If you want to take delivery of a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y between Wednesday and December 31, the EV maker says that you’ll get a $7,500 “credit” in addition to free Supercharging for up to 10,000 miles. I’m sure this has nothing to do with Tesla trying to hit a quarterly sales target or falling demand for Teslas.
The actual text of the two offers is:
Teslas were supposed to be eligible for a $3,750 tax credit starting in January thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. But the U.S. Treasury Department said this week that it was delaying guidance on how to treat batteries until March, meaning that cars not eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit, like Teslas, may temporarily be eligible for the full credit starting in January. (The rules on all of this are very much fluid, so talk to a tax professional before buying.)
What this may be is: Tesla knowing that its customers will be getting $7,500 off anyway in a couple of weeks and encouraging people who might wait to buy now instead. That would goose sales for 2022 a little bit more, and all the better for when Tesla announces its 2022 delivery numbers, which are already expected to be less than the 50% increase compared to 2021 that Tesla had previously said was its goal for this year.
It could also be: Demand for Teslas is down, and Tesla would simply like to sell a few more Teslas, which would make it like every other carmaker in the world, especially in December. Either way, the Model 3, on paper, starts at $46,990, though the cheapest Model 3 within 200 miles of me listed in Tesla’s online inventory is $59,490 at the moment, and at the moment I am in Southern California, where there are lots of Teslas.
The Model Y, meanwhile, starts at $65,990, and, in the same search, the cheapest is in fact $65,990, suggesting to me that there are plenty of Model Ys to go around, but not so many Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3s, if any. At any rate, it seems like it’ll be difficult to buy a Tesla for less than $50,000 in the near term, even with the discount.
All of this has made me more excited than ever to see Tesla’s full-year 2022 delivery numbers, which it’ll announce in early January. On a perhaps related note, Tesla’s stock is down almost 10 percent today as of this writing.