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BMW Ranks First, Subaru Worst in Climate Lobby Survey

The Carbon Disclosure Project ranked responses from 16 manufacturers on three main issues: Progress toward meeting emissions standards, strategies on using self-driving technology and renewable energies, and management incentives to lower carbon emissions.

As automakers pour billions into preparing for electric vehicles and stricter emissions controls, among other changes in the industry, an environmental lobby has handed out progress reports.

The Carbon Disclosure Project ranked responses from 16 manufacturers on three main issues: Progress toward meeting emissions standards, strategies on using self-driving technology and renewable energies, and management incentives to lower carbon emissions.

The results put German carmakers BMW AG and Daimler AG in pole position and Subaru Corp. of Japan bringing up the rear.

Carmakers are facing increasing costs to comply with stricter emissions regulations. The CDP expects these will rise three-fold by 2025 to more than $2,200 to outfit each vehicle with carbon dioxide caps. In Europe, where new emissions rules are set to take effect in 2021, half of the companies surveyed by the group could face fines. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is the most at risk and may have to pay a penalty of 938 million euros ($1.15 billion), it said.

General Motors Co. stands out as one of the most ambitious when it comes to setting targets for automation, ride-sharing and electrification, followed by Volkswagen AG and BMW, according to the study. Yet carmakers’ spending on research and development, which is 4.6% of sales on average — relatively high compared to most other sectors — lags behind tech companies entering the market such as Google Inc., Apple Inc., Baidu Inc. and Uber Inc..

Kia Motors Corp., Great Wall Motor Co. and Volvo owner Geely Automobiles Holding Ltd did not respond to the CDP survey.

By Ania Nussbaum and Jessica Shanklemn.

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