By on June 28, 2019

A recent study from consulting firm AlixPartners has suggested that automakers could be in for a financial ass kicking of epic proportions. As it turns out, reaching emission quotas is a difficult business and the European Union wants 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2021. The study suggests few automakers are on track to reach that goal and, as a result, will be forced to pay out sizable fines. We’re talking billions.

Can you guess which manufacturers are supposed to get hit the hardest?

Here’s a hint: we’ve discussed one of them having similar issues in the United States earlier this year and both of their names are in the title of this article. 

In February, we reported that FCA paid $77 million in U.S. civil penalties due to its failure to adhere to 2016 model year fuel economy requirements and would likely be on the hook for steeper penalties in the years to come. Volkswagen’s storied history with air pollution has been covered to death. After being caught cheating on emissions tests in 2015, and being on the receiving end of huge fines, the German company has shifted aggressively toward electrification.

According to Reuters, AlixPartners is forecasting that Europe’s stiffer penalties could result in VW facing fines of up to 1.83 billion euros ($2.08 billion) by 2021, with FCA being slapped with a projected 746 million euros (about $848 million) — massive, considering its size in relation to Volkswagen Group.

While Fiat Chrysler hasn’t entirely ignored present-day trends in environmentalism, it’s often seen as lagging its competitors in terms of supplying the public with greener, cleaner vehicles. However, if you ask me, the automaker is simply declining to pay lip service. Unless you’re illiterate, deaf, and have been living beneath a rock for the majority of your adult life, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of companies talk about progress and the environment while remaining totally fixated on their bottom line.

Practically every business does this but car companies are repeat offenders — frequently playing the PR game while trying to circumvent regulation and maximize profit. As they’re in the business of making money, that’s largely understandable. But it doesn’t change the fact that it often feels like a well-orchestrated con job, done to avoid scrutiny. The gas war in the U.S. is a pristine example of this. Most automakers lobbied for the fueling rollback but when California cried foul, they publicly reneged and urged for compromise while publicizing their most-green initiatives.

Meanwhile, FCA has been telling it like it is. Remember when the late, great Sergio Marchionne urged everyone not to buy the Fiat 500e? He did that because it wasn’t making FCA any money and we know that because he said so, in no uncertain terms. The car only existed to appease emission mandates and there are countless EVs that have been built for identical purposes — their manufacturers just failed to tell everyone.

“I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” Marchionne, the legend, told a crowd at the Brookings Institution in 2014. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.”

Even though Fiat Chrysler has been doing a bang-up job in terms of corporate frankness, comparatively speaking, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s doing a rather lousy job of improving emissions. However, FCA seems to feel that repositioning itself as a forward-thinking mobility company is fiscally nonsensical, risks compromising some of its most-important brands, and would do little to help it achieve its longstanding merger goals. Just paying the fines is an acceptable solution if it doesn’t cost more than the alternative and FCA’s stated plan is to endure environmental bills in whatever manner is cheapest.

By contrast, Volkswagen has said it intends to to comply with the European rules by building as many electric vehicles as possible. A better strategy in the eyes of EU regulators, but we remain concerned that the EV market hasn’t yet caught up to regulations. VW could be getting ready to build a whole lotta cars most folks aren’t prepared to buy. But it has already spent billions developing EVs and can’t afford to back out now.

That’s not a criticism of either brand, just an observation of how odd it is that each solution seems equally viable to their respective automakers and would technically satisfy the regulatory framework that’s currently in place. VW is keeping its head down; FCA is shrugging its shoulders. Both still have to pay out, in one form or another.

AlixPartners reported that Volvo and Toyota are the only major manufacturers which would be able to sell their emission credits to other outfits and won’t have to face penalties in 2021. That will also be true of Tesla but the firm didn’t see it as a large enough to qualify as a “major manufacturer.” Alix also said that it expects European car sales to stagnate or decline over next three years (something we’re already seeing), negatively impacting the margins of suppliers and automakers — especially those attempting to balance sale of electric and combustion-engined cars, which will be most of them in a few years.

 

[Image: Rasulov/Shutterstock]

 

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70 Comments on “EU Emission Fines Could Spell Trouble for Automakers in 2021, Especially VW and FCA...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    No trouble seeing why Fords cutting European operations, this is what happens when you have multiple governments pushing an unfounded mandate that only serves to keep the very people approving those mandates wealthy while tossing aside the working class.
    Aside from Jeep is FCA even doing well? PSA basically had to gobble up a huge share of the market to survive.
    It’s a bad time to be a European.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The working class really started to be “tossed aside” when govt. policies favored big corporations, the wealthy (even more so than they did for decades) and the finance/banking sector (started when the asinine “trickle-down” theory became a thing.

      Approval of these mandates has little do w/ keeping the people in power “Wealthy” as the automakers (those w/ ##) have generally not been happy w/ the mandates.

      While one can certainly say that these mandates go too far/too quickly, at least they slow down the shifting of costs to the public due to poorer health (brought about by particulates).

      Even more so, these mandates are attempts to slow down climate change – which are having a devastating effect on the working class/poor all the world over, but may be too little too late.

      Europeans are air-conditioning their homes and office buildings at an accelerating rate as the heat waves become more frequent and severe w/ the elderly and sick being most vulnerable.

      • 0 avatar
        johnnyz

        Drink the Kool aid much?

        The whole concept of AGW is a farce.

        Paying a special carbon tax to Al Gore, the EU or the Easter Bunny will do nothing to mitigate the elusive and non-existent fallout from increasing CO2.

        What’s next? Reparations for poor countries that have been harmed by global warming? The BS is so thick you need a Cat backhoe digger just to see the light of day.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I vote nukes for poor cultures harmed by global warming.

          • 0 avatar

            Other than the fact that metal smelted before the 1940s is valuable for it’s lack of nuclear by products, sure….check the spreads of Fukishima and Chernobyl….nothing is local any more…

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Only person here drinking the Kool-Aid is YOU.

          Climate change is a “farce” and yet, maple tree farmers in Vermont have had to tap their trees earlier and earlier and they fear that the prime maple sap producing climate will end of north of the border.

          And that applies to farmers all around the country – who plant earlier and earlier (when there isn’t drenching rainfall which floods the fields) and farmers tend to be a conservative bunch.

          Same applies to lobster fishermen – Maine lobstermen are pretty happy; those around the Mass. Bay area, not so much.

          Alaskan King crab boats have had to venture to waters further north to find prime crabbing grounds.

          Upstate New York has turned into prime WINE grape producing country.

          Scientist are seeing all types of organisms further north (or south – depending on which side of the equator) beyond their normal range.

          The island(s) nation of Maldives is looking to relocate its population as rising waters make the islands inhabitable.

          It’s not just a foreign problem, as inhabitants of the US Marshall islands are facing the same dilemma, as well as Alaskans who live in fishing villages along the Alaskan coastline.

          Florida politicians publicly denounce climate change, but quietly have spent hundreds of millions to mitigate flooding in Miami.

          Insurance companies and the companies that insure them (Re-insurers) have built in climate change into their cost models.

          So have developers along coastal regions and alongside rivers (increased flooding).

          The PENTAGON/DoD sees climate change as a threat multiplier and forecasts the effects in its war plans.

          Heck, even Big Oil’s OWN scientists have spelled out climate change in internal documents (w/ engineers designing equipment to make allowances for rising sea levels and water temp), whereas the companies have publicly denied it and paid off a small group of “scientists” to be deniers.

          But now even companies like Shell agree that climate change is occurring.

          As for the Orange doofus’ claim that climate change is a “Chinese hoax” – it’s laughable.

          Beijing for decades has been one of the fiercest deniers of climate change as their economy was heavily dependent on coal-burning power plants.

          But after experiencing the toll from massive fires and repeated flood damage, Beijing realized that they could no longer deny it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            How does it help to make others spend trillions on moving to EVs which in the end might not affect CO2 emissions almost at all, marginally at best?

            Taking away those trillions from other, actually effective developments might easily, and by far, negate any marginal CO2 emissions reductions that EVs could enable.

            The whole public debate and government language on the issue clearly states that ICE= too much CO2 and EV=0 CO2, and that’s how it is judged on paper. Even though in reality we all know that EVs are very very far from 0 on CO2 emissions. So my question is why hundreds of millions in fines to some companies, while others get to sell credits for hundreds of millions even though their true emissions could be the same or within a few percent?

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Locksteps: “Even though in reality we all know that EVs are very very far from 0 on CO2 emissions.”

            That’s not the truth. Renewable energy is growing and if you want, you can go run an EV off of renewables. The problem is that the fossil powered fleet will still be around years from now when renewables are the most common source.

            Anyway, the switch is happening and you can’t do anything about it. It’s a lost cause. You’ve lost.

          • 0 avatar
            kurkosdr

            Global warming is very real, but we can’t do anything to stop it, ave for setting a global birth quota of 1 child per couple (enforced by threat of war, which isn’t gonna happen). BTW only 15% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, and that includes airplanes and ships. If you think the deprivation of personal mobility for everyone who cannot afford a Tesla or BMW i3 will help anything, you are deluded. We ‘ll just have to invest in dealing with the consequences of global warming.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            @mcs: What the hell? First of all even using ‘renewables’ their emissions are far from zero. Very very far from zero!!!

            Second of all why do you claim that ICE cars only run on fossil fuels?

            This is the kind of absolutely misguided world view that is leading much of the world into a disastrously expensive and damaging foray into quasi-religious extremism.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            @kurkosdr: well put.

            Of that (approximately!) 15% the amount of CO2 emissions you save by switching every car from ICE to EV is probably a few percent at best. In my case, and for most living in my area even switching from a gasoline or gasoline-hybrid to EV would mean an INCREASE in CO2 emissions.

            Retrofitting existing cars to use bio methane (and natural gas as a relatively low CO2-emissions enducing stepping stone) or E85, and when switching cars buying new cars using those fuels probably would reduce CO2 emissions massively more than switching to EVs. But nobody talks about those or massively subsidises them because so many people are unintelligent.

          • 0 avatar
            kurkosdr

            @Lockstops

            Biofuels are carbon neutral sure, but they compete with land used for producing food. So you ‘ve replaced the problem with a bigger one.

            Basically, when it comes to global warming, it’s one of these cases where the problem already has a 150-year headstart and for every step forward we make the problem has moved two steps ahead.

            I am not sure whether politicians are that deluded when it comes to demonizing greenhouse gas emissions from cars (again, a small percentage of the total greenshourse gas emissions) or they just don’t want too many people to have access to personal transportation and congesting THEIR beatiful cities. And yes, career politicians think of them as THEIR cities, that’s why every time an unconventional candidate appears (from the left, center or right, it doesn’t matter) they go berserk and whahh! like crybabies.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          I’m sorry to tell you but the world is round, vaccines are safe, and AGW is real. Deal with it.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      “No trouble seeing why Fords cutting European operations, etc.” Well if you’re an uninformed person with an opinion, sure. Blather away.

      Ford and GM had their lunch eaten in Europe by Mercedes and BMW moving downmarket, grabbing sales. People buy a badge if it costs just a little more. Faced with having to produce the same quality but sell for less is what killed GM and Ford in Europe.

      The rest of your rant is irrelevant. Market realities spoke over the last decade to 15 years. Not some twisted American logic on Europe.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    The European Union is doing everything in their power to forcefully introduce electric cars and thus limit the freedom of mobility/movement of its citizens (the widespread mass-charging infrastructure simply does not exist at this point in time).

    Electric cars are classified as ‘carbon neutral’ in Europe, despite the pollution created when their raw materials are mined, shipped to and assembled at the factory.

    The acceptance of electric vehicles here has been rather slow. Merkel dreamed of one million electric cars on German roads by 2018; less than 200,000 have been sold in total if my memory has not let me down. Now the government is attempting to make ownership of internal combustion vehicles ‘hell on earth’ via a carbon tax and artificially inflating taxes for vehicles with fuel-burning motors.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, nice post.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Here’s a chance for a small country outside the EU’s grasp to make some big bucks by adopting looser standards and registering cars everywhere for a fee. Of course the EU will try an end run, so the small country would have to have some diplomatic heft to get away with it. I nominate the Vatican.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Awaiting moderation, eh? what cockamamie letter combination did TTAC’s crackpot filter highlight THIS time? Don’t tell me it thinks “Vatican” is a dirty word!

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Completely corrupt VW went all in on electric cars, and just then the EU goes all in on drastic ‘global warming’ taxation (and subsidies) specifically favouring electric cars even though there is no real basis for it, nor are the politicians and bureaucrats actually bothering to rationalise how spending trillions on electrification will even lower CO2 emissions…

      (Also the French companies have been low CO2 by default since they only make crapboxes and have also been doing the electric thing for a while, and they are also Good Friends with politicians.)

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        The irony is that the old (and new) European vehicles with internal combustion engines will end up in Africa where the first thing that local mechanics will remove are their emissions-cleaning systems (catalytic converter, DPF/PF-filter and so forth). My brother runs a taxi business and once those Mercedes E-Klasse Diesel taxis hit 400,000 or 450,000 km or more, they are generally exported to African markets).

        The only European nations which are hysterical about switching to electric cars as soon as possible are Germany, Norway, Ireland and France. Eastern Europe sees no need to build an electric car infrastructure; they have other, more important issues than climate change hysteria. I want to know how a Frenchman or a German can travel to and through Eastern Europe in the future without any charging stations around?

        Personally, I am not convinced that the electric car is the future. I’ve read about synthetic fuels which emit no CO2 when burned, and this strikes me as having potential if it can be produced in large quantities and by using green energy. The infrastructure for delivering it already exists. Building the infrastructure for electric vehicles is going to consume more valuable if not limited resources and create more pollution.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Especially in even slightly colder climates seems to be that CNG (using biomethane when available, natural gas when that’s not available and the same engine using gasoline when both of the aforementioned are unavailable, even on old cars using a retrofit kit) and E85 (which can also use gasoline when no E85 available) are much greener than electric.

          Further up north electric cars lose up to 50% of their battery efficiency plus a lot more on top of that when you need to or decide to preheat the car and keep it heated while driving. And simultaneously renewables like wind power and solar are simply not making any power.

          Meanwhile you can make biomethane and E85 from waste and side products. And they give us heat. _And they can be used on current cars_!!!!

          It is absolutely insane that politicians and bureaucrats are pushing electric as ‘clean’ and that’s it, no mention (or understanding) of anything else! That is criminally poor management/stewardship/governance! In the winter it can often be the case that electric cars are no better at all than ICE cars even!!! Let alone when comparing to an existing car being converted to CNG tech using biomethane or E85. Yet the narrative is that electric is ‘clean’ and everything else is ‘not clean’.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @lockstops: “Further up north electric cars lose up to 50% of their battery efficiency plus a lot more on top of that when you need to or decide to preheat”

            Not really. For one thing the preheating is done while plugged in. Once it’s preheated, you’re not going to lose 50% of your range. Un-preheated in temperatures below 0 fahrenheight is the only time I’ve seen a 50% loss. Even then, for a 25 mile commute to only have 160 miles range on your 320 mile range car isn’t a big deal.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            @mcs: Why would you say that preheating is done while plugged in? I often have had to preheat when not plugged in. Very very often I am parked somewhere without a charging station of course! You think that at -20C (many times at -30C) I’m not going to preheat?

            Often I don’t have time to preheat (for example when not knowing in advance when I have to go somewhere) even when plugged in. Guess what happens then? You have to thaw out the battery and heat the cabin with battery power, then keep it warm.

            Even when you’ve preheated that effect only lasts a short while. I guess you don’t know how fast things cool down at cold temps. Cars have basically no heat insulation, and there’s even less insulation for the battery. Anyway: you take off and the outside of the car will be stone cold pretty much immediately, and even a heated battery pack will not retain heat for more than a short while with the freezing air rushing right against the car floor…

            Then did you know that you have to also heat the battery to be able to charge it? My car often started charging with very low speed and had to actually warm up the battery for some time before the charging speed started going up. For all intents and purposes they couldn’t even say that the charging process really even started until the battery got some heat into it, it was that slow.

            Another reason why preheating is a challenge: if (while plugged in) your battery isn’t full yet and you want to preheat then you’re decreasing battery charging rate because you’re directing electric current to that task instead of all of it hurrying to charge the battery.

            It is a fact that some days you can end up having to heat up a frozen car, drive a short distance to your first destination, then it cools down. Then when you’re done over there you have to heat it up again, drive to your next destination and then it cools down again. Guess what you have to do when you’re ready to leave from there? That’s right, you have to once again heat up your car! Over and over.

            So you can be doing many very short trips with long and energy-sapping car&battery&cabin heating every time, meaning your mileage per kWh could be absolutely ridiculously low, getting like 15% of your on-paper range!! And how often, during a busy day with many stops to make, can you use lots of extra time and effort to find charging stations, let alone how often is that even possible?

        • 0 avatar

          What Tom Said. The farce of clean euro vehicles is seen as soon as you get to Hungary and see all the second-third gen old euro cars running…and it’s not just europe, I’ve a few Albanian clients for whom used cars are shipped home, not scrapped here. All those Japanese cars that don’t pass are shipped to the Caribbean, where I as a car geek get to see “Great Wall” and BYD, but those cars are kept running with island tech-which is quite inventive when you can’t just get the part easily. Back in the 80’s, one of our “dead” VW diesels was sent to Jamaica by the buyer…..what is scrap in your nation may be useable for a few years more elsewhere, and now that transport is dirt cheap (and don’t look at the pollution of a two stroke engine running bunker oil in the container ship….it is more than all the cars it is carrying ever will put out, for ONE trip across the Pacific…

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      One of the main points in the Marxist doctrine is to have government take control of peoples’ movement. This is about control.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    And the German Green Party has recently announced its war on SUVs and pickups if they should be voted into power, which seems more and more likely everyday. Sports cars are also on their ‘to kill list’.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Are you SURE the German Greens actually think they can take power? After causing Germany to have the highest electricity prices in Europe, they’re going to force everybody to buy more of it to charge electric vehicles?

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        MORE “Awaiting moderation”? TTAC’s nanny system can
        akismet my a$$.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        The Greens, leftists etc. have nothing else to do than work to corrupt the governing system. It’s not like they have real jobs. There are thousands of them, goading each other on, funding each other (with other peoples’ money). They are like cancer, they only keep spreading until the host is about to die.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        Lorenzo,

        The Greens currently have a hit streak in my country, much to my dismay. My countrymen are so forgetful and forget that the Greens also had power during the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder from 1998-2005 and everything they touched turned to trash.

        Today the Green Party is popular with teenagers and people under 30 years of age. Many first-time voters voted for this party. It is hard to believe, but there is an atmosphere of anti-automobile in Germany, and it mainly comes from the younger generation.

        The German government has admitted that they want to increase the price of electricity at EV charging stations. Think of it as the new tax which provides income from the lack of taxation on fossil fuels that will come about when we are all driving electric cars. I hope that day never happens. I drive 40,000 km+ a year and have no desire to charge a low range electric car for hours at a time.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          I’ve had an EV and a PHEV here in northern Europe for a while now, on our very cheap electricity (because either I have others subsidise my EV vehicles or then I buy a non-EV and I have to subsidise other peoples’ vehicles…), and it sucks even now. I can’t imagine how stupid it is to pay much much more for electricity and on top of that still have the poor EV driving experience.

          Funny thing about the Greens is that I finally understand all those crazy times in history with religious persecution etc. I now understand exactly what it was like to live in the time of the inquisition etc.

          • 0 avatar
            ThomasSchiffer

            In my humble opinion, an EV would make a great city vehicle; that’s it. There are advantages to driving an EV in the city. A city car generally implies short trips, and consistent short trips are the early death of modern high-tech gasoline and Diesel engines. An EV does not need to reach an optimal operating temperature. It has no oil which takes time to heat up and smoothly liquify.

            But for my general driving requirements, range and time are of high importance. A current electric vehicles does not deliver in this regard (poor range, especially at higher speeds and long charging times).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ThomasSchiffer, my brother also thought that an EV (Leaf) would make a great vehicle to use in and around Manhattan, NY, NY when he moved there from Huntsville, AL.

            Turned out not to be the case as he encountered all sorts of obstacles from blocked charging stations on the streets to people using his dedicated electrical outlet in his parking garage.

            He ended up selling his Leaf to a guy in Huntsville who owns a Golf course, with plenty of places to hook up Golf carts and EVs.

            It was comical to see a video my brother shot of the new owner driving an F250 pulling a flatbed U-Haul trailer with the Leaf on it, driving away.

          • 0 avatar
            ThomasSchiffer

            @Highdesertcat,

            The problems your brother experienced are similar here. A lack of charging infrastructure is the biggest issue in my country. It is pure insanity that our government is attempting to force us to buy EVs despite no widespread availability of EV-charging infrastructure. The few charging outlets in my city tend to be occupied with the driver nowhere in sight. My time is too valuable to wait for them to come back.

            In perhaps ten or fifteen years EVs may be a realistic alternative (unless something better comes along). But for now I shall hold on to my Diesel car which provides me with extraordinary range and convenient quick refueling.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ThomasSchiffer, for SOME Europeans EVs work well today. Not for everyone, but for some.

            One of my wife’s sisters and her husband are currently living with HIS parents in Hatert-bij-Nijmegen in Holland, and HIS parents own a small EV.

            My wife’s sister and her husband bought a Euro-spec gas VW Passat to travel throughout Europe in, and whenever they and HIS parents travel together, they use that gasoline-fired Passat.

            If my wife’s sister and her husband were not staying with HIS parents, who are in their late seventies, those two old folks would be well served by getting around on their own in their EV. They wouldn’t go very far, but at least they would have SOME mobility in that EV.

            So there are applications where EVs would work very well.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Having access to a reduced-cost EV resembles the Spanish Inquisition in zero ways. No thumbscrews, rack, religious persecution etc. were involved. I can’t tell if you’re trolling, high on something or what, but again, give it a rest.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @HDC: “So there are applications where EVs would work very well.”

            You know what, there is another application that works well for EVs. It’s called long-distance travel. Yes, a Model 3 can travel 310 miles on a single charge. Yeah, that qualifies as long distance. Want to go further? Amazingly, you can actually recharge the thing and go, get this, another 310 miles. Amazing, isn’t it. And this recharge thing, does it take weeks, days, or hours? No. Amazed again huh. A supercharge 3 can put in 75 miles of range back into the car in a 5 minutes, and you don’t even have to be standing next to the thing while it happens. Wow, mind blown, right? So, after 4 hours of steady driving, you can take a 30-minute break while the car charges for food and bathroom. Not good enough for those of you that want to drive 8 hours non-stop in a fossil-mobile and use adult diapers, but I guess some of us are wimps.

            Boston to Philadelphia is possible on a single charge. That isn’t long-distance? One charge and you’re there without stopping. Not long distance? Model S has 370 miles range. City car only?? WTF. That’s Boston to Aberdeen Maryland non-stop. They’re both cities I guess, so city car, right? that’s your logic for calling it a city car?

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “I hope that day never happens. I drive 40,000 km+ a year and have no desire to charge a low range electric car for hours at a time.”

          A long range car could handle it just fine – except that if I remember correctly, you do a lot of Autobahn driving which would be a bigger issue. Also, it takes minutes to charge, not hours. Even a 500 km range car isn’t going to take a long time.

          In your defense, you do have an unusually long commute at high autobahn speeds, so I do understand and agree with your preference for a diesel. But, I think your situation is unusual.

        • 0 avatar

          It is a natural balancing act by Nature (or God) – it keeps Germany in check preventing it from becoming world superpower. Otherwise Germany would become intimidating economic and military superpower competing directly with US and China for the world dominance. Needless to say that if history teaches as anything it would not end well.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            So today we see China substituting for Germany. China that is trying to become an intimidating economic and military superpower. China that is exercising its power to intimidate its Asian neighbors.

            If the nations of this planet let China succeed in these ventures than history has already taught us that it would not end well.

          • 0 avatar

            There is “made in China 2025” plan in progress in communist China to kick our ass and dominate world technologically. Soviets had similar plan also but Chinese are much more serious and capable. Europeans are already lining up to bow down to their new masters.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ILO, past American administrations were responsible for letting China get away with their plans for world dominance.

            Then, Trump!

            So hopefully, for the next 64 months or so, President Trump will corral Chinese ambitions and visions of grandeur.

            After that? Who knows? And I don’t care. I’ll be living outside the US by then, if everything works out as planned.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    EU is trying to out China China. What a shame.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It sounds so dramatic when you say “77 Million!”. But it’s like 23 Bucks per vehicle. Smaller than the rounding error.

    And a couple Billion for a huge automaker over a few years time? $36 Euros per vehicle? Probably not even that.

    But told that way, it doesn’t create such a smashing headline. And what exactly has FCA done differently since the 2016 “fines”? Other than doubling down on Hellcats, Demons, PowerWagons, and Others?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Big problems won’t solve themselves……

    I’d encourage anyone who wants to honestly discuss this issue to filter out this contributor from your TTAC diet…

    Not a single balanced view to be found…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    What percentage of that money could be spent on attorneys to fight in the courts to prevent payout?

    … or a team of mercenaries

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Mercenaries? The fine amounts are large enough that a certain organization in Italy might be interested.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This occurred to me although I’m sure the white collar execs are loathe to get their hands dirty.

        Personally if it were me, I’d fire a warning shot to back off and failing that then hire mercenaries to start popping the heads off of the members of that EU commission. Accidents happen.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          Just here to disavow TTAC/Vertical Scope’s poor policing of the mob.

          You’ve suggested murder as a solution to emissions taxation.

          Think about that. It is immaterial that you’d prefaced or used abstract language/sequencing to veil this, 28. You suggested murdering human beings- in print.

          Shame on you for suggesting others die to suit your worldview.

          Ban this person.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MICHAEL CORLEONE: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
            KAY ADAMS: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed!
            MICHAEL CORLEONE: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            iNeon: They’re majority owned by the Toronto Star

            https://www.thestar.com/about/contactus.html

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            The talk of assassinations are in poor taste.

            They do, however, raise the interesting question of how many thousand people will die due to irresponsible spending of trillions of taxpayer funds, and also the drastic restrictions and draconian measures burdening people.

            It is a researched fact that oppressive regimes and poverty affect humans and society adversely. Especially the way that poverty causes deaths is well researched.

    • 0 avatar
      hpycamper

      We are living the Chinese curse of “interesting times.”

    • 0 avatar

      Yes but it is the job creation program. Isn’t it?

  • avatar
    johnnyz

    we’ve got bigger problems folks. In the United States we need to work on reparations for descendants of slaves and reparations for LGBTQ’s.

    furthermore we need to make better accommodations for our new Muslim citizens. Free housing, School, food and healthcare is not enough. They need a special carbon credit that all white people should pay.

    It’s the right thing to do.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Don’t forget free healthcare for illegals, free abortions, and paying off all those school loans. Yep, our hands are full here.

      • 0 avatar
        The_Guru

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh you 2 are a couple of cards, real cut-ups! Thanks for that hearty laugh though. Well done.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Simply paying off school loans doesn’t solve the underlying problems.

        The largest source for defaulting school loans are from those FOR-profit “schools” and guess who has done everything in their power to keep those “schools” continuing to bilk/feed off the taxpayer?

        The founder of the “University” of Phoenix shouldn’t be a Billionaire and the former CEO of the biggest student loan company, formerly known as Sallie Mae (after Republican insisted that it become a PRIVATE corporation) – became so wealthy, that he couldn’t be bothered by the rules of private golf clubs in the DC metro area, so he built his OWN private golf course/club.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh Fox….your echo chamber is so much fun !

  • avatar
    Zipster

    As bad as some of the other car freedom posters are, 28 has revealed himself to be a psychopath. If Dirtball Donnie loses the election you can be certain that 28 will be out on the streets in combat gear.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Please don’t invoke Godwin’s law.

      This is to be taken more seriously than to be joked-about. It is exactly where the problematic politicking that has been destroying our community ends.

      It ends with 28’s head on a virtual pike as a warning to others— a punishment he endorses.

      He’s identified himself as someone that does not belong in our community— nor polite society.

      • 0 avatar
        Zipster

        iNeon

        Perhaps we are being to harsh toward 28. The number of cars he has is indicative of someone of advanced age. Perhaps, like the poster who compares himself to a magnificent desert animal, he is descending into senility. Despite their obvious issues, we should be compassionate as they further degenerate.

  • avatar
    jfb43

    “AlixPartners reported that Volvo and Toyota are the only major manufacturers which would be able to sell their emission credits to other outfits and won’t have to face penalties in 2021.”

    Any green-weenie scheme that lets you buy pollution credits is clearly not about pollution, but lining the pockets of the gilded bureaucracy and financiers through which these schemes will flow.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The person who came up w/ idea of “cap-and-trade” was no “greenie”, but a conservative lawyer who worked in the Reagan administration and later served as GHW Bush’s WH Counsel, C. Boyden Grey (who was also the heir to a tobacco fortune).

      This was in response to finding out a political manageable way to address the growing problem of ACID rain (by this time, about 70 different bills trying to address acid rain had been proposed and abandoned rejected or rejected by the Reagan admin).

      Many long-time staffers of the EPA mistrusted this MARKET-based approach (didn’t think it would work).

      When it went into effect in 1995, nationwide, acid rain emissions fell by 3 million tons that year, and over time, cut acid rain by half.

      Ended up costing utilities $3 billion annually (far lower than the estimates) and generated an estimated $122 billion in benefits (lower healthcare costs; healthier and more vibrant lakes, rivers, forests, crop yields, etc.).

      All too often, (certain) people only think of the cost to the polluters when the (significantly higher) cost of such polluting gets borne by the govt. (again, maximizing private profit at the cost of the taxpayers).

      Even in the rare moments when big corporations get dinged w/ a bill for say, a Superfund clean-up site, the company will keep paying off politicians until they hit bingo – such as former NJ Gov. Chris Christie agreeing to a settlement of $225 million from Exxon Mobil (less than 3 cents on the dollar for the cost of clean-up).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t think cap and trade is necessarily bad if the auto companies are allowed credit toward it by not just fines but allowed to use alternate sources of energy, zero waste, and buying older more polluting vehicles and scrapping them as a way to earn these credits. Seems that would be a fairer and better way to accomplish the clean air objectives. I doubt most of us want to go back to a time when there was more smog and the goal should be to even have cleaner air without putting the auto companies out of business. Seems that getting more of the older vehicles off the road and allowing the manufacturers to earn credit for doing so would be a successful alternative and most manufacturers would accept it.

  • avatar
    loopy55

    The joke is that the #1 way to reduce C02 from combustion engined cars is with diesel engines as they burn less fuel=less C02. The latest generation are incredibly efficient and clean.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2019-4-july-august/feature/who-wants-kill-electric-car-time-koch-brothers?fbclid=IwAR3KuOd2U72Ihz586CaFx1rlVeho-nxgibguSege_7nCjbBDNjf9vpTtw1Q

    Who Wants to Kill the Electric Car This Time?
    The Koch brothers hope it will be them
    FacebookTwitterEmail
    BY BEN JERVEY | JUN 28 2019
    Illustration shows the Koch brothers bashing in an electric car with a crowbar and a baseball bat that says Wichita Slugger.
    ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE BRODNER
    IN FEBRUARY, Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced a bill to end the federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles and establish a new annual “highway user fee” for all “alternative fuel vehicles.” If the bill becomes law, these provisions of the Fairness for Every Driver Act would check off two high-priority boxes on the policy wish list of Charles and David Koch, the billionaire petrochemical barons who have built a fortune on the transport and refining of fossil fuels. And this is no coincidence.

    Barrasso is the third-highest recipient of campaign donations from Koch Industries, and in remarks on the Senate floor as well as in an op-ed published on the Fox News website, he cited figures from reports funded by the Koch brothers and their donor network. Speaking in the Senate, Barrasso said that the EV program “disproportionately subsidizes wealthy buyers” and that “hard-working Wyoming taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize wealthy California luxury-car buyers.” In effect, Barrasso justified the bill almost entirely with arguments—many misleading, some demonstrably false—tested and refined for years by Koch-affiliated think tanks, advocacy groups, and astroturfing operations.

    Senator Barrasso’s bill is just one example of how the Koch brothers and their Big Oil allies are working to decelerate the country’s transition to electric cars. “The Koch network is opposing pro-EV policies at all levels of government, in public utility commissions, state legislatures, and the US Congress,” says David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s climate program. “The campaign is classic Koch—a mix of front groups, campaign cash, corporate cronyism, and deception.”

    Several years ago, oil companies began to see EVs as a real threat to their businesses. Electric-car sales, virtually nonexistent when President Barack Obama took office, were rising consistently (though more than 1 million Americans have bought or leased an electric vehicle, EVs still represent only about 2 percent of new car sales). By the beginning of 2016, a new generation of plug-in cars targeting the mass market had been announced—including the Chevy Bolt, the updated Nissan Leaf, and Tesla’s Model 3—all of which were promising 100-plus miles of range and a price tag around $30,000 after the federal tax credit.

    About the same time, the Koch network began preparing a calculated campaign to keep gas-guzzlers on the road. In late 2015, a couple of key Koch agents started meeting with oil-refining and marketing companies to pitch a new “multimillion-dollar assault on electric vehicles,” according to a HuffPost investigation. James Mahoney, a Koch Industries board member, and Charles Drevna, a former president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, were raising funds to defend the oil and gas industry from stronger fuel-efficiency standards and transportation electrification.

    In December 2015, an organization called Frontiers of Freedom, a front group that has received millions from ExxonMobil and Koch Family Foundations, created the Energy Equality Coalition with the express purpose of fighting the EV tax credit. The group’s slogan for EVs is “Built by billionaires, bought by millionaires . . . and subsidized by the rest of us.” Then, in 2016, Drevna launched an outfit named Fueling US Forward, which balanced oil and gas cheerleading with aggressive EV bashing. The group produced a YouTube video, “The Hidden Costs of Electric Cars,” that described the EV tax credits as a “massive wealth transfer from poor to rich.”


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