ZEV Credit Update – Nissan Pushes Past Tesla In Credits Transferred Out

OCT 21 2014 BY JAY COLE 27

Mercedes Was The Largest Acquirer Of Emission Credits Over The Past 12 Months Thanks To Nissan

Mercedes Was The Largest Acquirer Of Emission Credits Over The Past 12 Months Thanks To Nissan

List Of Credit Sellers Over Last 12 Months

List Of Credit Sellers Over Last 12 Months

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) updated its “Zero Emission Vehicle Credits” scorecard.

And as such, we now have a handle on who is accumulating valuable ZEV credits, and who is transferring them out.

As expected Nissan is now both piling up excess credits, and selling them to other auto manufacturers looking to hit compliance regulations in California.

In so doing, they have effectively taken the price premium (that Tesla had been enjoying in the past) out of the transaction.  Said Nissan Executive VP Andy Palmer last year about this time:

“We’ve got carbon credits to sell, and we’re selling them. California ZEV  credits.”

List Of Credit Acquirers

List Of Credit Acquirers

In fact, Nissan even outdid Tesla moving credits in the past 12 months, by shipping out 663 credits to Tesla’s 650.

Coming in third on the strength of producing about 4,000 500es to date was Fiat, moving 235 credits; although it appears to just be an accounting transaction as Chrysler received the benefit of all those credits, plus a couple extra from Polaris via a close association.

Honda, with the Fit EV production run now completed and no other fully electrics  on the horizon, continued to accumulate ZEV credits via Tesla Motors, acquiring another 523 over the past year, giving them more than 1,000 in the bank allowing.

Honda says they will now focus on their “…a new generation of electromotive technologies, including expanded application of our two-motor hybrid system” as well as fuel cell technologies.  So look for a few dozen Accord PHVs to be sold a month (with a dash of FCVs thrown in) for the next several years, and not much else.

The largest surplus for any automaker at the moment is Nissan with 1,382 (and rapidly growing).  Mercedes picked up 663 credits (the largest transaction of the last twelve months) – all from Nissan.

"The List" - All The OEM Credit Balances; Note Toyota Still Has "A Few" ATPZEV Credits In The Bank From Prius Sales

“The List” – All The OEM Credit Balances; Note Toyota Still Has “A Few” AT PZEV Credits In The Bank From Old Prius Sales

Terminology Map:  TZEV=Transitional Zero Emission Vehicle, AT PZEV= Advance Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, PZEV= Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, NEV=Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.


Categories: Nissan, Tesla

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27 Comments on "ZEV Credit Update – Nissan Pushes Past Tesla In Credits Transferred Out"

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How much does a credit sell for?

It is an open market. Just based off what companies negotiate. As Jay stated, Tesla was getting big money for them before Nissan flooded the market and everyone started selling their own compliance cars.

I think the fine, if you don’t have enough credits, is $7k per credit. So that would obviously be the max.

I found $5k per credit here:

It should also be noted that Type 1.5 EVs get 2.5 credits, so that’s a max of $12,500.

But I highly doubt that any manufacturer will wind up in a deficit. EVs aren’t that expensive to produce.

Thanks for the correction.

Why does it show Nissan with PZEV credits? Which vehicle(s) are getting them these credits? The Leaf is the only plug-in they sell that I know of it and should get ZEV credits. What am I missing?

I think the PZEVs can be hybrids. They had an Altima hybrid until 2011.

I have no idea how they have TZEV credits though. I thought that was “Transitional” and was usually a plug-in (Volt, Energi, PiP, etc.).

PZEVs have been and continue to be gasoline ICE with “zero” evaporation emissions and SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) exhaust emissions and a 15 year emissions warranty (including hybrid components if applicable ie is a AT-PZEV). AT-PZEVs are mostly hybrids and CNG vehicles, and “Enhanced” AT-PZEVs are PHEVs and other “near zero” emission vehicles (I believe TZEV has been phased out).

Here is an ARB fact sheet:

Thanks for the link.

Would somebody like to tell me what those terms are and how much they are worth?

I refer to TZEV, AT PZEV and PZEV.

FFY and I were having a discussion on the CARB rules about 3/4 of the way down in this post. I put a summary of the rules and some links to dig into the info more.


They should tell you what the abbreviations mean.
TZEV=Transitional Zero Emission Vehicle, AT PZEV= Advance Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, PZEV= Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, NEV=Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.

Too complicated for me to get very involved in, since I don’t even live in the States.

I read the definition of the abbreviations at the bottom of the table, but without the distinctions being clearly explained, for instance between a transitional zero emission vehicle and a partial zero emission vehicle, they mean nothing at all!

The wording choice for ‘PZEV’, Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, seems very odd to me.

I have seen ICE Subaru cars with this ‘PZEV’ badge, but I don’t see how those cars are ever ZERO Emissions at any ‘Part’ in their operation [unless they are off, HAHA].

Why not just call them ‘Low’ Emission Vehicle or something.

There are many grades of “Low Emission” in the regulations. LEV, ULEV, SULEV, then you get into PZEV. None of these are necessarily hybrid. Believe it or not Zero Emissions when parked is actually a thing. Evaporative emissions are a significant source of hydrocarbon emissions. So, having a completely sealed fuel system is part of the regulations.

I’m kind of curious why Mercedes didn’t buy the credits from Tesla.

It could have been simple price-shopping.

The MB buys make it look like the B-class is just an expensive hedge. If ZEV credits become too expensive, have a B-class sales promotion. That they aren’t, may speak to which strategy is least expensive.

There seems to always be somebody around IEV to say the B looks like an Alien baby, but I think it has perhaps the best BEV interior.

exterior is what matters

We have had our B-Class ED for about a week and a half, and it is one Smoooooooth machine.

Exterior only matters to others. You, the driver, see and interact with the interior all the time. One of the reasons Nissan and Chrysler were getting bad reviews on their cars is they started really skimping on their interiors. Now they both have upgraded their interiors and are getting MUCH better reviews.

How in the world does Honda have so many ZEV credits??

I don’t recall having heard of Polaris before. They make some mini-Jeep looking things. Apparently, from 30 to 44 horsepower.

Polaris owns GEM now. They make battery electric NEVs. Polaris previously specialized in off-highway vehicles – think snowmobiles, ATV, etc.

Nissan today, Tesla next month. Just look at the ramp up of Tesla with more model S being made and still back ordered. Then comes the X later this year and then in 2016 the GEN III.
No one will be able to catch them one they accelerate and fly past the others just like on the street.

So GM again shows its true colors. And folks wonder why GM is pushing CCS as a charging standard.

You California liberals and your carbon credit BS are drinking the Al Gore kool-aid. Wake-up!

I think you’re on the wrong website, my friend.