Nissan starts selling zero-emission vehicle credits in California

Article by Anita Panait, on September 3, 2013

Nissan Motor Co. has commenced selling green-car credits -- called ZEV (zero-emission vehicle) credits -- under California's clean-air rules, following the lead of another electric-car maker, Tesla Motors Inc. According to Nissan, Executive Vice President Andy Palmer, the carmaker has delivered enough of its Leaf all-electric cars that it has started selling excess ZEV credits.

"We've got carbon credits to sell, and we're selling them -- California ZEV credits," Palmer remarked. The demand for zero-emission vehicles -- plug-ins and plug-in hybrids -- in the US has been boosted by California's requirement for such units to ease emissions of carbon dioxide and other exhaust gases as well as by federal rules intended at doubling fuel- efficiency by 2025.

California is requiring large carmakers to sell electric or other zero-emission vehicles in proportion to their share of the state's vehicle market.

California is aiming to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. While Tesla is considered as too small to be required to amass ZEV credits, it has so far been the main seller.

The carmaker posted its first quarterly profit in the first quarter of 2013 thanks partly to sales of ZEV credits to undisclosed mass-market rivals.  Sales of ZEV credits in the first half of 2013, at around $119 million, accounted for around 12 percent of Tesla's revenues in the period.

Combined sales of ZEV credits and of credits for exceeding federal efficiency requirements accounted for 16 percent of Tesla's total revenue in the period.

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