2013 Nissan Leaf

Nissan, like Tesla, is finding that it's a seller's market when it comes to zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credits in the most populous US state. The Japanese automaker has joined the California-based manufacturer of the Model S in selling ZEV credits to automakers who aren't making enough plug-ins to keep up with California targets but don't want to be fined, Bloomberg News reports. Nissan executive Andy Palmer confirmed that the company had credits leftover because it sells a sufficient number of all-electric Leafs relative to its total vehicle sales, but he didn't disclose details on how much they're selling for, when they're being sold and who's buying them.

Still, such credits can be substantial, especially considering that, through the first seven months of the year, Nissan more than tripled US Leaf sales from a year earlier to 11,703 units. We also know that Tesla made $68 million selling ZEV credits in the first quarter this year, about 12 percent of all its Q1 revenue. That said, Tesla Model S sales generate more than double as many credits as each Leaf sold because of the Tesla's longer single-charge driving range.

California offers ZEV credits as part of an effort to have 1.5 million ZEVs on its roads by 2025. Nissan said as early as last May that it may have had credits to sell other automakers, though didn't divulge further details.
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