To no one’s surprise, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced that Tesla has sold by far the largest number of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credits of any automaker for the last 12 months.
The California ZEV Regulation requires vehicle manufacturers to produce low-emission vehicles, including a certain number of ZEVs (battery electric or fuel cell vehicles), and awards credits for various categories of vehicles. Automakers that earn more than their required number of credits can sell them to other automakers that fall short.
To date, Tesla and Nissan are the only companies that have sold any substantial numbers of ZEVs. Tesla has made a nice little business out of this – one analyst said that the company could earn as much as $250 million this year from the sale of ZEV credits. Nissan announced in September that it has also started selling excess credits.
Between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, Tesla Motors transferred out 1,311.520 credits, according to ARB, leaving it with a balance of 276.080 credits. In second place was Toyota, which transferred out 507.5 credits. Nissan sold 25 credits. GM was the leading automaker for acquiring ZEV credits (transfer in), followed by Chrysler and Honda.
ARB noted that all manufacturers subject to the ZEV Regulation are in compliance through model year 2012, and that, as a result of the ZEV regulation, a total of nearly three million low-emission vehicles have been sold in California.