By on October 27, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

It looks like General Motors won’t enjoy its tax incentive advantage over Tesla for all that long. The maker of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volt plug-in hybrid (“extended-range EV,” in GM parlance) told Green Car Reports it will pass the 200,000-unit green vehicle threshold this quarter, meaning a halved federal tax credit for those vehicles starting in April of next year.

No longer will the base Bolt sticker for under $30,000 after factoring in the $7,500 credit.

Tesla surpassed the 200,000-vehicle marker in July, with its full-sized federal incentives due for a chop on January 1st. Starting two quarters after the quarter in which an automaker passes the mark, green vehicle buyers can only apply for 50 percent of the full credit. Two quarters after that, the credit is halved again, disappearing two quarters after that point.

For the Bolt, which starts at $37,495 (including destination) in LT guise, the available federal incentive drops to $3,750 on April 1st, then $1,875 starting in October. Both the Bolt and the long-legged Volt qualify for the largest incentive. The 2019 Volt, which boasts a faster charging time, stickers for $33,520 before destination.

Interestingly, buyers of a base Tesla Model 3 outfitted with the “standard” battery — a long-awaited vehicle costing $35,000 that won’t see deliveries until early next year — lose out on the maximum credit.

As Tesla and GM buyers prepare to pay more (dealers might offer their own incentives, of course), Nissan’s sitting pretty. Due to a lack of PHEVs in the Nissan lineup, the brand’s revamped-for-2018 Leaf stands to qualify for the full tax credit for some time. Estimates put the number of qualifying green vehicles sold under the Nissan brand at 125,000.

This factor, combined with the Leaf’s low entry price, could see the vehicle become more appealing to cash-strapped greenies in the coming year. A long-range Leaf variant is expected to show its face in 2019.

[Image: General Motors]

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21 Comments on “Pricier Chevrolet Bolt, Volt Loom as GM Nears Tax Credit Threshold...”


  • avatar
    Asdf

    The tax credit is an utter disgrace, and never should have been introduced in the first place.

    • 0 avatar

      100% agree. the government must stay the hell out of our business.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogey74

      I disagree. It has been a small expense for governments in the US and elsewhere compared to other programs in which they distort markets to encourage desired outcomes. Unfettered liberal capitalism is obviously preferable but we’re well past the point when that is possible. There are too many people too crowded together with too many essential outcomes needed.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        The free market is much better at determining “desired outcomes.”

        If you want an electric car, fine. Buy it with your own money!

        Further, Iowa is not crowded, yet the Federsal tax credit applied there.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          And furthermore, even if you want to “support” EVs, doing so in a manner that causes all manners of weird, temporary and artificial cost discrepancies between cars, are about as poor a way to do it as imaginable. Suddenly, because car A is “better” than B, hence sells faster, you end up promoting the worst choice over it….

          It’s so dumb only governments, and their always cheering apologists, could support it.

          If burning gas causes negative externalities, charge for them directly. Not by way of lobbyist designed Rube Goldberg laws.

    • 0 avatar
      Buckles

      I recommend you read about oil subsidies. Then read about how earth’s atmosphere formed, and how life evolved. Then maybe look up definition of “sustainable”. While you’re at it, please read about the “tragedy of the commons”. You might also read some general biology, chemistry, and physics. Oh, and read about math – just the simple stuff, like addition and subtraction, maybe multiplication too. Then read about F150 sales, Jeep sales, Suburban sales, etc. Then consider that just one of these vehicles driven 100,000 miles will burn > 25,000 lbs of fuel (conservative estimate). Even a prius will burn > 10,000 lbs. Oh, and please read about mobile source air pollution and health outcomes. I realize EVs are not sustainable, but they might buy us some time? Think about your kids, if you have any. Otherwise, I’m just asking folks to read, that’s all. Feel free to counter with reading suggestions of your own. Except I’m trying to read less. It’s really not good for you.

  • avatar
    Hogey74

    The program has done it’s job. It’s helped stimulate something we needed to give a kick along. It helped Telsa to become serious and even if they fail tomorrow they’ve forced significant change from all the incumbents. The missing link is easy and prevalent solar charging of these EVs. I’m still planning to buy at least one V8 before they’re gone :-).

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      The tax credits have created an artificial, unsustainable market for noncompetitive BEV vehicles, allowing BEV makers like Tesla to become complacent and for technological development to stagnate as a result. Case in point – even in 2018, it takes A LOT longer to charge a BEV than to fill a fuel tank! BEV advocates should therefore be happy about the tax credits being withdrawn, because it will force BEV automakers to build cars that are competitive with ICE-powered vehicles in order to survive, instead of building the compliance BEVs we have today, which would have been laughed out of the market if it weren’t for the tax credits and the brainwashed greenies thinking stupid thoughts (like how they parrot the moronic line that charging times aren’t a problem because BEVs can be charged at night – as if that in any way affects charging times).

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Since the credits are drying up, clearly the solution is a national zero emission vehicle strategy to force everyone to keep paying for this garbage.

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/10/going-coastal-gm-calls-for-nationwide-zero-emission-vehicle-strategy/

  • avatar
    TimK

    Tell me about absurd energy subsidies. I pay roughly $4 a month on my electric bill so my neighbor can virtue-signal about her new rooftop solar panels. She could have realized most of the benefits by switching to LED lighting and getting a more efficient HVAC unit, but no, she uses her 1200W (with a 20-year breakeven) to run her ancient lights and A/C.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Or she could do both. And so could you. Are we really so petty at this point that we whine about a $4 charge and second-guess our own neighbors’ every decision just because we haven’t made that same decision…yet?

  • avatar
    blockmachining

    The craziest subsidize I’ve ever personally seen is where our government pays a farmer $243 an acre per year to let weeds grow in their fields so that pheasants have a place to roost! This practice costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year. My Brother has his farm in this program. Luckily, President Trump has put an end to this program. My Brother’s contract runs out in 2023 and it will not be renewed. It’s called the CREP program. On another front, I have solar panels that provide electricity for our farm and home. I recently bought a Chevy Bolt and the panels now provide fuel for my car. No more gasoline for me! Its a wonderful feeling. Our van was costing us about 11.5 cents per mile in fuel and the bolt costs about 0.85 cents (if we had to purchase the electricity) per mile. Yes, less than a penny per mile! The solar panels have become so far the best purchase I’ve made in my lifetime. The Bolt may turn out to be the second best. I personally hope we can some day get away from buying any type of fuel from other countries and be power independent.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      CREP targets environmentally sensitive (higher erosion risk, etc.)
      Weeds for pheasants is one heck of a biased generalization.

      Your post is great example of why tax credits are bad news.
      You advocate solar panels and electric cars and dislike CREP program. Citizen Smith living across the country advocates natural gas power generation and vehicles. Tax credits for everyone!

      Let your wallet dictate the market. When government must be involved let it be through the minimum amount of regulation required and at state and local level whenever possible.

      End the tax credit for electric vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        blockmachining

        That description of the CREP program is very broad. In real life, it took farmland that had previously been producing soybeans, corn, tobacco (which I’m glad is no longer grown) and pasture for cattle and turned it into a total mess with thorn trees, thristles and just about every other weed you could name. Guess how our government justifies the erosion prevention. It was because this farm had two ponds on it! My farm had ponds on it and it qualified for the program. I just decided against joining. It is still the most wasteful government program that this American has experienced first hand.

        • 0 avatar
          cognoscenti

          blockmachining, as someone closer to the issue I’d like to hear your opinion of corn subsidies and ethanol versus food-grade corn production in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            blockmachining

            Thank you for asking. Unfortunately, corn subsidies are required due to the global production of corn from other countries where their production costs are way lower than ours. I hate that but without the subsidies, American corn production would result in many bankrupt farmers. On the ethanol production… which was supposed to help farmers and raise the price of corn due to increased demand….I don’t think this strategy has worked out. Here in Kentucky, I’m seeing more and more stations selling ethanol free fuel than ever before. I feel consumers are fed up with the damage that is done to the fuel systems of their equipment and vehicles. I know I am. I’ve got two 400 gallon fuel tanks for ethanol free unleaded fuel. What’s a shame, and I’m pretty certain you were sorta getting around to this point… eliminate ethanol free fuel and demand for corn goes down thereby pushing the price for corn down which them supports the need for subsidies even more. In the end, it’s a vicious cycle with no clear way out. I’m almost afraid to suggest this, but maybe we should just let the laws of supply and demand set the price and go from there. Brazil is killing us with the huge amount of corn they produce. They have so much corn that they can’t store it all and it often just lays on the ground just outside of the full silos.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The comments section is a rich vein of insight for any other topic on TTAC, but when the topic is EVs, it’s a soup of irrelevant political posturing. Jiminy Christmas, friends. We don’t have a free market, we’ve never had a free market, we’ll never have a free market, and regardless of what fantasies about it you hold, you wouldn’t like it if we did. (May I refer you to Somalia.) If that’s the only argument you can come up with against EV policy, get over yourself. (Feel free to hand your mortgage interest tax deduction savings back to Uncle Sam for ideological consistency while you’re at it.)

  • avatar

    Why is the older Volt outselling the Bolt by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. Could the reason be is that the Bolt has only has 20% US content? I guess patriotism still influences customers buying choices.

  • avatar
    Alpina

    As far as tax credits go, why can I fully deduct a vehicle over 6000 lbs in year one. A certain encouragement to buy big. It’s not just EV that gets a tax advantage.


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