The German “Manager Magazin” reports that Kia is re-exporting newly registered Kia Soul EVs to Norway in order to bring down the average CO2 emissions of its fleet.
This alleged manipulation came to light when Kia reported sales of almost 1.000 Soul EVs in Germany in October, 87% of all Kia Soul models delivered in that country, which raised suspicion considering the Soul EV is almost twice as expensive as the gasoline powered version (starting price € 30.790,- vs. € 16.990,-). And also because those 980 units of the Soul EV were in sharp contrast with the 67 units Volkswagen sold of its € 34.900,- e-Golf or the 61 units of the Nissan Leaf, which starts at a much more affordable € 23.060,-.
So what appears to be the case? Well, let’s first explain some background information: the European Union has mandated carmakers to lower the CO2 emissions of their fleet to an average of 130 g/km on average in 2015, with each carmaker getting an individual target, which lies at 131 g/km for Hyundai-Kia. However, it appeared that the South-Koreans weren’t going to meet their target for this year, which meant the carmaker would face a hefty fine from the EU of € 95,- per gram over their target, multiplied by their annual sales. One possible solution to this problem could be to sell more electric cars in order bring down the average fleet emissions. In this specific case, selling an additional 4.000 units of the Kia Soul EV could help to bring down the carmaker’s average CO2 emission down by one gram, potentially saving them € 80 million in penalties. [Read more…]