Tesla continues to cash in on other carmakers needing help to meet emissions standards, keeping up a lucrative business the company thought would fade away.
The Elon Musk-led manufacturer generated $1.79 billion in regulatory credit revenue last year, an annual filing showed last week. That brought the cumulative total Tesla has raked in since 2009 to almost $9 billion.
Selling regulatory credits is a tidy business for Tesla. It earns them by making and selling electric vehicles, then sells the credits to manufacturers whose new-vehicle fleets exceed emissions limits set by various authorities, including in China, the European Union and state of California.
Tesla bears little to no incremental cost earning the credits, so the sales are virtually pure profit.