Exclusive: Prophylactic CO2 Chinese medicine for VW Group's EU pool?


Key points:


  • Nio, Xpeng, and Geely's Lynk&Co have joined Volkswagen Group's open EU passenger car CO2 pool

  • Duration of open pool: 2021/2022

  • As previously announced the pool also includes China's SAIC (MG brand) and Aiways

  • UPDATE: Volkswagen assures Schmidt Automotive Research that they remain confident of achieving 2021 EU+2 (Norway/Iceland) CO2 compliance without the new partners

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According to the latest exclusive research by Schmidt Automotive Research, citing official European Commission documents, Volkswagen Group, having assured this publication that they remain confident of meeting EU + 2 (Iceland/Norway) CO2 fleet average compliance in 2021, have been joined in their open pool by three further Chinese OEMs, bringing the number to six. Nio, Xpeng and Geely's Lynk&Co, have all been confirmed as members of VW Group's open EU CO2 pool in 2021 and 2022, with the German's holding the keys to the pool.

Volkswagen Group have been joined by the three Chinese OEMs in a "non-discriminatory way", doubling the number of Chinese manufacturers in the pool to six.


Aiways, SAIC's MG and Geely's LondonEV Company brand were already part of the pool.


The reason for the new additions remains unclear, with Volkswagen confirming to this report, that they don't require them to meet their CO2 obligations this year. The EU 27 member countries plus Norway and Iceland's combined CO2 fleet average legislation requires passenger car manufacturers to meet a defined mass-adjusted fleet average CO2 target of 95g/km in the old NEDC drive cycle or closer to 120g/km in the WLTP cycle up to 2025. Both Nio and Xpeng, joining the pool for the first time, and remaining in 2022 also, are recent arrivals to Europe with limited volumes, mainly in Norway so far this year. Geely's Lynk&Co under the Zheijang Geely Automobile Co Ltd began making inroads into Europe during the last months, focusing on internet connectivity and car-sharing.


Geely is also the parent company of Sweden's Volvo Cars. The new entrant to Europe has been described by CEO Alain Visser as the Netflix of the automotive word thanks to its subscription model. In the Netherlands in November the Lynk&Co 01 PHEV model was the fifth most registered model outright according to Raivereniging data. Having been present in the West European market for just a handful of months, Lynk&Co. accumulated just under 3,500 PHEV registrations up to November this year according to the latest European Electric Car Study. As revealed earlier this week, also by the same report, Volkswagen Group have separately been joined by Ford to help achieve CO2 compliance in the UK which requirers independent CO2 fleet targets for the first time this year with the EU transitional exit phase finishing at the end of last year. Volkswagen Group's CEO recently commented during an investor call with enthusiasm when commenting on the Chinese competitor models he was testing which may be linked to this move. While Volkswagen confirmed to this report what they have previously said, regarding meeting European CO2 compliance this year, they still remain unable to achieve this feat in China and the US .


VW Group failed to achieve EU fleet average CO2 compliance last year, following the late ramp-up of the MEB models following software delays and glitches.


The all-electric MEB production line in Zwickau Germany was hit by a semiconductor linked one-week shutdown last month, and these new Chinese entrants to the pool may be some kind of prophylactic Chinese insurance medicine, with a few more weeks of this unstable year to get through.


A VW spokesperson confirmed to the report that no more shutdowns are expected in Zwickau this year.

VW Group 2021/2022 open CO2 pool
VW Group 2021/2022 open CO2 pool

Chinese OEMs are increasing gaining market share in Europe, driven predominantly by SAIC's MG accounting for more than half of all Chinese OEM BEV volumes in the 18 market West European region.


According to the most recent European Electric Car October Study that tracks Chinese OEMs each month, their share of the region's BEV market rose to 4 per cent during the opening 10-months of this year – 35,900 units –, putting it just 0.3ppts behind combined Japanese BEV models. In October alone, Chinese manufactures, that also includes Polestar, accounted for a record 5.5 per cent mix – 5,700 units – of the total zero-emission new car market which was one percentage point ahead of all Japanese brands combined.

More in-depth analysis and trend-analysis is published each month in the full-report

The European Electric Car Flash Report which is published on a monthly basis covers the entire West European region in a detailed data-driven manner.


May also interest you: Exclusive: Ford join VW Group CO2 pool in the UK... According to the latest exclusive Schmidt Automotive Research and United Kingdom government data, Ford has joined Volkswagen Group's UK-only CO2 pool for 2021. click here for the story