Going into 2020, perhaps the biggest question in the European market was whether automakers would meet their CO2 emissions targets under a new corporate average of 95 grams per km. A miss could mean millions or even billions of euros in fines imposed by the European Union.
So far, only Volkswagen Group has said that it fell short, although Jaguar Land Rover has set aside money for fines, and Ford is said to be at risk, too. It will probably be a while before we know the complete list of winners and losers.
But among the brands and groups that are expected to have hit their targets, there is an unlikely contender for top honors (outside of EV-only Tesla and probably Smart): DS.
The upscale brand created by PSA Group in 2014 says its 2020 fleet emissions were just 82.6 g/km.
“It’s huge,” DS product director Marion David said about DS being more than 10 g/km below the fleet average.
DS only sells two models and both are offered with electrified powertrains, which were in high demand last year.
The DS 3 small SUV is available in a full-electric version, which David said accounted for 25 percent of all orders in 2020 (19,311 total were sold in Europe, according to JATO Dynamics). The electric version also qualifies for emissions supercredits under EU regulations, magnifying the impact of those sales.
The DS 7 compact SUV has a plug-in hybrid option, which also qualified for supercredits, and one-third of buyers took that option, David said. There were 24,038 DS 7s sold last year, according to JATO.
All told, DS sold about 12,000 full-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles last year, out of more than 43,000 total sales.
The brand’s electrified sales easily outpaced those of Europe overall, where about 10 percent of all vehicles were either full-electric or plug-in hybrid variants.