Tesla Motors Inc. has yet to turn a profit on the zero-emission vehicles that it has produced with the support of Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG, according to a filing by the Palo Alto-based company. But to help offset those losses, the company has taken to selling environmental credits to Honda Motor Co.
Since 2008, Tesla has made $13.8 million from selling the zero-emission vehicle credits that big automakers need to be able to comply with California's strict pollution rules.
The only customer named by Tesla was Honda, which ranks as the most fuel-efficient carmaker in the US. Honda has purchased Tesla credits equivalent to 368 cars and has contracted for 287 vehicles more.
Since 2008, Tesla has sold about 1,000 electric Roadsters, which are priced $109,000 each, to battery-car advocates as well as film stars and musicians.
It was also revealed that CEO Elon Musk intends to produce $57,000 Model S sedans at a former Toyota joint-venture factory in 2012.
According further to Tesla's filings for a planned initial public offering that could raise at least $100 million, the company has lost money each year since it was founded in 2003.