The list of people having priority on the Tesla Model 3 reservation queue keeps growing. After Tesla employees, Electrek learned from sources that SpaceX employees can now also reserve Tesla’s upcoming third generation vehicle set to be unveiled on March 31st. Like for most Tesla employees, it appears most SpaceX employees reserving the vehicle are doing so sight unseen.
Beside showing more synergy between Elon Musk’s two companies, it also adds up to now 3 groups of people having priority on the Tesla Model 3 reservation queue: Tesla employees, Tesla owners and SpaceX employees.
As we often mentioned in the past few months, the reservation process for the Model 3 is particularly important. Beyond proving demand for a long-range affordable electric vehicle, the process will also create an 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 for the vehicle and make it even less expensive.
Here’s how we expect Tesla to reach 200,000 units cap:
Tesla has around 15,000 employees worldwide, while SpaceX employs around 5,000 people, most of them in California. Additionally, Tesla has a base of over 100,000 owners with around half in the US.
Of course the availability of the tax credit will depend on Tesla bringing the Model 3 to market on time (late 2017) and on a successful production ramp up.
It’s still likely that most eligible people placing a reservation will have access to at least some form of tax 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.
SpaceX employees being given early access to Model 3 reservations is only the latest example of collaboration between the two companies headed by Elon Musk. The CEO recently hired Apple’s alloy expert to lead materials engineering at both Tesla and SpaceX, and the automaker made a SPaceX factory tour one of the prizes for its Model S owner referral program.
The two companies also shared technology in the past.
The early access is certainly a nice perk for Tesla and SpaceX employees who have the most stressful jobs (and most meaningful) in the tech industry, according to a recent survey.
If you are not on Tesla’s or SpaceX’s payroll, you can still reserve the vehicle and the automaker released all the details on how to reserve your place in line starting on the day of the unveiling March 31st.
Featured Image HAWTHORNE-CA-MAY 29: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils the company’s new manned spacecraft, The Dragon V2, on May 29, 2014 (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)