Did the Tesla mission change - the Fiat $$$ connection

Did the Tesla mission change - the Fiat $$$ connection

Let us start out with a reminder of Tesla's stated mission. "Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy." (

In case you missed the news published this past weekend: (

"Italian-U.S. carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) has agreed to pay electric carmaker Tesla Inc hundreds of millions of euros to allow Tesla vehicles to be counted in its fleet to avoid fines for violating new European Union emission rules."

How does Tesla selling emission credits to Fiat align with Tesla's stated mission? Has the mission statement been appended with "unless we are offered a bunch of cash (or euros)"?

Is this a desperate cash move by Tesla as the article alludes to at one point, or a sellout to the green leaning buyers of Tesla who bought into that mission at some point, or both?

Update: Sorry can be a pay news site; Reuters (and others have reprinted for free at:

TranzNDance | 8 April, 2019
EVRider | 8 April, 2019

If Fiat Chrysler can’t meet their emissions targets yet, I’d rather see their money go to Tesla than the EU.

SO | 8 April, 2019

@EVRider +1 | 8 April, 2019

Fiat is paying a heavy price for not having any EVs. At some point they may finally figure it out and start to make a desirable EV. That's the whole goal of ZEV credits. The fact that Tesla benefits from Fiat's errors further's Tesla's ability to offer affordable cars. Without ZEV income, they would have to raise the price of the cars, which would reduce the number of owners that can afford it. Seems like a no brainer to me. How someone can twist this into some kind of negative is even stranger.

greg | 8 April, 2019

In any case, its a temporary situation for Tesla and FCA - as FCA has to solve their existing fleets high emissions problem themselves or go out of business.

Likely they will not manage to solve their problem themselves and will get fined by the EU up the wazoo and go broke.But thats futures..

For now, Tesla is getting "free" money from FCA for doing something it was already doing (making and selling EVs in spades, to Europe). So why not take the money on offer.

Probably cheaper for FCA to pay Tesla to use its ZEV credits than either OEM Teslas or produce saleable EVs that don't kill their existing ICE business. And Tesla otherwise has ZEV credits that are being wasted.

Longer term, EVs from Tesla and elsewhere will kill FCAs ICE business, but its a good result - for now.

OCModel3 | 8 April, 2019

No is your answer. FCA was not going to be making or selling EVs anyway. All they would be doing is paying a fine or more taxes, neither of which would produce more EV vehicles.

By this arrangement, FCA's cash payments strengthen Tesla even more and should lead to even more EVs being produced, sold and designed in the future.

greg | 8 April, 2019

Note: If I was an EU citizen:

I might prefer the option where Tesla and FCA don't link up.

Because the EU wide emissions reductions that Tesla bring would still likely occur, and if anything FCA is more likely to not sell so many damn gas guzzlers in Europe - due to the taxes they get charged that they can't escape.

And secondly the fines FCA are going to be levied with Tesla's help do help the EU overall deliver services to all EU citizens.

So yeah, if I lived in the EU I *might* have some ground for opposition to it.

And as I don't, I don't care except that Tesla's long term survival is ensured.

Because without Tesla keeping them honest we'd never have had this option on the table at all.

So its no strategic sell out. Just a tactical manoeuvre.

RJMIII | 8 April, 2019

Tesla can't do it's mission if they go out of business. The money helps keep the mission alive.

Earl and Nagin ... | 8 April, 2019

Using a cash infusion to accelerate Tesla's progress is likely to be a lot more valuable in the long run than allowing FCA to wallow in their ICE a little longer. There's no good reason for Tesla to turn this free donation down.
I'm sure Sergio Marchionne is turning over in his grave right now. Let's hope his successors use the time and money Tesla saves them wisely.
Had it had a fast charge port and been sold outside CA, the Fiat 500e could have been the VW Beetle for the 2010's - a cheap, fun, cute runabout. If the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV had reasonable electric range and a fast charge port, I'd consider it for its practical carrying capacity.
Let's hope FCA does the right thing now.

Yodrak. | 8 April, 2019

"Is this a desperate cash move by Tesla ..."

Cash move, yes. Desperate, no.

carlk | 8 April, 2019

No. Tesla could better utilize the hundreds of million dollars to help accelerate transition to sustainable transportation. I'm sure Tesla could produce more EV's and make better impacts with that money than FCA ever could. | 9 April, 2019

Article in WSJ indicates cash will not transfer to Tesla until sometime in 2020.

Madatgascar | 10 April, 2019

Hopefully before the June 2020 $1.1B debt payment. Tesla does need the cash....