Is Tesla Stockpiling The Model 3 To Delay The Tax Credit Expiration?

Tesla Model 3


Some feel a collection of Model 3’s in California is proof of an intentional delay of the automakers 200,000th U.S. sale.

I don’t think I’m alone in obsessing over how many cars Tesla will sell this month.

For hopeful owners of the Model 3, a decision by Tesla to not delay sales could cost buyers thousands in federal tax credits.

If you’re not well-versed in the details of the U.S. electric vehicle tax credit, you can check out this article for more info.

Will the 200,000th Tesla be delivered in June or July? People are divided on what they expect to happen. But I think it is almost universal that everyone wants Tesla to delay until the 3rd quarter. If they do so, the full $7500 tax credit will be available until the end of December. If the 200,000 limit is hit in June, the full credit will only be available through September.

Any evidence that might point to a delay of the 200,000th sale is welcome news. So naturally, a large parking lot full of Model 3’s has caught peoples attention.

The lot is located in Richmond, CA and appears to be at Canal Blvd and Seacliff Dr near a shipping hub. Based on satellite images, it can hold about 650 cars. That would be less than 2 days of Model 3 production.

Presumably, these Model 3’s are waiting to be transported east. This is hardly unusual, as Google Maps satellite images show this lot is primarily used for this purpose.

Parking Lot of Model 3s awaiting shipment

Google satellite image showing the lot full of cars. (not Model 3)

Is this verifiable proof that Tesla is delaying? Not at all. But it is additional evidence to consider. Especially when combined with slow production increases, a short shutdown in late May, and the start of Canadian deliveries.

Most vehicles produced this month will be going to U.S. buyers. A decent portion of mid-to-late May production went to Canada. Canadian Model 3 deliveries have dropped sharply since the first 1.5 weeks of June.

At the same time, this could just as easily be the result of increased production. Or a bi-product of the shipping delays that have been reported by buyers in both the U.S. and Canada. Or any number of other explanations.

Well, in a little over a week we should know for sure what the timeline is for the tax credit. Hopefully, we will be taking advantage of a larger rebate until December.

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

95 Comments on "Is Tesla Stockpiling The Model 3 To Delay The Tax Credit Expiration?"

newest oldest most voted

The prudent action would be to delay deliveries until July and that is what will happen because Elon is brilliant. GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS GUZZLERS AND DIESELS LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks

Could you please stop with this? Everyone who is reading here is already an EV fan or at least interested in it. You are just annoying everyone here by repeating the same text over and over.


Bro1999 aka Bob Lutz how are you? TSLA success is annoying you too? Or is it my passionate message about our planet’s co2 ppm? I don’t know about you guys but I will be really annoyed when my home is flooded and when the rates to insure my home increase that will be really annoying so CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS CO2.EARTH

Annoying like when a child wants to eat sweets instead of his food? And the child keeps repeating candy candy candy lol that kind of annoying??? Is that what you mean? CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks for caring about our planet

Whether or not it’s annoying is subjective. It may not add much to the comments or story, and it’s the same thing over and over. However, it has become Mister G’s thing, his trademark, if you will. With all the negativity and nastiness in the comments, attacks, in-fighting, one-upping, etc., this is not something that we would moderate or exclude. It’s harmless and positive and you can easily just skip past it if it bothers you that much. There are much, much worse things being deal with on an increasingly regular basis, and that’s an understatement.

Enjoy the day and connect the dots on clean air! It will really be ok. Let’s all relax and enjoy our EV community. 🙂

Gracias Amigo

No hay de qué.

It does strike a sour note with a lot of people, apparently.
I think of it as part of his extended call-sign, or like an old mostly comfortable couch that has sprung a spring so you put a pillow there, and tell people not to sit there.

Hehe. I like! Yea, I’m aware. But hey, there are many worse things that strike a sour note with myself and many others.

I tend to really get irritated when I see that silly refrain from Mr. G, but now that I have read your thinking on it, Steven, my irritation will be tempered a good deal by your common sense and courtesy. There are a lot of web sites where flaming is the order of the day. Two of my favorites over the years, GM-Volt dot com and InsideEVs are remarkable for a lot of things but the courtesy of the vast majority of the posters is one of the more noticeable. Thank you for setting the tone.

I appreciate that. It’s very important to me!

Well said Mr. Steven Loveday.
What is important is the participation. Everyone has the right to write what they like as long as its not off topic and not abusive.

Some people whistle songs in public, and plenty of dour individuals complain about that. Keep up the tune, Mister G! Those with love in their hearts love your honesty and determination.

haha. +1

“Everyone who is reading here is already an EV fan ”
How did you come up with that conclusion? Spend some time here and that view will change, guaranteed!

Yea, many only like EVs from a single brand, the rest are even worse than gas guzzlers to them.

True dat!

You’re correct many EV haters and fossil fuel mafia agents come here CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS CO2.EARTH

Repeating the same text at the bottom of every post annoys you? I suggest NOT ever visiting any car enthusiast forums! The standard car forum signature at most sites are typically WAY longer than this. With a list of cars they’ve ever owned, every mod on thier car, a quote or two of something they think is funny, a photo of their car, and a photo of some random half naked woman who would never sleep with that user in a million years, etc

All of which shows up for every post. Even just a 2 character post of “+1”.

Somehow the entire automobile enthusiast community manages to focus on just the messages and gloss over the sigs without freaking out.

Even here, the “No Plug No Sale” campaign by many was widespread for years and people managed just fine ro focus on the post content and not the tagline.

One thing is for sure. It is memorable! Just like NPNS and all the variants was.


Also, regular posters are a single digit percent of people drawn to this site from places like google news. They aren’t all regulars and/or green car enthusiasts


I hadn’t really thought about it as being Mr. G’s sig (signature) line. Thanks for helping put that into perspective, Nix.

It is surprising how few of the traditions from e-mail discussion forums are seen on social media forums such as this one. I’m glad that the InsideEVs Forum at least has a built-in smileys function. Using smileys to indicate an ironic or less-than-serious comment is something which, oddly, some people even complain about! Some of those same people have their ironic posts misinterpreted, too. They ought to learn the value of smileys 🙂

Can someone suggest a couple of Tesla-hating forums where we might send Mister G to be annoying in?

Teslas,in the US,do not do much to reduce CO2,they would do more if our juice was cleaner, a single nuclear plant ,kept on, does more for CO2 in the US than all Teslas ever made.

Allow me to chirp in here and speak for a segment that isn’t interested in EV’s for environmental reasons, but for reasons of the wallet. When we see people dissing on our trucks and gas-powered family sedans and virtue-signalling like this (he speaks for the Earth, really?), it’s a turn-off for EV purchasing. Now, you might disagree with that sentiment, but it is a fact. I like this website, but the only time I ever wince is when people like this virtue-signal their superiority to us “chumps” who still drive a traditional gas engine vehicle.

Wonder if GM is doing the same or it is just how it is working out with their (intentional?) low sales.
comment image

Way to drag GM into a Tesla post that doesn’t mention GM once, scottf200. Btw, how’s the GM-Volt forum? I hear there are complaints about a mod that is personally attacking posters. I wonder who that could be. Lol

Toyota and BMW (and the other manufacturers not even listed in your little chart) must playing the long credit game. They’ll be able to advertise the full $7,500 credit when Tesla/GM/Nissan have their credits completely sunsetted.

If Urban Dictionary has a definition for the idiom “pot calling the kettle black,” it should just be a link to the comment you just made.

Hey folks.
GM sold 1,014 Chevy Bolts in S. Korea and the competition between Bolt, Ioniq-EV and Kona-EV is heating up there.

Tesla wants to stay within 200,000 mark. I think Tesla may even sell like 5,000 units of Model-S/X combined and restrict Model-3 sales to around 600 – 800.

If GM sold more Bolts in USA in June than Model-3, don’t be surprised.
And the mainstream media will start bragging that Bolt has beaten Model-3 and will be crowned as the new Model-3 Killer.

“Way to drag GM into a Tesla post that doesn’t mention GM once, scottf200.”

His (single) comment is entirely on topic. Your own very frequent, usually multiple, and completely off-topic comments attacking Tesla… not so much.

Hard to say if GM has similar plans. They will have at least 1 quarter over Tesla.

If they continue to push deliveries internationally, it would be possible to push to Q1. However, I don’t think they would want to miss out on the year end sales boost.

It would be nice if both automakers would speak up about it to give buyers the chance to plan ahead! 🙂

Well GM has said they will do it this year, go over 200k. Of course they don’t sell as many Bolts so they could slow-poke them into the Fall.

According to this article from a relatively obscure, but often insightful, website.

Hah! What does this ‘WadeTyhon’ know?

Yes, GM said it expects to hit this year. I think it will do so in early Q4.

But it’s not impossible for them to delay further so was worth mentioning (since someone asked. 😉 )

“Hah! What does this ‘WadeTyhon’ know?”

About as much as you, I think. 😉

With GM facing the exact same sunset as Tesla, there is one big difference. EVs are a tiny percent of GM sales. They could stop EV sales for an entire quarter and it would have zero impact on their quarterly reports.

They just aren’t that heavily invested into EVs as Tesla, where the whole conpany depends on the success of their EV sales

While GM is certainly one of the few legacy automakers putting forth a major effort, it is still a small percentage of sales as you say. They would not be hurt financially by putting off sales. At this point GM hitting in Q4 (not Q3) is almost certain. Especially since this quarter Bolt/Ampera-e and Volt exports have increased over last year. I’m sure this is partly tax credit related but also due to increased demand abroad. (specifically the Volt in Canada and Bolt in South Korea) If Tesla ends up not delaying, I’ll be personally very disappointed. But if that’s what they need to do, I get it. I want Tesla to do what’s right for their long term financial health. If they can delay, that’s my preferred action for them to take. But if they can’t reasonably do so, I don’t want them to do it. Looking at reported VIN numbers and delivery dates… it is *very* close. Canada has done all it can for right now until AWD and SR models arrive. The rush died down over a week ago up north. This late in the quarter the only thing they could do is store them on lots.… Read more »

With all the preorders around the world there should be no reason for Tesla to stock pile Model 3s. Tesla could be turning those Model 3s into money by selling them overseas. Either the author of this article missed the signals or Tesla made yet another blunder tying up money in inventory.

That does bring up an interesting question, i.e when will they start mass deliveries overseas?Probably towards the end of Summer. Maybe you’ll see yours, if you live other than in NA, in September. I would think they first go to Mexico with deliveries before putting them on boats.

Tesla is shipping a lot of Model 3’s to Canada. Opening up other markets requires homologation and Tesla is looking to ship to those markets in the beginning of next year. That gives maximum production availability to the US market while the full tax credit is expiring.

It takes extra work to modify cars for compliance with foreign regs, start a full service and parts program, etc. It is not a good option for a short term fix to solve a problem that will only exist for a few weeks.

Canada on the other hand has treaties with the US to harmonize car regulations, and parts supply chain is in some places even shorter than the east coast.

They are not stockpiling, they are filling up their US pipeline as well as delivery to Canada.

You do realize most of Ts foreign markets are right hand drive, right?

No, they are not. In particular, China isn’t — only the Hong Kong segment of China is. And in Europe, the only significant right-hand-drive markets are the UK and Ireland. (No offense to Malta, but I don’t think that’s a significant market.)

I expect Elon will announce a very large delivery number of Model 3 for the first week of July. Independence week will forever mean independence from oil tyranny for automotive transportation.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

I love it! Last year Tesla announced their Q2 sales totals on July 7th, and included the number of vehicles in transit for Q3 delivery. Tesla could very well repeat that timing, with a July 6th announcement that will certainly include the number of cars in transit for Q3 delivery this year. I expect that number to be huge!


Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3”

Nice barn of cars! But all those extra characters in your post….. How can we ever deal with all those extra characters! LOL!

Bigly yuge.

Tesla delivery 4,237 3’s from July 1-17th,I expect that is what you were looking for “huge” numbers.


I think Tesla originally planned on selling the 200k’th BEV in the US early this quarter, around the first week of April. Then they ran into teething issues and it got pushed back but they still intended to sell it early this month. The delays continued though, and now they are looking at the possibility that they would end up selling the 200k’th car just 2 weeks before the end of the quarter if they kept to sales ramp up we were seeing this year. I think Elon and company looked at the sales numbers, looked at the revenue stream and made a really tough decision. But I am not sure which way they decided yet. Do they defer 200k til July 2nd or so, and defer some revenue, for a very short time, and then have a sales riot in July? Or did they decide to plow ahead and hit 200k sometime right around now. I really hope it is the former, not the latter, but both have good arguments in their favor. Getting an additional 3 full months of full credit, with absolutely no limit on how many buyers can receive the full credit is huge. Add to… Read more »

There are zero good arguments for hitting #200,000 in June.

Excellent argument #1: Stockpiling thousands of Model 3’s and then trying to deliver all of them in July, while at the same time still trying to ramp up production and delivery of non-stockpiled cars every month, could very well overload Tesla’s delivery system.

Excellent argument #2: Stockpiling thousands of cars rather than sellng them would put a significant dent in Tesla’s revenue for the quarter.

#1 – they need to test their delivery process at higher levels with a 2-3 week burst so they can fix any problems before running at that level continuously.

#2 – they WANT to shift revenue from Q2 into Q3. Musk promised profits in Q3 and every dollar helps.

Well, in a week or less we should have a pretty good idea of who is right on this subject, and who isn’t.

Stockpiling is expensive.
Extra logistics because of stockpiling is expensive.
Idle employees not delivering cars is expensive.
Over time for delivering June production in July beside regular July cars is expensive.
Cash tied up in inventory is expensive.

One way or the other, it is a tough call for Tesla.

Stockpiling for a week?

It would have had to have been a lot more than one week’s worth of production. Tesla would have had to shift something like 4000-5000 deliveries from June to July.

“Tesla’s efforts to delay the expiration of its U.S. tax credits could save customers more than $366 million.”
I would say 280 millions

Another way of saying that:
“Tesla’s efforts to delay the expiration of its U.S. tax credits could cost the Federal Government more than $366 million.”
After Elon’s less than stellar experience on Mr Trump’s economic activity forum, he just might want to use this to get back at the prez.

The money is already allocated. It is effectively already “spent.”

Very good article. Hugely good strategy, even better if actual.

Of course, the other way to look at is that it would cost US taxpayers $366 million. Lets be honest here, the people buying these cars are living very comfortably.

That’s not the point. That money doesn’t belong to the IRS, it belongs to the US taxpayer. When the EV credit is taken, it removes money from the Treasury and gives it back to the person who actually earned the money. I had this argument with Wilkow on air several weeks ago, although I was unsuccessful in convincing him as he really can’t stand Tesla.

The US Gov’t spends $4 Trillion (yes Trillion, with a T) of our dollars per year. It will simply have to figure out how to live without that $366 Million ( that’s roughly 1/100th of 1% of annual spending if I’m doing my math right).

I’m in favor of lowering everyone’s taxes, and shrinking the government. I’m not in favor of ANY subsidies. That said, if I had to have one for EV’s, it should only apply to vehicles in a certain dollar amount, Like from 20k to 35k. Someone buying a 100k Model S doesn’t need help with their purchase.

Then let me suggest a simple FIFO solution. End the first subsidies first (oil and gas), and end the last incentives last (EV). Let us know when the first step is complete, and we can start discussing the second step.

That will never happen lol fossil fuel mafia owns Trump and Congress

“When the EV credit is taken, it removes money from the Treasury and gives it back to the person who actually earned the money. ”
THANK YOU!!! Amazing how many don’t want to keep more of their own money.

I’m a quasi-socialist who believes Nordic-style redistributive taxation (among other policy) works best for the most people, but also agree that the Democrats saying the recent tax cuts are “giving” money to the rich is factually incorrect.

The problem i have with the tax cuts is that some of these big fat corporations actually have a lower rate than i do for much more income. F that!

What does the corporation do with the income? They send it to my pension fund as dividends. Why should my pension dividends be taxed before I get them and again after I get them?

“When the EV credit is taken, it removes money from the Treasury and gives it back to the person who actually earned the money.”
No it doesn’t. That money comes from all tax paying people.
I wouldn’t be against your first implemented/ first removed approach. But id rather we ditch ALL subsidies. Whether it’s oil & ev’s or milk & sugar. Let the product stand on its own 2 feet.

Given that the federal EV tax credit is strictly non-refundable, the buyer can only receive a credit that is equal or less than the actual money that he/she owed in taxes that year. So yes, it would be fair to say that the EV credit “gives money back to the person who actually earned it.”

Yeah, but he doesn’t know that and since the propaganda that he is reading into say otherwise than it must be not true. People like us can tell him how it works from own experience but hey, what do we know?

No you are not. $366 milion or rather million $400 for easy math is 4 x 10^8 and $4 trillion is 4 x 10^12 so the difference is 10^4 times or 10 000 times less or 0.01 %.

0.01% = 1/100 of 1%… exactly what he said.

Not all of them.
The problem with the rebate is not everyone qualifies. You need to meet a tax requirement, which I think is a really dumb requirement.
Make it available to everyone and available at POS.

Everyone can get the tax incentive by either leasing and having the lease company pass through all or most of the credit, or by buying used and having the credit get passed through to you from the first owner.

If you don’t have the income to qualify for the full credit, or at least a substantial amount of the credit, buying a brand new car may not be the best financial decision. The program would not have been successful if every day was a news story of some family losing their car because it got repo’ed. The program needed some sort of financial safety check-valve, while still allowing everyone to eventually benefit over time. The two pass-thru’s address that directly, and on top of that early adopters who can afford to pay more are paying a premium price for EV’s so that volume production brings down prices for everyone in the long run.

Exactly and well said Nix!

Oh yeah, and…


That’s true LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks for caring about our planet

Of course it’s been successful, after all it’s gotten us to the $78,000 Model 3, what’s not to like ?

One of many evs on the market…but if that’s the only one you want I understand.

Whether or not the tax credit is refundable has zero impact on a buyer’s ability to qualify for financing, and the financing is for the full purchase price (less down payment); the tax credit is not a qualifying factor. So stories of repossession due to overleverage are not relevant to the discussion, except (I suppose) in the opposite sense that you are implying: making the tax credit refundable would give more money to buyers and potentially prevent more repos.

If they are stockpiling, Nissan and GM should do the same thing. Game the fuk outta the system that rewards laggard manufacturers that don’t want to build EV’s!!!
The rebate was a good idea but execution was a typical politicians method, just dumb.



GM said it will have Bolt production increased in time for Q4. If they aren’t planning on stockpiling, then they’re at least planning on flooding the market.

Nissan still has plenty of time to prepare. Once they have the long range Leaf for sale in the US, I think they will move towards 200k at a faster rate.

I hope their attempts to lobby congress to extend the credit somehow pays off. But with all the political dysfunction it’s not very likely. 🙁

I hear you, Wade. But the problem is that GM would be lucky to find 30k people in the US that want to buy the Bolt in a single year. Tesla could sell 200k this year if they could deliver the base 3 at $37k.
What GM does now is background music, Tesla is the one that is making the news. I really like my Volt, but GM hasn’t built a car to love, they built cars that were almost good enough. Nissan is in an even worse position, in the US, than GM. The Leaf is just less than what is needed in several different ways.
We are nearly 8 years in from the first deliveries of the Volt and the Leaf. And there is only one car under $50k that is a really amazing BEV. And there are 400,000 people in front of me waiting to buy it.

To keep their sales with 200,000 limit, they should sell just
2,000 units of Model-S
2,000 units of Model-X
and probably around 1,500 – 1,800 units of Model-3 in USA.

So keep cool guys, don’t be shocked and lament at the lower volume of Model-3 sales on July-3.

This could mean July sales of Model 3 alone could reach close to 30k.

The 200,000th Tesla in USA will not be sold until July 1 or within a few days thereafter. This is certain and not worthy of an article that has now appeared here many times. If I am wrong the people running Tesla are incomprehensibly dumb which is implausible. Let’s just wait until to July before wasting any more energy on this.

“If I am wrong the people running Tesla are incomprehensibly dumb which is implausible.”

Or perhaps the motives of Tesla Inc. — and its stockholders — are rather different than yours. Note the question did not come up at all at the last Tesla stockholder meeting.

“But I think it is almost universal that everyone wants Tesla to delay until the 3rd quarter.” What a very strange comment! It doesn’t make any difference how many industry watchers or Tesla fans want this to happen. The only people whose wishes or wants matter here is the executives at Tesla Inc. And you will please note that there has not been one single hint from any Tesla spokesman that Tesla plans on slowing deliveries to put off passing the 200,000 milestone until the 3rd quarter. An objective assessment of the publicly available evidence that Tesla is continuing to expand its production and deliveries as fast as possible, which certainly indicates that 200,000 milestone will be passed this month. In fact, it may well have already been passed. The evidence that Tesla is actually tying to delay things until next month is also quite notable… in its failure to appear. At this very late date, it looks to me like any remaining belief that Tesla will delay things is nothing but wishful thinking. Let’s not forget that from Tesla’s viewpoint, they have already delayed passing the 200,000 milestone. If Tesla had managed to ramp up Model 3 production as… Read more »

A few quarters ago Musk said they would schedule US deliveries to maximize the credit. They have not mentioned it since as it’s bound to be a sensitive issue.

They have clearly delayed US deliveries, as this article shows. The evidence Is not conclusive re 200k, but it’s bizarre to say no evidence has appeared.

Perhaps the mounting quality control issues are causing too long a waiting list of customers waiting to get issues taken care of. Tesla has been letting cars go out the door with obvious defects, mostly cosmetic.

I got my reservation today to take delivery of our M3 on Sun. July 1. Assuming I’m not the only one, seems to fit the idea of holding off deliveries to maximize # of tax credits.

You FOOLS!! My friend checked a random sampling of all those parked parks and they are dummy models; NONE OF THEM HAVE AN ENGINE!!!!

5K a week average of 3 production, who writes this drivel, they barely managed 2K.