Cars

New Renault Zoe to pioneer innovative car sharing technology

As well as pushing electric cars towards urban mobility improvements, Vulog believes that fleets of shared electric cars could save many manufacturers from the fines that the EU will levy from 2020 on car makers that miss their fleet CO2 average figure. 

For every gram above their CO2 emission limit, car makers will have to pay £83 for each car registered. According to a report by PA Consulting, nine of the 13 main car-making groups in Europe could have to pay out – ranging from Mazda’s relatively modest £65 million to Volkswagen’s eye-watering £1.22 billion. 

Total industry fines might reach an astonishing £12.2bn, according to industry analysts IHS Markit. 

This explains why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently paired up with Tesla to pay the US EV maker to pool fleets for CO2 calculation purposes. FCA faces going 6.7g/km over its 91.8g/km target, equal to a £612m fine.

Unsurprisingly, EV pioneer partners Renault and Nissan — now in alliance with Mitsubishi — are among the four makers predicted to be on course to meet their CO2 target. 

“EV car sharing does reduce CO2 emissions and helps reduce liability under the new corporate fleet regulations,” Renault UK told Autocar. “It also gives Renault access to a new audience: people who may not want to buy a car but also those who may not otherwise try an EV.” 

Vulog believes other car makers could significantly reduce fleet average CO2 with shared EVs and are preparing to roll out such schemes. “Many OEMs [car makers] have a plan to do this,” said Vulog boss Gregory Duconge, “but they just aren’t ready to talk about it yet.”

VW, one of the makers tipped to miss its 2020 fleet CO2 target, for example, has supplied 325 e-Golfs to Zipcar, which has a medium-term aim to be 100% electric by 2025. 

When VW’s ID family of electric cars gets into serious volume production by 2020/21, it can be expected to have a very large global fleet of car share EVs. 

Thomas Ulbrich, VW’s head of e-mobility, recently confirmed to Autocar that by the end of the ID family model introductions in 2027/28, VW will have built 15m EVs on its new MEB electric car platform. That would make a huge dent in its fleet CO2 numbers and many could be on electric car sharing schemes. 

Ford is also facing fines but it is remaining tight-lipped about electric car sharing, if only because significant numbers of its electric models are still a couple of years from launch in Europe. But it will go it alone, unlike FCA and Tesla.

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