PSA Group eludes EU fines through early doors CO2 action

Decisions such as launching all-electric versions of car lines, well in advance of the new regs, has allowed PSA to keep its average CO2 emissions beneath the 95g/km limit

The PSA Group has been compliant to the new EU 95g/km limit on fleet average CO2 emissions in the first two months of 2020 and as such will not pay a penny in fines if it maintains this.

PSA Europe boss Maxime Picat said that it had actually been the case since the very first working day of the year on January 2. If car makers average 95g/km or lower as a fleet average for CO2 emissions, they will pay no fines. If they go over it, the fine is €95 for each g/km of CO2 over the limit for each car sold, which could run into the billions for some car makers.

PSA’s own limit is 93g/km, as the 95g/km figure is weight adjusted according to the types of car a car maker sells. It is trying to hit the target on a monthly basis to more accurately track progress towards the target; the EU only takes a yearly figure.

“We want CO2 compliance to be natural,” said Picat. “We are working normally and won’t do stupid things at the end of the year.”

Picat said that decisions taken six or seven years ago with the 2020 deadline in mind were now bearing fruit. That included launching all-electric versions of many of its car lines, which were planned to launch at the end of 2019 to allow PSA to get a perfectly-timed benefit from their sale in bringing down its overall CO2 level.

It also cut several higher-emitting models last year, chiefly at Opel/Vauxhall which it acquired three years ago so initially would not have been part of this long-term planning towards overall compliance.

PSA boss Carlos Tavares said that the firm had modelled out a whole host of different scenarios to ensure that it remained compliant even in the worst case, such as diesel dropping to a 10% market share. At present, it has stabilised at around 30%.

Picat said the any impact on the coronavirus would not be felt on its CO2 average, as any potential drop in sales would be proportional across all model lines. However, to date he said the virus had had no impact on its operations outside of China, and even there it had not been hit as hard as rivals as China isn’t as important to PSA’s overall business as other car makers.

“We are working on the supply chain and finding solutions and issues,” he said. “So far, so good.”


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