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Want a Tesla? Buy it before the $7,500 tax credit cuts in half.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk will be the first to remind you that time is running out if you want a federal tax credit on a new Tesla vehicle.

After Dec. 31, a $7,500 tax credit on Tesla’s all-electric vehicles will start shrinking. Next year, Tesla buyers can still apply for a tax credit, but it will only be half of the $7,500 awarded this year. The credit drops to again to $1,875 in the second half of 2019.

Tesla reached the threshold of 200,000 electric vehicles sold in July, which triggered the phase-out period of the tax credit. All Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles delivered before Dec. 31 will receive the original tax incentive. Other electric car companies will continue to offer the full tax credit into 2019 until they hit the cap.

With the deadline looming, Musk is in full salesman mode tweeting about potential savings from the tax credit along with local savings and his usual pitch about how cost efficient a Tesla or any electric vehicle is with no oil changes, smog checks, and other maintenance costs to worry about. 

This doesn’t change the price of the cheapest Model 3, which starts at $45,000. But with Musk’s math, an electric car purchase can quickly add up in savings.

Plus Musk offered a pre-Christmas bonus with a promise to “cover the tax credit difference” for anyone who was supposed to get a car delivered by the end of December, but through no fault of their own missed the date. 

How Tesla will cover that $3,750 difference for late deliveries is unclear, but if Tesla gets back to us with more details, we’ll update this story.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing an expensive new vehicle, just ask yourself: Can your boring, gas-dependent car fart on command? Didn’t think so.

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