The Tesla Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover are the most popular EVs in the US, and a large percentage of them are sold in California. However, the electric automaker's latest price hike pushed both electric vehicles beyond the threshold for the state's California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).
EV buyers in The Golden State have been taking advantage of the CVRP for years. If you buy an eligible electric car or SUV in the state today, you may be able to get a $2,000 rebate, though there are some parameters that must be met.
The CVRP applies to electric cars with an MSRP of up to $45,000. For electric crossovers and SUVs, the cap is currently set at $60,000.
As you may know, Tesla has been raising the prices of its vehicles on a regular basis. At times, it seems the automaker raises them to slow the demand, since people who have placed orders are waiting for many months to take delivery. However, more recently, CEO Elon Musk commented on Twitter about inflation impacting both Tesla and SpaceX. Not long after the tweet, Tesla raised its prices yet again.
The base Model 3 currently starts at $46,990, which is up significantly from the promised $35,000 car that debuted in 2017. The current entry-level Model Y Long Range starts at $62,990.
Rising prices are to be expected, and that's even more true amid the current global turmoil. Other automakers are also increasing prices. In addition, some dealers are selling cars with very high markups, and this is especially true of EVs. However, Tesla has been able to keep its prices under such thresholds in the past, not only in California, but also in other areas across the globe. The company is well aware of such MSRP caps, and it has control over whether or not its cars are eligible.
CarsDirect notes that people who ordered their vehicle from Tesla on or before March 15, 2022, will still be able to get the rebate. However, starting with orders from March 16, there are no Tesla vehicles in the US that qualify. It's important to note that rebate eligibility is based on the official order date rather than the delivery date.
Even more interesting, especially for those unaware of how the rebate works, eligibility is set based on a vehicle's starting MSRP. As CarsDirect explains, a $70,000 Ford Mustang Mach-E qualifies since the base model starts under the $60,000 threshold. So, if Tesla wanted the cars to qualify, it could simply reduce the prices of its base models while increasing the prices of upper trims