carb logoEarlier today, and very quietly, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released all of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credit balances. You can see the raw numbers for yourself here, but they might not make a whole lot of sense at first glance. If they don't, come back and we'll try and parse them together.

The table we're interested in is the one labeled "California Zero Emission Vehicle Credit Balances as of October 1, 2010 (g/mi NMOG)." These figures are expressed as grams per mile of NMOG (non-methane organic gases). On the one hand, CARB needs to use these figures because it is a function of the original ZEV regulation. Also, using the NMOG figures and ways to adjust for vehicles by year as a way to benefit companies (like Toyota) that took an early risk and brought cars like the Prius to market early. Still, it kind of seems that CARB is obscuring the numbers of ZEV credits that the automakers have by reporting where each automaker stands in grams of NMOG instead of just saying flat-out how many ZEV credits an OEM has. The good news is that, starting in 2013, CARB will move to a credit reporting system, so we won't need to deal with this confusion for much longer. Follow us after the jump for the details on how Toyota is leading the ZEV credit pack.

[Source: CARB]

California Zero Emission Vehicle Credit Balances

as of October 1, 2010 (g/mi NMOG)

Manufacturer

ZEVs (excluding NEVs)

NEVs

AT PZEVs

PZEVs

American Custom Golf Cars
0.000
0.228
0.000
0.000
BMW
106.000
0.000
0.000
285.480
Chrysler Group
113.319
816.071
0.000
0.000
Ford
329.486
1,123.891
510.473
1,293.674
FUJI Heavy Industries/Subaru
0.000
0.000
0.000
32.246
General Motors
449.515
869.883
495.711
174.480
Honda
375.205
804.666
998.462
192.069
Hyundai
31.360
0.000
0.000
1.567
KIA
23.320
0.000
0.000
15.512
Land Rover
0.000
0.000
0.000
12.020
Mazda
0.000
0.000
0.000
212.381
Mercedes Benz
28.520
193.066
0.000
0.000
Mitsubishi
1.400
0.000
0.000
21.757
Nissan
255.737
0.000
0.000
1,514.684
Tesla
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000
Toyota
1,344.304
0.000
5,471.827
1,167.800
Volkswagen
35.585
0.000
18.736
8.037
Volvo
0.000
0.000
0.000
85.941
Zipcar
0.000
0.000
0.000
13.718
TOTALS
3,093.751
3,807.805
7,495.210
5,031.368

Right now, the best way to determine how many credits a company has is to look at the just-released g/km NMOG rating and divide that by .035 (the current fleet average requirement, see the very bottom of that CARB link). So, we can see that Honda has around 10,700 credits and Toyota has maybe 38,400 credits. The trouble, though, is that these aren't really transferable to the number of qualified zero-emission vehicles a company has sold because vehicles sold earlier this decade were valued with more credits than those made today. Also, the ZEV regulations have been amended over the years. In fact, Krista Eley, CARB's air pollution specialist, said that "It's pretty much impossible," to get to the number of vehicles. This is done on purpose, she said, since, "The agreement that we came to with stakeholders was to not reveal every gory detail of the calculations." She also said that it's not very accurate to divide by .035 to get the credits, but that's the best we can do right now based on public information. CARB does say that, 1.7 million vehicles "have been delivered for sale in California as a result of the ZEV regulation." This breaks down to: "300 fuel cell vehicles, 5,100 battery electrics, 28,500 NEVs, 300,000 clean hybrids and 1,400,000 clean gasoline vehicles."

Even if we can't get to the precise credit or vehicle figures, Jay Friedland, the legislative director for Plug In America, told AutoblogGreen that the NMOG numbers are, "important because you can see who has significant balances they need to make up." So, who has positive balances for ZEV credits? These companies do (listed in decreasing order): Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, KIA and Mitsubishi. CARB says that all "manufacturers subject to the ZEV regulation are in compliance through model year 2009," so all this really means is that these companies now have the flexibility to either sell dirtier cars (unlikely, don't you think?) or to trade the credits to other automakers, like Tesla did.

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