Although Tesla hasn’t managed to turn a profit, the company did manage to reduce its losses by selling $13.8 million worth of “zero-emission vehicle” credits to Honda. Sale of the credits was revealed in a Tesla public filing related to its anticipated initial public offering.
In 2008, California set new standards for its zero-emission vehicle program—requiring Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford and Nissan to sell more than 60,000 plug-in hybrids or pure electric cars over a three-year period. Companies failing to comply face fines and potential sales restrictions in California.
Honda consistently ranks as the most fuel-efficiency carmaker in the U.S., and leases a handful of hydrogen fuel-cell cars—but that doesn’t help the company satisfy the California ZEV mandate. “Having these credits gives us some flexibility for the future,” said Robert Bienenfeld, Honda’s U.S. senior manager for environment and energy strategy.
Honda produced the EV Plus from 1997 to 1999, as part of California’s ZEV requirements. The company has no announced plans for a future pure electric car or plug-in hybrid. The credits are equal to 368 cars. The company contracted for additional credits worth 287 cars.
Photo: Honda EV Plus