G.M. and Stellantis Paid $364 Million in Fuel Economy Fines

General Motors and Stellantis paid a combined $363.8 million in penalties for failing to meet federal fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks they produced in previous years, according to federal government documents posted on Friday.

G.M. paid $128.2 million for failing to meet the targets with the light trucks it sold in 2018 and 2019, according to documents published on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. Stellantis, the company created when Fiat Chrysler merged with the French automaker Peugeot, paid $235.6 million for cars it sold in 2016 and 2017.

G.M. paid its fine in December, the documents showed, and Stellantis made payments in December and May. The payments were reported earlier by Reuters.

The fines stem from years before each company started producing electric and hybrid vehicles in significant numbers. The penalties were levied under the corporate average fuel-economy standards that the safety agency oversees.

The fuel economy standards date back to before electric vehicles and hybrid cars were widely available. For many years, automakers routinely paid fines for falling short of regulatory targets. But the penalties were typically much smaller than the sums that G.M. and Stellantis recently paid.

In recent years, G.M., Stellantis and other automakers have avoided paying fines by purchasing fuel-economy credits from manufacturers that produced electric or other zero-emission vehicles. G.M. covered its 2016 and 2017 penalties with credits, but it elected to pay fines in 2022, the federal documents said.

G.M. and Stellantis, along with most other automakers, are rushing to roll out new electric models and expect a majority of the vehicles they sell to be electric within a decade.

Stellantis said it was investing $35 billion to develop battery-powered vehicles and related software, planning to offer 25 electric models in the United States by 2030. The penalties it paid reflect “past performance recorded before the formation of Stellantis, and is not indicative of the company’s direction,” the company said in a statement.

G.M. has said it hopes to produce a million electric vehicles annually by 2025, and to end production of combustion-engine vehicles by 2035.

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Mohammad SHiblu

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