2018 Tesla Model 3
Last week, we reported that the federal tax credits for electric-car buyers are about to expire.
Once any automaker sells 200,000 electric cars, the credits available to its buyers begin to wind down.
Since Tesla has been selling electric cars longer than any other automaker (at least since the credits were passed), and has sold more electric cars than others, it looks likely to be the first automaker whose tax credits will expire.
After selling the Chevy Volt since late 2011 and striking a popular note with the Bolt EV, General Motors won't be far behind.
As we wrote last week, once an automaker reaches 200,000 sales of plug-in cars, its buyers still qualify for tax credits for two more quarters. After that, buyers can claim half the amount for another six months, and 25 percent of the original credit for six months after that before the credits finally disappear entirely.
Based on third-party reports of its production claims, Tesla will probably cross the 200,000 threshold this month.
Effectively, this will raise prices for Teslas, so we thought we'd ask our Twitter followers whether that might affect their desire to buy one.
Specifically, we asked, "When Tesla's tax credits expire, which electric car would you buy?"
The poll proved one of our more popular ones in recent memory, with more than 475 responses.
When Tesla's federal tax credits expire, which electric car would you buy?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) June 4, 2018
A slight majority would be undeterred: Just over half of respondents said they would still buy a Tesla Model 3.
The rest of our respondents were fairly evenly divided, with a little under a fifth choosing a Chevy Bolt EV, the electric car with the next highest range and the next highest price after the Tesla Model 3.
A little over 10 percent said they would buy a Nissan Leaf, the original modern electric car, perhaps out of loyalty to the company that made an early commitment to electric cars, or perhaps wanting to stick with the tried and true. The latest Leaf has the third-highest rated range of any electric car on the market, at 151 miles.
Those who would choose something else were about equal with the number who would buy a Bolt EV. Perhaps they have their eye on a Hyundai Ioniq Electric, or are waiting for one of the Korean automakers' longer-range electric cars, the 238-mile Hyundai Kona EV due out later this year, or the 236-mile Kia Niro EV, which is also likely to go on sale as a 2019 model.
As always, remember that our Twitter poll results are not scientific and don't reflect the opinions of the public at large. Even with a sample size larger than most, we still don't have enough responses for our poll to be statistically valid especially since our respondents are self selected.