It was expected that car makers would pool their own sub-brands together. VW can use improving emissions with its regular brands to offset exotic brands like Porsche and Lamborghini, for example. However, this (along with a deal between Mazda and Toyota) is the first time two wholly separate car companies have agreed to pool their emissions in Europe, and shows the pressure on companies to electrify their lineups.
This sort of deal isn’t completely unusual for Tesla. In 2018 alone it made $103.4 million by selling zero-emissions credits, and it made $279.7 million the year before that. The EU pact could significantly pad Tesla’s bottom line, though, and it’s coming at a good time. Tesla’s sales fell sharply in early 2019 as reduced EV tax credits and the typical early-year slowdown took their toll. While the company isn’t facing a crisis, it probably won’t mind an influx of cash while it tries to improve sales and gears up for future cars like the Model Y.