Under the supercredits programme, the European Commission has rewarded automakers for producing ultra-low and zero emissions vehicles. Companies that produce only electric vehicles (EVs) have benefitted immensely as a result, selling surplus credits to the highest bidder.
In effect, automakers that do not produce enough clean vehicles can choose to pool credits with those that do. Questions are being raised as to the validity of this model: is it sustainable as more EVs hit the market and credits lose their allure, and does it allow automakers to miss their emissions reduction targets without recourse?
Pay to join the clean car club
The need to purchase emissions credits is directly related to the automaker’s portfolio. If it does not have enough EV models on offer—or has been unable to sell them in high enough volumes—the only option to avoid a fine is to pool credits from another automaker that has.
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