When the Tesla Model 3 finally goes into production, in late 2017 or early 2018, buyers might be in for an unpleasantly costly surprise – one that fall particularly hard on customers who were hoping to get that new battery sedan at a relatively affordable price.
American motorists buying the carmaker’s two current products, the Models S and X, stand to receive federal tax credits of $7,500. Industry analysts say that incentive has helped draw many buyers into the battery-car market. But under federal guidelines, those givebacks might be gone before the first Tesla Model 3 hits the road.
When Congress passed the measure aimed at spurring demand for battery-based vehicles – including both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – lawmakers set a cap on those incentives, limiting them to just the first 200,000 vehicles sold by a particular automaker.