CARB ZEV Credit Restructuring Leaves Tesla With Fewer Credits

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
carb zev credit restructuring leaves tesla with fewer credits

A change to the California Air Resources Board’s Zero-Emission Vehicle credit program will leave Tesla with four credits per car cold for the foreseeable future, down from seven credits for every Model S through 2013.

Bloomberg reports the change will award zero-emission vehicles with long-driving ranges and refueling times no greater than 15 minutes — such as the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity, with its hydrogen fuel cell technology — the maximum of nine credits, while Tesla — which had, until now, earned the maximum of seven — will receive four credits going forward due to failing the rapid-refueling requirement.

Tesla, the top seller of CARB ZEV credits to other automakers, has plans to introduce battery-swap stations that would allow drivers to exchange depleted packs for new ones in around one minute. However, until enough of the stations are in place, the 2014 Model S will be rebranded a Type III ZEV going forward.

The new standards — originally meant to be in place by October 2013 — were designed by CARB to emphasize actual use of ZEVs over theoretical capabilities.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 07, 2014

    Due to their increasing volumes, this won't really hurt Tesla. But due to the numerous impossibilities with hydrogen, this won't really help the mfrs foolish enough to try fuel cell vehicles. In any case, this credit scheme should be abolished. Also, Tesla should forget about battery swapping. It carries far more risk and complexity than the Supercharger network, with little upside.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 07, 2014

    And here I though the credits game was actually about carbon emissions. Sure, I suspected much of it was really to create more ways to tax us. Even I didn't suspect it was about a bunch of people getting on committees weilding power and influence. Now, if you are willing to put up with some inconvenience in an attempt to reduce your carbon footprint, you may get less credits? Seriously?

    • See 9 previous
    • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 09, 2014

      @David C. Holzman Did you read my posts? Do you have any example schemes that would do anything significant about carbon that are not primarily a scheme to transfer power and wealth? Any? I have, on this site, many, many times supported increased fuel taxes. And you?

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Apr 07, 2014

    I wonder what the Securities and Exchange Commission,or similar state level regulators in California, would do if it was a private business that set up a similar market for buying and selling these credits. Seems to me to be the functional equivalent to a completely unregulated securities market.

    • See 2 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Apr 07, 2014

      @ruggles A revenue-neutral carbon tax, applied when hydrocarbons are extracted, would be far less arbitrary and would avoid picking winning or losing technologies. But it will never happen. The people who became rich under the current system have too much money/power to allow such a deep change. Oh, and it's tax so nobody likes the idea, even if it would allow the reduction of other taxes.

  • Hummer Hummer on Apr 07, 2014

    All of us end up paying for California's BS, why can't manufacturers up prices on everyone with California registration around 20-30% and drop the prices for the rest of us 5-10%? What a waste, needlessly driving up costs on cars that actually sell in high numbers because one state is so extreme they're against seeing ther citizens thrive.