Tesla sent an email blast to owners and revealed a few more details about its Model 3 unveiling event and the reservation process for its highly anticipated mass market electric car. Aside from the obvious logistic details, the most interesting information that Tesla shared is that it will prioritize Model 3 reservations for current Tesla owners over non-owners.
In the email, Tesla wrote:
“As a current owner who has supported Tesla and our mission, your reservation will take priority and be placed ahead of non-owners”
This news follows our exclusive report that Tesla also plans to prioritize Model 3 reservations for employees. It now adds up to two groups of people who will have priority on the Model 3 reservation queue.
If there are two groups of people deserving of a preferential treatment here, it’s definitely the people making the cars and the early adopters who kept Tesla afloat long enough to be able to make its third generation vehicle, but it could also add up to a significant backlog.
Tesla has now around 15,000 employees worldwide and a base of over 100,000 owners.
Beyond creating a backlog before the public can get in around the world, the process will create a particularly interesting situation in the US where the $7500 Federal tax credit for electric vehicles is capped at 200,000 units sold per manufacturer. Tesla is expected to hit its limit in 2018, which means that an early reservation can help ensure the availability of the full tax credit the vehicle.It could virtually ensure that US employees and Model S/X owners will have access to the $7,500 tax credit, if they are eligible of course. While depending on Tesla bringing the Model 3 to market on time, the rest of the public, even with a reservation, might not have access to the credit, or at least not the full credit.
Under the current law. once the 200,000 cap is reached, customers will have access to the full credit for a full quarter with no apparent limit on units. They will then receive $3,750 for the following 6 month. It will again go down to $1,875 for the following 6 months. That means that for most of 2019 Tesla buyers won’t likely have much federal incentive to buy cars. By 2020, the Federal Subsidy will have likely run out.
It is certainly shaping up to be a very important vehicle reservation process, and not only because it will be for a compelling long-range and relatively affordable electric vehicle.