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One of the advantages of being an automaker that produces nothing but plug-in vehicles is earning zero-emissions credits. It's long been thought that those credits could at some point become a valuable commodity. Back in 2007, when Phoenix Motorcars was still around, a big chunk of their business plan revolved around revenue from those credits. Phoenix went bust before they were ever able to deliver any vehicles, but Tesla Motors has picked up that idea.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Admittedly, it's not quite as good as finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but residents of Ireland can rejoice with the notion of receiving nearly $7,000 back on the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs). The Irish government and the Electrical Supply Board (ESB) recently agreed on this incentive plan to help offset the purchase price of electric vehicles and send the country on its way to reaching a proclaimed goal of EVs penetrating ten percent of the market by 2020.

What is a plug-in vehicle worth? When it comes to CAFE credits, the answer to this question is a bit complicated. As we discussed in our Greenlings look at CAFE, the system allows for credits. One effect is that automakers who build vehicles that can burn E85 – even if these cars don't actually use the biofuel – get a bit of a pass for their dirtier vehicles. When it comes to EVs, a potential "sell one, get one free" deal is in the works.

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