Deep-dive into recent green ABS: Toyota funds EVs & hybrids / WHEEL ABS from Citi & RenewFinancial for home energy efficiency loans / solar ABS from Sunrun

Last month Toyota closed their second green bond for a whopping $1.25bn. Standard auto loans backed the issuance with proceeds to be used for electric and hybrid car loans; that means it’s more like a corporate green bond, where proceeds from a bond backed by existing (non-green) assets are directed green loans still to be made.

Sunrun issued $111m of solar ABS, and a small unlabelled energy efficiency ABS was also issued by Renew Financial and Citi for $12.58m. Sunrun and Citi/Renew Financial are examples of ABS where the assets backing the issuance are green. This type of green ABS introduces new low-carbon assets to the securitisation market, such as solar leases and energy efficiency loans.

Toyota issues second green ABS US$1.25bn, 1-5yrs, AA+/Aa3

The finance arm of Toyota issued their 2nd green ABS with an impressive US$1.25bn deal, after being the first to issue a labelled green ABS in 2014.  There are 7 tranches with a range of tenors (1-5yrs) and coupons (0.3%-1.74%). Citi, Credit Agricole and Bank of America Merrill Lynch were the lead underwriters.

In line with Toyota’s last green ABS issuance, proceeds from the bond will go to fund a pool of leases and loans for low-carbon Toyota vehicles. To give you an idea of the size of the pool – Toyota’s first green ABS bond financed the purchase of 39,900 vehicles! Toyota sets clear criteria for eight different models of cars that can be funded:

  • Gas-electric hybrid or alternative fuel powertrain
  • Minimum EPA estimated MPG (or MPG equivalent for alternative fuel vehicles) of 35 city / 35 highway
  • California Low-Emission Vehicle II (LEV II) certification of super ultra-low emission vehicles (SULEVs) or higher, which would include partial zero emissions vehicles (PZEVs) and zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs)

Citi and Renew Financial issues US$12.58m ABS backed by energy efficiency loans (6yrs, 3.51%, A), as part of WHEEL, a Pennsylvania Treasury initiative

Citi and Renew Financial issued US$12.58m of climate-aligned asset-backed securities. We at first thought this was not labelled green, but Citi tells us it was marketed as a green bond. Excellent news!

The deal is the first ABS issuance arising from the US-based Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL). WHEEL is a public-private partnership established in 2014 with the State of Pennsylvania Treasury. The set-up is that approved local contractors offer low-cost loans to customers to finance energy efficiency projects, which are then bought into a financial warehouse by the company Renew Financial. To do this, Renew Financial uses a credit facility capitalised by a mix of public money, from the Pennsylvania Treasury, and private money, from the commercial bank Citi. This process continues until the aggregated amount of loans in the warehouse meet the size requirements of the capital markets, and the loans are bundles together and sold to institutional investors as securities backed by energy efficiency loans.

Brilliant to see private sector actors collaborating with state and local governments to get the deal off the ground. This is exactly the kind of collaborative setups we need to have to rapidly grow a green securitisation market, in the US and globally. Bravo all involved!

Unlabelled Climate Bond

Sunrun issues $111m ABS backed by solar leases in two tranches (100m, 30 yr, 4.4%, A; 11m, 30 yr, 5.38%, BBB)

Sunrun Inc., a US provider of residential solar, issued $111m of "Solar Asset-backed Notes" in two tranches. $100m with a coupon of 4.4% rated A by KBRA, and $11m with a coupon of 5.38% rated BBB. Tenor for both tranches is 30 years. Credit Suisse was the lead underwriter for the deal.

The notes are backed solely by the cash flow generated by a portfolio of residential solar energy systems and related customer agreements. This transaction represents Sunrun's inaugural issuance into the asset backed securitisation market. SolarCity pioneered issuance of ABS in the solar space in 2013 and 2014.


We’re looking forward to seeing more exciting green ABS issuances this year – this flurry of deals demonstrates the potential for green ABS to grow investment in a wide variety of small-scale low-carbon assets.

(Oh and we’re also working on a guide for the public sector on how they can support green securitisation with the LSE Grantham Institute for Climate Change to be published after the summer).

Our blogs are written by a team: Sean Kidney, Tess Olsen-Rong, Beate Sonerud, with help from Justine Leigh-Bell.