Obama Fuel-Economy Rule Gives Sweeteners To Honda, Tesla
by Angela Greiling Keane (Bloomberg) Honda Motor Co. (7267), which last year complained that a proposed fuel-economy rule was unfair to non- U.S. automakers, got a boost when the final version added extra credits for sellers of natural gas-powered vehicles.
Honda, based in Tokyo, is the only automaker selling compressed natural gas-powered cars to U.S. drivers and will be able to use the credits to meet the fuel-economy standards.
…“With this added incentive from the government, Toyota, GM and other carmakers may follow and introduce cars that run on natural gas,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $500 million in assets at Tokyo-based Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. “The market isn’t established yet, so it may not directly lead to a boost in sales, but being a leader may boost Honda’s share price.”
…Small automakers such as Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) may benefit from another change written into the final rule that builds on a market California opened this year for sellers of zero-emission vehicles such as plug-ins or those powered by hydrogen.
While companies with fewer than 1,000 employees are exempt from the rule, the final version allows them to opt in. That would allow Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which only makes plug-in electric vehicles, to sell any credits for exceeding the fuel-economy standards to companies that don’t meet their quotas. READ MORE