The Honda Motor Corporation has helped upstart Tesla Motors Inc in the financial department, as the Japanese automaker has bought environmental credits from Tesla. Not the most glamorous way to turn a profit.
In 2008, Tesla generated $13.8 million from selling low emission vehicle credits needed by larger automakers to help with California’s wacky pollution rules, the company said to Business Week. Honda was the only named customer, as it bought 368 cars and contracted an additional 287 cars, according to the filing.
Tesla has sold around 1,000 electric cars, at $109,000 each, mostly to film stars and environmentalists. CEO Elon Musk aims to build the Model S, which will cost $57,000 and help Tesla sell more cars to normal citizens. The company has lost money every year since it was created in 2003.
“Having these credits gives us some flexibility for the future,” said Robert Bienenfeld, Honda’s U.S. senior manager for environment and energy strategy. “Whether we’ll need to purchase more, I can’t say.”
Tesla officials have declined to discuss Honda’s purchase of credits. In the company’s filing, there was another automaker on the list, but they weren’t identified.