Despite German auto manufacturers sounding confident of meeting the next level of EU fleet average CO2 emission targets, due to be enforced from 2020, behind the scenes they appear to be getting sweaty palms and have indirectly begun criticizing each other's strategies.
In the meantime, Toyota - the pioneers of the HEV hybrid technology - have been going from strength-to-strength. Although its official 2018 figure has yet to be published, thanks to the early investment and planning using its profitable hybrid strategy Toyota look on track to drop below 100g/km, perhaps as early as 2018 although Toyota weren't prepared to speculate if this has been achieved yet. In a similar way to how BREXIT discussions have developed, other OEMs, it appears, will likely leave it to the last minute to reach CO2 goals with a mix of various drivetrains including unprofitable pure electric vehicles. Toyota are likely to meet their target without a single BEV pure electric vehicle, remaining profitable and avoiding any fines for missing targets.
Meanwhile Daimler's 2018 EU CO2 fleet average rose back above 130g/km for the first time in five years in what is likely to be a strategy of pushing as many highly profitable SUVs as possible while they still can and leaving mass volume electric vehicles to the last minute before they are essentially forced to bring them to market to lower their fleet average. A similar strategy can be witnessed at BMW Group and Volkswagen Group, with both failing to see falls in their fleet average CO2 emissions last year.
4.2% of BMW Group's W-European sales pure electric in the opening 2-months of 2019
BMW Group nonetheless had the highest West European mix out of the big German three. Its total January-February sales mix being pure EV was 4.2% of its total sales, while Daimler and Volkswagen Group followed with 1.3% and 1.5% respectively according to schmidtmatthias.de data and research.