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Tesla buys trucking companies to shorten Model 3 delivery times for tax credit by the end of the year

Tesla extended the deadline to order Model 3 and get a delivery by the end of the year in order to get the full federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

CEO Elon Musk says that they achieved that by “acquiring trucking capacity”.

Earlier this year, Tesla confirmed hitting the federal tax credit threshold triggering a phase-out period.

Starting next year, the $7,500 tax credit will be cut in half for new Tesla buyers.

It disappointed many Model 3 reservation holders who were holding out for the promised base version at $35,000.

While Tesla is still not able to produce the car at that price, the company introduced a new ‘Mid-Range’ battery pack for the Model 3 starting at $46,000 – seemingly as a compromise.

Tesla currently lists Model 3 deliveries on new orders between 4 to 10 weeks depending on the configuration, but it did announce two weeks ago timelines to get the car by the end of the year:

  • under 4 weeks if you can pick up your car directly from our Fremont factory.
  • 4 weeks for the west coast
  • 6 weeks for central
  • 8 weeks for the east coast

Now Musk is updating the timelines, seemingly for all configurations, as he says that Tesla “acquired trucking capacity”:

The CEO added that they are going to ship east with the trucks instead of rails, which is shortening the transit times by weeks.

They are currently shortages of trucks and truck drivers in many regions in North America, which makes this approach hard to do.

We asked Musk how he managed to secure the new capacity and he says that Tesla bought “some truck companies & secured contracts with major haulers”:

He expects that it will enable them to have a higher delivery rate and avoid issues the company had during the last end-of-quarter push.

Now new Model 3 buyers placing an order by the end of the month in the US can apparently expect a delivery by the end of the year to get access to the full $7,500 federal tax credit.

Electrek’s Take

That’s the right move. Truck and driver shortages are becoming a very common thing here and rail companies are known to take advantage of that.

Tesla buying some trucking companies should facilitate the logistics of delivering an increasing number of vehicles.

It’s also not completely out of scope for Tesla. They were already operating a fleet of about 100 trucks in California alone when they last reported to the local road authorities.

Having their own trucking company also has some interesting implications for Tesla Semi.

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