TESLA being the only OEM than makes ONE EVs does not derive any benefit
from the ZEV credits it receives for every vehicle that is delivered for sale in California, that is unless they sell those credits to someone else who needs and wants them.
While the CARB does release the transfers, it does not care about nor keeps a track of any financial arrangements between the Transferor and Transferee.
Above are the ZEV credit transfers recorded between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.
Theoretically each ZEV credit that any specific OEM lacks represent a potential fine of $5,000 - but to date not a single OEM that is required to accumulate ZEV credits paid any fine.
Tesla - Transferor
While TESLA sold all these above listed ZEV credits, they still have another 29,556.00 remaining that so far no one is interested in purchasing.
And for the credits they have sold they are getting reportedly less than 1/2 their theoretical value, that is less than 50 cents of real cash for ever $1 of a potential ZEV fine by CARB.
Still the 51,776 transferred credits represent about $129,440,000 of "income" for TESLA between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.