Farewell, tax credit, we barely knew ye.
Tesla has become the first automaker to hit the tax credit threshold, hitting the 200,000 USA deliveries mark and potentially leaving buyers of its EVs hit harder in the wallet depending on when they get their new cars.
Tesla has delivered 200,000 electric cars to buyers in the United States, a spokesperson said on Thursday, meaning tax credits will now begin to be lowered, while rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW AG and Audi AG will bring electric models to the market with a full tax credit in place.
The South African-born Tesla boss had already confirmed that the Performance variant will use a powertrain layout similar to the dual-motor Model 3, suggesting it will have a motor to drive each axle. The Model 3 missing out on unlimited inclusive Supercharger access, for instance, was one disappointment for buyers of the most affordable vehicle; now, the dwindling tax credit could further disappoint. The incentives have certainly helped the automaker - as they have other manufacturers producing electric cars - to gain traction, but those advantages have begun to shrink a little as Tesla adoption picks up. The production milestone was finally attained by the company during the final week of June, but it did not escape criticism from the company's doubters, some of whom predicted that the Model 3's 5,000/week "burst" production would be unsustainable.
With Tesla suggesting a 6-9 month wait for Model 3 cars with the standard battery, it's likely that while some will be delivered before 2018 is through, most won't be until the new year.
Hundreds of customers are on the waiting list for the lower-priced Model 3 sedan, which becomes available in 2019, and the reduction of the tax credit could impact some buyers' ability to afford the vehicle.
The company said it hit its goal, producing 5,031 Model 3s during the final week of June, prompting Musk to tell employees, "I think we just became a real auto company". Starting next July, they can receive 25% of the credit.
GM is still expected to be the next automaker to cross the 200,000 threshold, which could happen later this quarter.