Fiat outsources emissions to Tesla

In theory, the latest EU legislation will help reduce pollution by forcing carmakers to produce low emissions vehicles into their fleets and give the public greater options to purchase them.

The devil is in the detail, however, and in this case, it is in how the scheme has been set up. Not for the first time well-meaning legislation is, partly, undone by loose definitions and odd use of statistics. In this case, the ‘get out’ clause for manufactures is that they can ‘pool’ their range with other manufacturers to create a better average rather than pay fines.

According to a report in the FT, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has agreed to pay for the right to count Tesla's electric vehicles as part of their range – thus being able to register a lower average emission figure.

Pooling is allowed, and to some extent is logical in a world where several manufacturers change hands, or small high emissions subsidiaries might skew the results. As Fiat has been slow to adopt electric technology it clearly has appeal to the firm, as for Tesla an injection of cash could be beneficial. Nor is the concept new, Tesla has reportedly made $1bn in the last three years selling emissions credits to other manufacturers in the US.

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