Nissan to Start Selling California ZEV Credits, Joining Tesla

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
nissan to start selling california zev credits joining tesla

Tesla recently released financial figures that the company says demonstrate profitability. According to Automotive News, analysts have pointed out that some of Tesla’s revenue comes not from selling cars but rather by selling zero-emission credits to other car companies that want to do business under California’s clean-air regulations. If they want to sell cars in California, companies have to comply by either producing ZEVs or by obtaining credits from companies that make those vehicles. Now Nissan Motor Co, whose Leaf is the best selling electric car of all time, has joined Tesla in selling those credits. Tesla was able to sell those credits because they only make electric vehicles. Makers of conventional cars and trucks buy the credits to theoretically offset the pollution caused by those cars. Since Tesla has no such conventionally polluting cars to offset, they can sell their credits. Nissan executive VP Andy Palmer told reporters earlier this week that at this point Nissan has sold enough Leafs to cover its own needs to comply with the California Air Resources Board‘s rules and will now start selling surplus credits to other automakers. “We’ve got carbon credits to sell, and we’re selling them — California ZEV credits.” No details were forthcoming on time, price or to whom Nissan will sell their credits.

In the first half of 2013, Tesla brought in $119 million, or 12 percent of its revenue, from ZEV credit sales. Each Tesla Model S accrues as many as seven ZEV credits for the EV startup. Each Leaf sold in California and the other states that participate in CARB’s program, earns 3 credits. CARB has no say in how much a company can charge for the credits and their customers do not have to be disclosed.

“While Nissan has been approached by other automakers regarding emission-credit transactions, these discussions and the outcome of any transactions is held in strict confidence by all involved parties,” David Reuter, a spokesman Nissan, said.

Since the end of 2010 when it went on sale, Nissan has sold about 75,000 leafs around the world, with California being one of its biggest markets, and it expects to sell at least 20,000 in the U.S. this year, about double what it sold in 2012.

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23 of 35 comments
  • Ron Ron on Aug 31, 2013

    California taxpayers don't pay a single red cent -- companies buying the credits pay.

    • See 4 previous
    • Thelaine Thelaine on Aug 31, 2013

      @thelaine You will never lack for government employment opportunities.

  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Aug 31, 2013

    Ironically those Teslas don't offset any oil consumption since those are toys for rich people who still keep their Porsche and BMW for daily driving. Maybe I buy stock in coal mining since the electric utilities will like that EV business a lot. those credits are like the Nigerian prince who sends me emails asking for help tranferring his inheeritance. Even private people can buy carbon credits (if you feel bad about your last plane trip) and pay someone to "offset". Obvioulsy there is no verification what that offsetting actually is, or if it even happens. But it makes stupid people feel good about themselves... so it seems worth the money.

    • See 15 previous
    • Thelaine Thelaine on Sep 04, 2013

      @thelaine You haven't proven it, you've simply asserted it. Whatever. It doesn't really matter how the privileged are dividing the money they have taken from me so they can run their companies and drive their exclusive cars. No, I did not take the time to discover your opinion on the issue. I did notice, however, the completely unsupported smear on other people's motivation for their position on the issue, which is characteristic of your style of argument. It often ends up coming down to this for you. This is why I usually avoid responding to you. In the end, you believe people who oppose your positions are motivated by some sort of "hatred," rather than a legitimate difference of opinion or philosophy. Some people simply have very different views of the appropriate size and role of government. Some people think the government should be limited and get upset when they believe it has become too large and powerful or exceeded what they believe to be its proper role. People holding these views don't "hate government." Like-minded people participated in the founding of our government. They like government just fine. They just want to keep it under control. I have seen you make this accusation before. I believe you are projecting. I have seen the spitting venom. You are the psych major though, so I assume you know better than me, or at least believe you do.

  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?
  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.