Report: GM Has Been Stockpiling Tesla-Sourced Carbon Credits

GM and Fiat Chrysler have been buying large quantities of federal carbon credits from Tesla, according to disclosures made to the state of Delaware.

Curiously, GM doesn’t actually need extra credits right now. Thanks to its Volt and Bolt, the brand is can currently comply with emissions laws without the need for credits. According to a report from Automotive News, though, the company is playing the long game.

The company might be hedging its bets for a future where emissions rules get even tougher and its bottom line is supported by the sale of crossovers. With sales of bigger, more fuel demanding vehicles outstripping GM’s ability to sell EVs, the question of how to comply with emissions rules will be an even more important question if a Democrat wins the presidential election in 2020.

At that point, emissions credits will likely cost even more, making GM’s stockpile of credits a huge boon. GM won’t have long to spend them, though, because credits do expire. According to the EPA, 90% of credits held by automakers in 2017 will expire by 2021.

Exactly how much GM has spent on Tesla’s credits remains unknown, but in the California-based EV-maker has generated more than $2 billion in revenue through the sale of greenhouse gas credits.