AirTalk for May 7, 2013

Zero-emission vehicle credits: An unfair subsidy for Tesla?

Tesla Model S electric car on display du

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Model S electric car on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

To combat air pollution, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires all carmakers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles in the state. Those that fail to reach the quota could purchase zero-emissions-vehicle credits from other automakers in an open market.

One of the biggest beneficiaries is the Palo Alto-based high-end electric carmaker Tesla, which could pocket as much as $35,000 for each credit sold. The board says it only wants to incentivize automakers to make more pollution-free cars. Opponents want to know why the state is subsidizing a segment of the automobile industry that the consumer has shown little interest in anyway?

Guests:

Eileen Tutt, Executive Director of the California Electric Transportation Coalition, a non profit organization. Their members include utilities and automakers.

Eric Noble, President of the CarLab


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