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Tesla Gives an Unexpected Christmas Gift to EV Buyers

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Tesla dominates the electric vehicle market.

Elon Musk’s group has seen its competitors gain market share because it is no longer the only company to offer electric vehicles. In the U.S. market alone, the legacy carmakers Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Porsche, and the young upstarts Rivian, Lucid and Polestar, mount fierce competition.

But Tesla remains the boss: the company is still by far the leader in EVs, holding two-thirds (65%) of the market in the U.S., according to data from S&P Global Mobility.

Of the more than 520,000 electric-vehicle registrations in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2022, about 340,000 were Teslas, according to according to data from S&P Global Mobility.

The company is determined to maintain its rank and continue to dictate the direction the auto industry should take. This is true for services, as well as technological innovations. And this is also true for pricing policy.

A $3,750 Credit

Tesla and its CEO Musk have cemented the idea that it’s the services and innovations the brand offers that are going to be lucrative in the future. At the company, this manifests particularly with Full Self Driving (FSD), Tesla’s very advanced driving assistance system, the cost of which is $15,000. The permanent updates of FSD make it almost a must-have in the Tesla galaxy. There is no doubt that the more features the company adds to FSD, the more its price will increase.

“The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” Tesla explained. But “as these self-driving features evolve, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.”

The company can thus remain very competitive by making commercial moves elsewhere. Tesla has just made a spectacular offer to buyers. They will receive a credit of $3,750 for any new Model 3 and Model Y, purchased and delivered in December 2022. The promotion went recently into effect.

The offer is available in the “Existing Inventory” section of the Model 3 and Model Y pages on the Tesla website, noted TheStreet. For example, a Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive Model Year 2022, is currently sold at a base price of $48,350. But Tesla says that the price after potential savings is $41,750. The battery range is 267 miles.

“Take delivery of a new Model 3 or Model Y in December 2022 for a $3,750 credit,” the company says without further details.

FSD

TheStreet also found that Tesla was offering FSD at a price of $9,000 for some models, instead of the full $15,000. 

Currently Tesla vehicles do not receive a federal tax credit because the company has long exceeded the cap of 200,000 clean vehicles sold. But this cap will be removed from January 2023 with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed last August, giving potential buyers new incentives to choose a Tesla electric vehicle. 

Under the new law, the federal tax credit for EVs will remain at $7,500. The eligibility period is from January 2023 to December 2032. The tax credit of $7,500 is divided in two: $3,750 will apply if at least 40% of the minerals of the battery powering the vehicle come from the United States or a country having a free trade agreement with the United States.

The other $3,750 will apply if at least 50% of the battery components come from the United States or from countries with a free trade agreement with the United States. In summary, the electric vehicle you buy can benefit from the full $7,500 tax credit, half or none, depending on the battery components and minerals.

Tesla’s marketing move is timely, as consumers face inflation that is at its 40-year high and affects their buying power. It can be a huge marketing coup, likely to force the hand of other EV manufactures, if they want to remain competitive.

Still, the timing is challenging: the industry remains affected by the disruption of supply chains and the increase in the price of raw materials.

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