Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed a deal to pay Tesla a nine-figure sum for the privilege of being able to use Tesla’s vehicles to lower FCA’s European fleet average, according to a report in the Financial Times. Forgive us for marvelling not just at the audacity of the move, but also at how it’s even legal.
In a deal said to be worth hundreds of millions of euros without Tesla really having to do anything other than some paperwork, all Model Ss, Xs and 3s sold in the EU will count towards FCA’s ‘pool’ of vehicles upon which its fleet average emissions are calculated.
In 2018 FCA’s fleet average emissions were 123g/km, thanks in part to higher-polluting models from the likes of Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati. The legally-binding emissions average across a manufacturing group’s entire model range is 95g/km or less by between 2020 and 2021, and without help FCA simply won’t make it.
The thousands of Teslas now pouring into Europe should, FCA hopes, ensure that its figures are pulled down below that golden 95g/km in time. Failure to meet the threshold will trigger fines of €95 (£82) for every gram the target is missed by, for every car sold by the offending company in a preceding 12-month period.
In 2018 FCA sold just over a million cars in the EU, meaning that missing the targets by 10g/km could lead to fines totalling almost €958.5m. Miss them by 15g/km and it’s over €1.4bn. In that context, throwing a few hundred million at Tesla suddenly seems like a brilliant idea. We bet Tesla agrees.