A $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit is on the table for 2018. This $7,5000 deducted from the $35,000 sticker on the Model 3 by Tesla is what made most people sign up for the car Elon Musk had promised to deliver this year. But when last week Tesla told some holders of Model 3 reservations that they would not get their cars until 2019, those who had signed up also realized that their tax credit would be a goner, and thus switched… to GM.
Tesla’s online fan forums are full of people complaining about the long wait for a Model 3 and advising others to switch to GM as well, more specifically to GM’s Chevrolet Bolt. So far, Tesla declined to comment.
In California, still the top U.S. market for electric vehicles, GM dealers admit that brisk demand for Bolts is driven in part by frustrated Tesla buyers who are afraid they will lose a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit if they wait till 2019, or if they count on Mr Musk this time delivering on his promise. Just one more delay in production would see them lose their tax credit and most don’t want to risk that.
After Tesla announced last week that it was faced with another delay, Chevrolet dealer Mr Yev Kaplinskiy said his dealership sold 15 Bolts in two days: “We’re getting the Tesla people who wanted their Model 3."
“We ask them, ‘What other cars are you interested in?’ They’re mostly Tesla. But they want the car now. They don’t want to wait.”
By now, car forums are full of people complaining about Tesla delays.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Afraid of missing out on tax credits due to delays, some potential Tesla Model 3 customers are turning to the Chevy Bolt <a href="https://t.co/mQGrEihuGR">https://t.co/mQGrEihuGR</a> <a href="https://t.co/0XH7TLKk8I">pic.twitter.com/0XH7TLKk8I</a></p>— Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReutersTech/status/964706974649716737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 17, 2018</a></blockquote>
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A commenter from Seattle called ‘206er’ wrote on TeslaMotorsClub.com: “I‘m feeling extremely fleeced by Elon - guy secured an interest free loan from me (reservation payment) for a car I hadn’t seen before reserving, and just told me that it might be another year before I should receive it.”
“My objective…was always a $35,000 Tesla for the price of a decently optioned Civic (with full federal tax credit).”
Meanwhile, Chevrolet can’t produce Bolts fast enough. Sonoma Chevrolet General Manager Mr Ken Scholl: “If I had 50 Bolts in December, we would have sold every one.”