Other marques have approached the targets in different ways. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a recent earnings call that it had also suffered a financial loss for the third quarter of 2020, partly due to compliance costs – both rolling out new plug-in cars and paying EV maker Tesla to pool its fleet and thus avoid fines.
The Volkswagen Group, meanwhile, had been expected to hit its target this year after launching the Volkswagen ID 3 EV, but it unexpectedly announced in September that it had pooled with MG to take advantage of the Chinese firm’s strong-selling ZS EV.
“This could suggest the Volkswagen Group is in fact struggling and requires the help of an outside party to get it over the finish line and avoid paying fines,” said independent analyst Matthias Schmidt.
Suzuki, meanwhile, had definitely been struggling after the unexpected success of its new Jimny off-roader, which suffered relatively poor fuel economy for its small size. The solution was drastic: stop sales in most markets and reintroduce it as a two-seat van, thereby subjecting it to less stringent CO2 targets.
Others aren’t so worried. Renault has done so well with sales of its Zoe EV that it recently announced it would accept bids from any manufacturer that wanted to pool with it to take advantage of its surplus CO2 savings.
Analysis from green group Transport and Environment (T&E) suggested that Zoe sales alone reduced Renault’s average CO2 emissions by 15% in the first half of this year – a huge amount. And reports from France suggest that now Renault is certain of hitting its target, it has delayed releasing its E-Tech hybrids to ensure that it gets the technology right and doesn’t run into the problems others have faced.