Analysis: Tesla may have made over $100 million off the CARB enabled battery swap ZEV credit scheme

Guest essay by Alberto Zaragoza Comendador

In the past I’ve provided estimates of the money Tesla has made off this mysterious feature enabled by credits authorized by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). These estimates were very simplistic: basically I multiplied their ZEV revenue by 0.35 or a similar number.

Now, I have something more precise with references to back it up.

Key data points:

  • The 85 kWh version of the Tesla Model S, called simply “S85” from here on, was reclassified from a Type III zero-emissions vehicle to a Type V on October 12th 2012. The previous official document, dated June 15, showed it was a Type III vehicle. This reclassification increased the number of ZEV credits Tesla got per car from 4 to 7. Of course, there is the possibility that the car had already been earning these extra credits days or weeks before October 12, but there is no way to know. (I will call the original 4 “standard credits”, while the additional 1-3 will be “extra credits”).
  • The 60kWh model, or “S60”, was reclassified on December 20. No sales took place in 2012, so for this version all units produced benefited from the battery swap.
  • Therefore, Tesla started gaining ZEV credits thanks to the battery swap in 2012Q4.
  • Tesla’s car deliveries and much more info can be seen here. I got the numbers from their letters to shareholders: 2012Q4, 2013Q1, 2013Q2, 2013Q3 and 2013Q4.
  • ZEV credit revenue is available in the same Excel as their car sales. There are some small doubts about their 2012 revenue. This is a more in-depth look at their financials.
  • Tesla’s sales in California can be seen in the same document. The data comes from Green Car Reports, which in turn got it from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). I’ve been unable to obtain their numbers for 2012.
  • As for its sales mix, Tesla has been vague. Although it’s well-known that the S85 sells more than the S60, I cannot find a definitive statement from them about the issue.
  • There are 12 states with a ZEV mandate, but California dwarfs them all (1.7 million car sales last year). The difference is even more lopsided if we talk exclusively about Tesla sales, as in the period studied the state made up about half of all deliveries in the US. And California’s ZEV program is far more advanced than the others, having begun in 2006.
  • From 2012Q4 to 2013Q3, Tesla sold 1,311.52 NMOG credits. For some reason CARB reports transfers in these terms, however, at the bottom of the page you can see that the denominator to convert these credits to ZEV is 0.035. Therefore 1,311.52 / 0.035 = 37,742.
  • In the same link too, you can see that at the end of 2013Q3 Tesla still had 276.080 NMOG credits, or 7,888 ZEV credits.
  • Only 250 Model S were sold in 2012Q3, and basically zero before that. Previously they had obtained credits through the Roadster, but only about 2,000 were sold worldwide and Tesla had already generated revenue from those in 2008-2011.

Key assumptions:

  • For simplicity purposes, I assume all S85s sold in California since and including Q4 benefited from the ZEV reclassification. That is, they moved from 4 to 7 ZEV credits. I’m including 12 days’ worth of sales in 2012Q4, but they were still ramping up production then so it must be less than 10% of the quarter’s sales. In any case it does not affect the overall math.
  • In 2012Q4, 1,500 Model S were sold in the state.
  • 90% of Tesla ZEV revenue comes from California.
  • In 2012Q4, ZEV revenue was $35 million. We know that for all of 2012 it was $40.5 million and it was concentrated in Q4 (they didn’t even mention it in the other quarters). We also know that the $40.5 million figure includes undisclosed but small revenue from GHG credits.
  • Tesla had 0 ZEV credits as of October 1st, 2012. Very small room for mistake here, as they could have a tiny quantity left over from the Roadster or the few Model S deliveries earlier in 2012.

If you think some assumptions are unrealistic or whatever, fine. The Excel document is free for anybody to download and tinker with.

So how much is the battery swap worth?

There are two questions here: how many of those extra credits they have sold, and how many they have earned but not sold.

One can envision any number of scenarios, but as you’ll see, no matter how you square the numbers Tesla stands to make a lot of money off the battery swap.

· Assuming a 60% S85 mix, Tesla earned 51,029 ZEV credits from 2012Q4 to 2013Q3. Of these, 32,148 were standard and 18,881 were extra. Since Tesla transferred 37,742 credits to other manufacturers in the same period, the conclusion is that they sold their entire standard allotment, and then an extra 5,594 credits. So the extra ones made up 14.8% of their sales. With ZEV revenue in California at $148.3 million for the period, this would mean the company got $22 million it wouldn’t have gotten without the battery swap.

· Under the same 60% mix, Tesla would still have 13,287 credits in its balance at the end of 2013Q3, all of them extra. (CARB’s website says they had 7,888, which suggests they transferred credits to other states). When adding those they earned in 2013Q4, the number rises to 24,404, of which 17,772 were extra.

· So in this period they sold 37,742 credits for $148.3 million, which gives a per-credit price of $3,929. If Tesla just manages to get the same price it has gotten so far, their remaining extra credits will be worth $69.8 million.

Yeah. More than $90 million in total. And that’s only the ones they got before January 1st, 2014. With about 1,800 Model S sales in California, the value of their remaining credits grows by about $15 million – every quarter.

It happens that the fine for not meeting ZEV requirements is $5,000 per credit (see slide 93), so that’s about the maximum other carmakers are willing to pay for these things. Our $3,929 figure is therefore in the right ballpark, and it shows Tesla’s revenue from California ZEV credits couldn’t have been much lower than the figure I offered ($148.3 million).

In the Excel I’ve uploaded, I assumed a 60% mix. But you can just change the numbers to see what happens. Keep in mind that sales mix does not affect the number of standard credits they earn, because both the S60 and the S85 get 4 of those: it only affects the number of extra credits.

Even so, I offered an absurdly high estimate of Tesla’s California sales for 2012Q4 (2,400, which were in fact their global sales), so as to increase their standard credits. Assuming 80% of Model S sales were S85s, the results would be:

· 35,748 standard credits earned in 2012Q4-2013Q3, plus 24,196 extra ones

· So if they sold 37,742 credits, that means they sold their entire standard batch and 1,994 extra ones. In turn, that means 5.3% of their ZEV revenue was thanks to the battery swap.

· That’s “only” $7.9 million. But if they sold so few extra credits…

· …the result is they had 22,204 in balance at the end of 2013Q3. Remember CARB’s website says they had 7,888, so either they transferred massive amounts to other states or there’s something else I’m missing.

· Add in their numbers for 2013Q4 and they have 34,038 in the bank, of which 26,866 were extra.

· And which, at a selling price of $3,929, would be worth $105.6 million.


“But they won’t be able to sell so many credits! The market will get saturated!”


Here’s a reminder of how the ZEV mandate works. It requires every major manufacturer to sell a given percentage of zero-emission vehicles, and by 2025 it will reach 15% Even if the state as a whole passes that threshold (EV sales were 1% of the market last year), many manufacturers no doubt will fall below and will need to buy credits. And if history is any guide, the program will not be withdrawn in 2025. EV advocates will say the technology still hasn’t reached critical mass, whatever that means.

It’s true the market is oversupplied right now. But starting in January 2018, all credits will be allotted according to range alone, not refueling time – this will effectively close the battery swap loophole. More importantly, the number of credits per car will be drastically reduced, as 3 will be the maximum – no matter if your electric car goes 300 or 500 miles. See slide 66 of the previous document.

Get this: right now, Tesla gets about 6.5 ZEV credits every time it sells a car. The market cannot buy all those credits so they keep thousands in the bank and transfer thousands more to states other than California.

Then comes 2018, the ZEV requirements have gotten much stricter, and every car gets 3 credits at most. Meaning there will be no manufacturer with an excess of credits it can sell. And there will probably be many with a deficit. And Tesla will have a huge balance of credits from the good old battery swap days.

Tesla is playing the long game.

Oh, and the company may have the opportunity to stockpile even more credits before the supply gets tight, because Type V ZEVs will get 9 credits instead of 7 in the 2015-2017 period. It’s unclear whether regulators will allow this, as CARB has stated it intends to exclude battery swap from the fast-refueling category at the end of this year; that would bring Tesla back to 4 credits per car. Other carmakers are going to sell hydrogen vehicles in that period which also qualify for the 9 credits because of their range and refueling time, and they’re probably protesting the privileged treatment Tesla gets.

But if the loophole isn’t closed, the company will be getting an average of about 8 credits per vehicle: twice what they would get without the swap.

Even if you assume the price of these credits will crash, the sums are still substantial. For $1,000 per credit, in the 60% mix Tesla would get an additional $17.8 million for the extra credits it had in balance at the end of 2013 – plus the $22 million in extras it had already sold. Remember that’s only from those they had earned before 2014. So a price collapse will mean they’ll only get $39.8 million from this once-demoed-and-never-heard-of-again feature.

Let’s use the same price with the second scenario: 80% S85 mix and 2,400 California sales in 2012Q4. Their 26,866 extra credits are now worth $26.9 million, which combined with the $7.9 million they had already earned gives us $34.8 million. Again, that doesn’t include any credits they earn in 2014 and beyond.

And all of the above assumes there is a mega-crash in the price of ZEV credits – a 75% decline. Need I remind you that electric cars have never broken into the mainstream, and in theory every manufacturer must get 8% of its sales from these vehicles? And if they don’t reach that figure, their only way to avoid $5,000 fines is by buying those credits?

There is no question Tesla will sell all of its credits. The only question is for what price.

Final thoughts

Some will argue that the credits they have already sold aren’t worth that much – about $20 million. But that’s missing the point. Tesla faces no penalty for stockpiling these credits forever. Even if the regulation changes the minute this article is published, and the battery swap loophole is closed, Tesla will get to keep the credits it has in the bank.

No doubt they hope to wait and sell them when everybody has forgotten about the whole battery swap charade.

So don’t forget. Don’t let them get away with this. Spread the message, and next time the company comes up in a conversation, remember to politely direct the other speakers to this post. And this one, too.

Next time you hear about these guys, remember.


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They MAY have made $100m but what have they actually made??


At the beginning you say you used to multiply the ZEV by 0.35 (so a bit more than 1/3).
In your calculation later going the other way, you divided by 0.035. Is one of these a typo?

Bloke down the pub

Being a Brit I can look at this with a certain detachment. From my viewpoint here, as long as a chunk of this cash ends up getting us to Mars via Spacex then that’s fine by me.

And this is how a clever corporate crony monetizes his “campaign donations” to the California Legislature.
See??? The System Works!!!!
(you just have to realize who the system was built for. Hint: it’s not you)


I calculated battery output compared with petrol cost of the equivalent energy, and also divided the results with typical efficiencies of them both. I also repeated the calculation for several far off countries just to make sure. Well …There is no way to make a battery worth it’s lithium … unless of course you dump a lot of incentives to it.


Has anyone done the math on what these credits cost the average car buyer of a small crossover vehicle like a strictly gasoline powered Ford Escape?


So what? Private company employs a purely legal scheme to make some money. Personally I think the scheme is nuts but that is a question for the politicians, not the company. Deal with it.


Tesla isn’t really a car company, it is a Ponzi scheme that uses cars as a hook. Luckily Tesla cars are good markers, it marks the driver as someone with bad math skills. They say sport cars are penis extenders, these trinkets are dildo transporters.


What a boondoggle… making fortunes as rent-seekers.
And the money has to come from somewhere, no matter how hard politicians try to hide that fact.

Steve C

Amazing how much money can be made from someone else’s good name. Nikola Tesla must be turning in his grave … pity he didn’t have himself buried with magnets on, he could have generated a bit of useful power with which to zap this lot.

Tom J

Environmentalism – the play toy of the rich
Global warming – their mansion
The Tesla – their car

Man Bearpig

If this money is paid by the govt a FOIA request should get the exact amount, no ?


That must leave a very bitter taste in the mouth of CA leaders now that Tesla is snubbing them in the competition among states for the giga battery plant site competition.

Coach Springer

Ed_B says:
March 12, 2014 at 5:18 am
So what? Private company employs a purely legal scheme to make some money. Personally I think the scheme is nuts but that is a question for the politicians, not the company. Deal with it.
Truth: they are subsidy farmers. This article and their financial statements prove that they are very much aware that their financial reason for existence is rooted in mandates, credits and politicians. And the car is not as cheap as the price they charge their customer with enough disposable income to afford the image toy. That customer is buying his toy with the money that Tesla helped take from somebody else.

John F. Hultquist

This post could benefit by a short and highlighted (colored box) explanation of what is meant by “battery swap” — someone new here might not be aware and the story is buried elsewhere. A link to someplace else is less helpful than stating the issue here. If a person tries to search, one of the stories that comes up is about “Better Place” rather than Tesla.
Anyway, Elon was named Fortune Magazine’s businessperson of the year for his insights. This was somewhat of a low hurdle. He only has had to be smarter than the politicians.

I think everyone is saying the same thing: dismantle the subsidies by dismantling the regulations that make the subsidies necessary. I agree with that. There is reason to think that Tesla would too.


The rooster is in need of some additional feed. The previous “economic development” efforts the state of CA provided Tesla to assemble their vehicles in Freemont, at the old NUME plant, aren’t enough to keep the rooster home……,0,3104476.story#axzz2vl6DAr87
I wonder if Tesla will get some carbon credits for the energy storage batteries they plan on making at the new battery factory.

Tom J

Quick question: Can anybody anywhere provide an answer as to what the range is on a Tesla?


It was a legal route to keep his business profitable, so Musk worked it into this business plan. If it wasn’t in place, he would have gone another route. I can’t blame Musk for working within the law to build a strong company.

Bill_W: sorry for the confusion, the two numbers are unrelated. In the past what I did to estimate the money Tesla makes off the battery swap was to multiply its ZEV revenue by 0.35, because about 35% of its ZEV credits were obtained thanks to the swap. (I could as well have said 37% or any other similar number).
0.035 is a denominator CARB uses. For some reason they don’t report ZEV credits as such, they use NMOG credits. To go from NMOG to ZEV, you divide by 0.035. So if a company for example sells 1,000 ZEV credits, that will only be 35 NMOG credits.
Sean: honestly very little. The ZEV program is nonsense, but small nonsense at least – a few hundred million dollars a year, which is a drop in the bucket for the car market. It’s not like the ethanol vs gasoline debate (refiners had to blend 10-15% of ethanol into their gas).
Ed_B and Jake2: what the law says is that Tesla should get 4 ZEV credits per car, whereas it’s currently getting 5-7 (and stands to get 5-9 in 2015-2017). The only way to access these extra credits is by going 190/285 miles a 15-minute refuel. Their car isn’t even close to meeting this requirement.
The law in question is the California Code of Regulations 1962.1. See page 13:
Man Bearpig: I think I cannot use the FOIA as I’m a Spanish citizen. However, you can try to use the FOIA to get info on why the Model S was reclassified as Type IV/V ZEV – this is the key action that allowed Tesla to collect more ZEV credits. Here you can find who is who in CARB:
John F. Hultquist: a battery swap consists of changing a depleted battery for a charged one in 90 seconds. Tesla demoed it last June in a very flashy event. The videos are actually funny once you know the truth.
Everybody: at one point in the text I say by 2025 ZEVs must make up 15% of all cars sold in California, while at other point I say 8%. The 15% figure includes plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt (CARB estimates it will be 15.4%); this in turn will be split around evenly between pure ZEVs (battery and fuel cell cars) and plug-in hybrids. So for pure ZEVs the number is about 8%.


Tom J says:
March 12, 2014 at 5:57 am
Environmentalism – the play toy of the rich
Global warming – their mansion
The Tesla – their car

I have not seen a Tesla car, but my guess is that is not their car, not their principal car, anyway. My guess it that their principal car is a Mercedes, BMW or Rolls Royce, or something along those lines.


If I understand this right, the effect of this isn’t just financial. Tesla resells those credits to makers of conventional vehicles so that they can meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets. Thus, each Tesla sold (with a $10,000 direct taxpayer subsidy plus ZEV credits plus other subsidies) means that GM can sell a couple of Escalades or Yukons – with the totally perverse result of lowering the national fleet’s fuel economy, increasing total oil burn, and increasing CO2 emissions. I’m not convinced that we should care about those last topics, but it’s crazy that taxpayers should subsidize this madness.


Alberto, just want to cheer you on in your work. This stuff is so corrupt it’s disgusting, all the while the stock price goes up and up and up. The media’s infatuation with Tesla and all it’s glory is truly bizarre and needs to be called out.


How absurd is this?! Not only are we paying people to buy Tesla’s, we are back-end funding the company to stay afloat AND this makes us pay more for every vehicle we buy!
How is this not RICO?

At the time of the battery swap announcement and demo, Tesla mentioned pricing for a battery
swap. While I can’t remember the exact figure, I did do some calculations and discovered that
cost per mile driving the Interstates (which is where these battery swap driving typically occurs)
was not going to be cheap – considerably more expensive than gas powered travel . Tesla supercharger stations provide “free” charging, But we can probably assume, based on Tesla’s previous and current behavior, that Tesla makes money off these stations, thru the kickbacks from motels where they are located, or the sale of “premium priced” eats and goods sold to customers waiting to have their batteries charged. They also use solar panels, govt subsidized , of course.
The problem I have with Tesla Motors has nothing to do with electric cars. They are the future, for a variety of reasons. Excluding battery costs and their current limitations, electric cars are ridiculously more efficient, reliable and economical than gas powered vehicles. California, in its infinite corruption of the English langage and logic,calls these vehicles “zero emission.”
My main gripe with Tesla Motors is that it is not a reliable source of information, particularly about anything it is trying to sell the public. In particular, Tesla promised early on (and in print) that their Model S would sell for under either $40K or $50 (can’t remember the exact figure). Then the actual pricing came out, and all those interested parties thinking they might find more economical means of transportation, suddenly lost interest. (Tesla generally quotes prices that include tax credits, whether the buyer can take advantage of them or not) Tesla also promised one hour recharging at his superstations and a 300 mile driving range. Even after numerous
improvements, the fastest charge available still requires over 75 minutes.
For some (not so strange reason) the Feds feel the need to sue Ford for advertising xx MPG,
when the xx is for highway driving, as published by the Fed’s own testing, while Tesla continued to claim 300 miles per charge, even after the DOT testing showed the range to be far less.
The Model S has to be the most proprietary vehicle on the planet. Anything it needs, be it parts or service (or even fast recharging) can only be gotten thru Tesla Motors, and priced by Tesla Motors (and Tesla prices are not cheap). It is a monopoly on wheels. For that reason alone (amongst many, many others) I would never have anything to do with Tesla Motors.
Using driving range graphs provided by Tesla Motor’s website which show ranges as a function of speed, and comments from their engineers concerning battery detioration rates, and the penalties for heating and cooling, I arrived at the following estimates for the 85Kwhr Model S:
Tesla claimed 300 milesdriving range only under the most favorable driving conditions and only for 55 MPH (there are no rural Interstates with a 55 MPH speed limit). One wonders where Tesla thinks their customers would ever encounter such driving conditions. When it comes to driving ranges of electric cars, speed and HVAC kills. There are stories of New York cabbies driving
electrics turning off all HVAC while in service. Another Bloomberg bright idea gone awry.
Interstate highways speed limits :
12 states 65 MPH, 20 states 70 MPH,
14 states 75 MPH, 1 state 80 MPH(Texas)
Ideal driving conditions : no AC/heat, level terrain, 300 lbs aboard,
windows rolled up, constant speed, no wind.
MPH 65 70 75 80
New 262 241 222 200
9.5 years 220 203 187 168
Assuming 15% additional energy consumption due to heating/cooling, driving conditions and/or weight – this is by no means the worst performance possible, or even typical
MPH 65 70 75 80
New 197 181 166 150
9.5 years 165 152 140 126

Doug and/or Dinsdale Piranha

Tesla is rated by Technology Review (MIT’s tech magazine) as “the second smartest company in the world.” (
So gaming the system and committing fraud gets you lauded.


I still maintain that this is a matter for the SEC, in particular if carbon credit income was used to lift them from an operational loss into profitability.


The guy got rich before EV because he was smart enough to know how to play the market , so now he carries on with the same just a different market.
His worked out how to get free and easy money while at the same time getting to play ‘good guy ‘

Chad Wozniak

Tesla’s windfall is a perfect example of how taxes and regulatory BS act to redistribute wealth from low- and middle-income people to super-rich elitists. Buyers of Escalades get a break, in effect, on the backs of people who can’t afford Escalades, and Tesla gets $100 million of taxpayer money for producing nothing (“good feelings” don’t count).
None of these cockamamie contraptions like Tesla’s would have a snowball’s chance in hell in a truly free market. Bassackwards.

I’ve written to CARB and to California governor Brown to point out that there is neither a logical nor a scientific basis for regulation of CO2 emissions by the state of California. Neither of them has responded. I’ve offered to meet with my representatives in the California legislature to go over my peer-reviewed article on this topic. Both representatives have spurned my offer. Meanwhile, my tax money flows unabated to Tesla.

Leonard Jones

This is quite the racket! The dude who repeatedly sold the Brooklyn Bridge
could learn a thing or two from Tesla.

Doug: seriously, don’t read Technology Review. It’s got the name and that’s it – I’ve never read anything insightful over there. Most articles are just propaganda about whatever “revolutionary” technology a company is pushing. (Oh, and they also had a feature or two about the non-existent battery swap.)
Kaboom: trust me, I’ve told every government agency that could be related to this case but they just don’t want to touch it. I’ve tipped SEC, the California General Attorney and a bunch of others. The only things I haven’t done are using the FOIA and filing a lawsuit.
Terry Oldberg: that reminds that California is about to implement a many-times-bigger-and-complexer CO2 trading scheme. Basically ZEV squared or cubed.
If something relatively small and simple like the ZEV system could be gamed and corrupted from the start, then the California scheme is going to be one giant loophole. Just to five some perspective, Tesla makes up a majority of all ZEV credits earned in California, so if 35% of theirs are due to the battery swap, that means 20-25% of all credits in the state are given for a non-existent feature. Yeah.

Ronald dolfing

The effort and time involved in swapping the batteries on a Tesla is about the same category as doing an engine swap in a conventional car. Tesla mecanics will laught at you if you tell them the battery can be swapped (easily like intended by the credit gurus).

Neil Jordan

RE Tom J says: March 12, 2014 at 7:48 am
Col Mosby says: March 12, 2014 at 10:27 am
From “The Gasoline Automobile”, Hobbs & Elliott, McGraw-Hill, 1915:
[begin quote]
Chapter I
2. The Electric Car. – The advantages of the electric car are similar to those of the steam car inasmuch as it is very flexible and can be controlled entirely by the controlling levers. By cutting out or in resistance, more or less current is supplied to the motor and the power of the motor is proportional to the flow of the current. The electric car is especially adapted to the use of women and children in cities. It is easy riding, clean, and very quiet.
The disadvantages are that it is not suitable for long drives, heavy roads, or hilly country. On one charge of the battery the average car will run from 50 to 100 miles, depending on the speed and condition of the roads. If the car is run at high speed, the battery will not drive the car as far as it will when running at moderate rate. This car is also limited to localities where there are ample facilities for charging the storage batteries.
[end quote]
Not much progress has been made in 99 years.

How many commercial battery swap stations exist?
It is not that I begrudge Tesla for 7 ZEV credits per battery swap vehicle. But if no customer can actually use a built-in feature, then it does not really exist, and then the 7 ZEV is ill gotten gains.

Bob Kutz

So . . . in conclusion, buy Tesla (TSLA on the Nasdaq), wait for meteoric rise due to swap (ZEV) appreciation, sell before AGW is pronounced dead, CA goes bankrupt or congressional investigation begins into Tesla’s gerrymandering of the credits.
Simple as pie.

Justa Joe

The libz will never call Tesla to account for this obviously shady and fraudulent scam. Tesla by their very sympathetic standard is the green economy’s sole “success story”. It is quite likely that the CA bureaucracy and Tesla worked this hustle out together to help out Tesla. If Tesla went out of business it would be the ultimate black eye for the green “economy.”


Man Bearpig says: March 12, 2014 at 5:58 am
If this money is paid by the govt a FOIA request should get the exact amount, no ?
Sorry MBP, like so many of these scams the Government doesn’t pay the money directly, it just decrees that Tesla gets so many of their fake commodity for every car they make, then mandates the other successful car manufacturers have to buy so many of them each year or pay a fine.
like with Obamacare, you don’t need to raise a new tax when you can just make it a law that everyone has to buy your product or pay a fine.


looks like a perfect business opportunity for a startup electric car company … build cars, slap a big three logo on them, sell them in the big 3 showrooms in Ca. and the big three stop paying blackmail money to Telsa … and the electric car company just has to build cars, no marketing, no sales … and the big 3 don’t need to make a dime on the cars … just breaking even works for them …

I saw some idiot on TV talking up the stock of Tesla as they claimed they were doing so well:
A company that’s based on a government supported carbon fraud scheme that builds cars that not many people want and even fewer people can afford. What’s not to like?


Yes a giant fraud. That pretty much also sums up the government (State too) of California’


What battery swap payout? The credits apply on payout from the customer. A single payment of $2000). There are no battery swap stations because the owners don`t want nor need them.
People have now crossed the USA using their standard and free for life rapid charging facilities.

Andyj is as confused as in the last thread.
The credits I’m talking about are ZEV credits, bought by other carmakers (not by customers). They get credits thanks to the battery swap.
The credit you’re talking about is probably the federal tax credit for green vehicles, which is worth $7,500. Perhaps $2,000 is the rebate in some state and you’re talking about that.
In any case, your message is interesting because it offers the excuse Tesla will use: that people don’t need battery swaps.

Brian H

$5,000/car? Big flamin’ deal.

@Andyj at 1:41 am
People have now crossed the USA using their standard and free for life rapid charging facilities.
Yes, but how long did it take them?
People crossed the USA in Conestoga Wagons, too, but their sustainably green mules took overnight to recharge.

The Tesla team of 15 people in two Model S, a balky sleeper van, and another swag wagon traversed 3,464.5 miles in 76.5 hours [=45.3 mph avg] via a wormlike pattern of superchargers that connect the spaces between major cities. …. Telsa says you can get over 300-mile range at 55 mph.
Tesla used two Model S P85, nicknamed Thunder and Lightning. Supercharger fuel [??] costs nothing extra to owners of the Model S 85; supercharger access can be upgraded for $2,000 on the Model S 60.
It takes 40 minutes to charge a Model S at 80 percent, which provides enough charge to make it between superchargers, even in the cold.
A half-charge can be completed in 20 minutes, and the Tesla team took full advantage of the technology in a Model S to plot their course, which included more than a few detours

Ok. They earned a Guinness Book of World Records. Doesn’t mean it’s ready for the family vacation.

One last thought: Supercharger… any trade off on battery life? There must be. That’s the way nature works.


1) I don’t understand why the blame is getting placed on Tesla when it’s CARB that came up with the ridiculous scheme, Tesla is just savvy in taking advantage of it. Do I need to bring up how much government assistance other automakers got a few years back?
2) They are trying to break into the auto industry which is notoriously difficult even for conventional vehicles, much less electric ones. It’s hard to blame Tesla for taking every advantage they can get.
3) Lots of companies take advantage of government schemes, it’s the nature of business, be like water and change with the regs and incentives.
4) While many companies fail despite government incentives, the reason Tesla is doing well is because their product also happens to be very good. I’m far from a greenie, but their cars have been almost universally lauded as not only competitive with similarly priced luxury cars, but in many ways superior in performance, comfort, safety, and utility. This is not a goofy Chevy Volt that was ultimately a bailout on wheels.
5) Some people may buy Teslas for the cause, but the reality is that’s not enough to keep a company afloat.

Justa Joe

Most companies will take advantage of Govt welfare if and when they can. Some companies are forced to take Govt money with all the strings attached. Some other companies (Tesla) wouldn’t and couldn’t exist without milking the tax payer for everything they can.
In today’s PS landscape i wouldn’t trust the credibility of a review of the Tesla. No more than I’d believe in Gore’s No Bell Piece prize.


Please review this website and the VERY RELEVANT content.
He contends that because there really aren’t any publicly accessible battery swap stations (or not enough of them), that the higher credit value per car is undeserved and possibly illegal.
More here:
He’s asking for FOIA help with CARB.


Several people above seem to think that Tesla is just taking advantage of a government program and has done nothing wrong, and if they were just receiving and selling the 4 ZEV credits each car would get for being a Type III ZEV then I would agree. but they are receiving several additional credits for being a Type V ZEV because of the battery swap that they cant actually do. No cars have been sold that can do this, and no battery swap stations have been built.
Tesla is simply stealing these credits. They’ve done nothing to earn them except produce a ‘demo’ video of a feature that so far doesn’t exist (and probably never will)