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Volkswagen faces more than € 100 million ($ 121 million) fines for failing to meet the EU's 2020 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions targets for its passenger car fleet, the world's largest car manufacturer said Thursday.
This cut the average CO2 emissions of the European Union car fleet by about 20% to 99.8 g / km, Volkswagen said, but that was about 0.5 g / km above the target.
This implies EU fines of "a very small three-digit amount of a million," the spokesman said.
Worried about global warming as well as air pollution, European politicians have limited their exhaust emissions, forcing automakers to stimulate the development of low-emission technologies or face a € 95 fine per gram of excess CO2 emissions.
“We have barely reached our 2020 vehicle fleet target due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement, adding that he hopes to hit the target this year as the company's major brands roll out new electric models.
The group said it has already provided for penalties to avoid a drop in fourth-quarter earnings.
German rivals Daimler and BMW have said they have met their CO2 emissions targets following increased sales of electric models.
Volkswagen said shipments of electric models in the EU, as well as the UK, Iceland and Norway more than quadrupled in 2020 to 315,400 vehicles, making the group the clear market leader with roughly a quarter of the all-electric market in Western Europe.
The company said its major brands Volkswagen and Audi have more than met their CO2 targets with the launch of popular electric models, and the number is coming soon. Its sports cars Cupra and Skoda brands will also introduce new electric models.
VW has helped move closer to its goal with a merger system that allows carmakers above the limit to pay competitors below the limit.
Volkswagen is cutting back on the number of internal combustion engine cars it offers and retooling more EV factories to try to keep up with EV maker Tesla.
He said stricter EU emission targets would force it to increase the share of hybrid and electric vehicles in European car sales to 60% by 2030, up from a previous target of 40%.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted to a scandal in diesel emissions testing, a scandal that cost the company more than € 30 billion in fines and car repairs, mainly in the United States.