ZEV credits (ZEV=zero emission vehicle) are awarded to car makers who sell electric or hydrogen cell powered cars in certain participating states.

ZEV credits (ZEV=zero emission vehicle) are awarded to car makers who sell electric or hydrogen cell powered cars in certain participating states. Each car earns differing levels of credit based on the range of the vehicle and certain characteristics such as if the vehicle is purely electric or a hybrid gas/electric car. In the states that participate in this program, car makers are required to earn, or purchase on the market, a certain number of ZEV credits relative to the number of cars they sell in that state. In 2018, for example, the ZEV program requires about 2.5% of sales to be zero emission vehicles. Because Tesla only sells electric vehicles, they earn far more ZEV credits than they need, allowing them to sell the excess to other car manufacturers.

For the Fiscal Year ending December 31, 2016, Tesla reported the following in their annual report:

Regulatory Credits

California and certain other states have laws in place requiring vehicle manufacturers to ensure that a portion of the vehicles delivered for sale in that state during each model year are zero emission vehicles. These laws and regulations provide that a manufacturer of zero emission vehicles may earn regulatory credits (ZEV credits) and may sell excess credits to other manufacturers who apply such credits to comply with these regulatory requirements. Similar regulations exist at the federal level that require compliance related to greenhouse gas emissions and also allow for the sale of excess credits by one manufacturer to other manufacturers. As a manufacturer solely of zero emission vehicles, we have earned emission credits, such as ZEV and GHG credits on vehicles, and we expect to continue to earn these credits in the future. We enter into contractual agreements with third parties to purchase our regulatory credits.

We recognize revenue on the sale of these credits at the time legal title to the credits is transferred to the purchasing party as automotive revenue in our Consolidated Statements of Operations. Revenue from the sale of regulatory credits totaled $302.3 million, $168.7 million, and $216.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Review the annual report (Specifically refer to Consolidated Statements of Operations) and calculate how these credits would affect Tesla’s reported profit. That is, if these revenues disappeared in 2016 and all other aspects of Tesla’s operation remained the same, what would their reported “net loss” have been?

Annual report:  https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1318605/000156459017003118/tsla-10k_20161231.htm. 

Question 3 options:

-1,075.3 million

-773.0 million

-470.7 million

-302.3 million

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