious emissions limits for autos

The EU rules taking effect this year force manufacturers to reduce the average emissions of all the cars they sell in the region to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer or face hefty fines. As a result, companies are accelerating deployment of a range of new plug-in hybrid and fully-electric models, while at the same time countries including France, Italy and Germany have boosted consumer incentives toward their purchase.


FILE PHOTO: Electric cars charge on a street in London, Britain. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Electric cars charge on a street in London, Britain. (REUTERS)

In the latest move, France will add a 1,000-euro ($1,181) bonus toward the purchase of used electric cars, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said in an interview in Le Parisien published Sunday.

Not all carmakers are on track to avoid the fines, according to the study, with Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc and Volkswagen AG lagging behind due to sales of high-powered gasoline cars and SUVs.

Also Read : German carmakers seek e-fuel help as EU tightens climate goals

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will meet the EU targets this year and next due to an agreement it has with electric carmaker Tesla Inc. that will offset its emissions, the study said. Without the deal, the company could have been on the hook for a 1 billion-euro penalty.

“FCA has been a clear laggard for electrification due to underinvestment and thus fully relies on its pooling agreement with Tesla to comply," it said.

European regulators granted some leeway to manufacturers this year. The cleanest cars were allowed to be counted twice, companies can pool their fleets together -- like Fiat and Tesla are doing -- and just 95% of all sales in the region are measured, meaning manufacturers can cut out at least a portion of their most polluting models. Next year, all sales will count toward the goal.

The total number of electric cars sold in Europe is expected to double to about 1 million this year and reach 1.8 million in 2021, the study said.

First Published Date: 12 Oct 2020, 15:07 PM IST
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