California hopes to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. To this end, the state’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) program requires the six largest auto sellers to earn a certain number of credits from the sale of ZEVs (which in practice means electric vehicles). Companies that don’t sell enough of their own vehicles can purchase credits from other automakers that do.
To date, the only companies that have sold any substantial numbers of EVs in the state are Tesla and Nissan. Tesla has made a nice little business out of this deal. Each Model S sold generates up to seven ZEV credits, and the company earned $119 million, or 12 percent of its revenue, from ZEV credit sales in the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg.
This week, Nissan Executive VP Andy Palmer told reporters that the Japanese automaker has also started selling excess credits. “We’ve got carbon credits to sell, and we’re selling them – California ZEV credits,” Palmer said.
Regulators don’t set prices for ZEV credits – the sales are negotiated directly between companies. We’d all love to know how much they’re going for, but Nissan declined to provide any details. “While Nissan has been approached by other automakers regarding emission-credit transactions, these discussions and the outcome of any transactions are held in strict confidence by all involved parties,” said spokesman David Reuter.
Source: Bloomberg, Automotive News