UPDATE 10/18/18: Tesla clarified to C/D that customers are eligible to receive the full $7500 federal tax credit as long as they take delivery of their vehicle before the end of 2018.
Tesla has reached the beginning of the end of the $7500 federal tax credit for buyers of the automaker's electric vehicles. The rules of the credit spell out that only the buyers of the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold by each manufacturer are eligible for the full amount; after that point, the credit begins to decrease over time. Although Tesla already hit the 200,000 mark earlier this year, the $7500 tax credit will apply to vehicles delivered before the end of 2018. Because of this, Tesla set a deadline of October 15 for vehicle orders to be eligible for the full credit, although the automaker clarified that it's possible to purchase a Tesla out of inventory, for instance, and still get the credit if the purchase is completed by year's end.
On Tesla's website, the automaker claimed that all vehicle orders placed by that date will be delivered by December 31, 2018, meaning they'll qualify for the full $7500. Deliveries starting January 1, 2019, will only be eligible for a $3750 credit, while deliveries starting July 1, 2019, will drop down to a credit of just $1875. This applies to the Model S, Model X, and Model 3.
This deadline won't affect the typical ordering and delivery process for Tesla vehicles. According to Tesla, those who submit their orders, along with a $2500 deposit, by October 15 will be guaranteed delivery of the vehicle by the end of the year. Final delivery is contingent on the buyer's payment of the full purchase price of the vehicle through leasing, financing, or paying cash (the $2500 deposit is credited toward the final purchase).
We would assume that this deadline will lead to an uptick in orders over the next few days, but Tesla hasn't made any announcements about a plan to ramp up production to make sure all these vehicles get delivered in time to be eligible for the credit.
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