Big changes are coming to those lucrative EV rebates offered by the government. If you’re thinking about making the switch to an electric vehicle in 2019 or buying your next one, we’ve got some news for you.
You probably already know about the federal incentive for buying a new electric vehicle – up to $7,500. It’s been available since January of 2010 and was designed to get more EVs on America’s roads. But did you know the rebate was designed to phase out as the popularity of EVs increased? As the numbers go up, the federal rebates available to consumers go down.
The past few years have been big for electric vehicles which means we’re going to see some changes in the rebates available. It’s bittersweet, but luckily only one major automaker has officially entered the phaseout stage. That means there are still plenty of incentives available – though you may just have to look around. But don’t panic! Many options will still be around for the long haul.
Time’s up for Tesla
In August of 2018, the California-based automaker announced they had sold their 200,000th vehicle. While that’s certainly an exciting feat, buyers of the brand’s signature Model X, Model S and Model 3 vehicles won’t be able to enjoy the full tax rebates in 2019.
Starting January 1, 2019, customers who take delivery of their new Tesla will be eligible for $3,750 in rebates. Then starting July 1, 2019, buyers will only be eligible for $1,875 through the end of the year.
So far, they’re the only major manufacturer who has reached the phase-out stage of the rebate. While that’s unfortunate for prospective Tesla owners, it means there’s still plenty of time left to claim big savings from other manufacturers.
General Motors comes in second
With several very popular EV offerings, General Motors is coming in a close second in credit-eligible sales. Their Chevrolet brand’s popular 238-mile Bolt EV and Volt PHEV have become cornerstones of the EV market. They’re popular options for those looking to drive green who aren’t interested in the extras available through Tesla.
A GM spokesperson told InsideEVs earlier in 2018 they expect to hit the 200,000 sales mark by the end of fourth quarter. While it’s currently unconfirmed whether this happened as planned, it sounds like it’s highly likely that General Motors will start their phase-out period as well.
More brands are in the clear than aren’t
It appears that as of now, Tesla and General Motors are the only ones even close to losing their subsidies. While these two manufacturers have become the most popular of the EV market it certainly doesn’t mean others aren’t also close. While there have been several relative newcomers to the market, there’ll be a plethora of options out there for buyers who still want to take advantage of the incentive, but waited a little too long.
Nissan and Ford
You’ve still got time to pick up a new Nissan Leaf or one of Ford’s Fusion Energis or Focus EVs. These manufacturers have both made it over 100,000 in sales so far, but are still quite a ways from reaching the official 200,000 milestone that cuts out the rebate.
EV Adoption is reporting that Ford comes in at around 111,000 sales, while Nissan is approaching 128,000. As the third and fourth most popular EV manufacturers by sales, they’ve still got quite a bit of life left in their rebates.
Newcomers diversify the market
Several new vehicles are coming in 2019, as well as full electrification by many automakers in models to come. The introduction of new EVs in 2019 will divide the market, allowing extra time for buyers to take advantage of incentives.
Luxury brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, and Audi are relative newcomers to the American EV market, offering an extravagant alternative to the now rebate-less Tesla Model X. Vehicles like the Jaguar i-Pace and Audi E-Tron will have credits left for quite a while to come. Audi hasn’t yet reached 10,000 eligible sales, while Jaguar-Land Rover is only at 170 eligible vehicles sold as of November of 2018. BMW is the highest of the luxury segment, with nearly 80,000 sales of its electric i3 and i8 vehicles and plug-in vehicles.
Hyundai is going to be one to watch in the 2019 model year, with the introduction of the 258-mile Kona Electric and Iconiq PHEV. Car and Driver notes the range on the Kona is the highest of any non-Tesla vehicle, and even praised it as “the best mass-market EV.” While the brand has sold fewer than 9,000 vehicles, it looks like this will be changing in the upcoming year.
There’s plenty of time
Unless you had your heart set on a Tesla, it’s likely you’ll still be able to get that coveted rebate on your new EV purchase. With lots of new options on the market in 2019, there will be a bigger distribution of sales among automakers in the coming years. Though some are getting close to reaching their phase-out period, there are far more that still have years to go. And that’s good news for everyone who’s thinking about making the switch in the future. After all, you’ll probably want another sooner than you think.