Autocar confidential: Tesla’s credit cheque, Bentley flips a switch and more

In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, we lift the lid on Tesla’s CO2 credits, hear why there’s no fix for the ‘Ackermann effect’, and more.

Credit where it’s due

Tesla made almost $600 million (£482m) of revenue last year just by selling zero-emissions regulatory ‘credits’ to other car makers. The credits are purchased to offset a maker’s shortfall in its own zero-emissions vehicles. One such maker is FCA, which last year paid Tesla hundreds of millions of euros to count Tesla vehicle sales in its own fleet to avoid EU fines.

AMG skips a beat

The well-publicised ‘tyre skipping’ issue with certain cars driven on full lock cannot be easily rectified, says Mercedes-AMG vehicle development director Drummond Jacoy. “It’s down to a performance car with a performance suspension set-up and performance tyre. There’s physically not a lot you can do about that,” he said. The phenomenon is known as the ‘Ackermann effect’ and can be dampened with all-season or winter tyres.

Morgan moves on

The former MD of one of the UK’s most traditional car companies has now joined one of its most future thinking: Charles Morgan, grandson of the founder of Morgan Motor Company, has become a director of battery tech start-up Britishvolt. The firm is aiming to build a battery gigafactory in the UK, with a production capacity of up to 35GWh, by 2023.

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The big plug-in

The need to prioritise spending post-pandemic will drive car makers more quickly into electrification, according to Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark. He said: “We’ve had to pull levers to control costs. Whatever we’ve done has been on the combustion engine. We have delayed or deleted certain derivatives.”