Ford of Europe will join an emissions pool with other car makers as it seeks to reduce its CO2 levels and avoid fines imposed by EU regulations.
The announcement comes just days after Renault opened an emissions pool and Volvo indicated it would be open to doing so, suggesting that the two brands are among the manufacturers Ford is planning to partner with.
In a statement, Ford of Europe said that although it was on track to meet its emissions targets, problems with its Kuga plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – which has withdrawn from sale since August following safety issues – mean that it will fail to meet the EU’s passenger vehicles levels “on our own”.
Ford must therefore purchase emissions credits from other manufacturers to avoid harsh EU fines. Transport & Environment claimed that Ford was less than 1.4g/km from meeting EU targets at the start of the year.
The Kuga PHEV was taken off sale in August and 20,808 examples recalled by Ford due to concerns about overheating battery packs, which resulted in some cars catching fire. Ford has also told buyers not to charge their high-voltage battery “until further notice” and drive the car only in “EV Auto” drive mode.
Ford has given affected owners a free three-year service and maintenance plan and, as of October, owners are also being offered a £500 voucher towards fuel as a goodwill gesture.
While Ford is struggling to meet its EU targets for passenger vehicles, it expects to exceed its targets on light commercial vehicles. In light of this, Ford said: “We have filed separately our intent to form an open pool so other OEMs – including Volkswagen AG – can benefit from the positive CO2 performance of our light commercial fleet.”
Ford and Renault are not the only manufacturers to exploit CO2 pools. Last year, Tesla made headlines when it admitted that it was making “hundreds of millions” of pounds selling EV credits to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.