Anyone thinking about buying an electric car has just hours left to take advantage of a big federal tax credit, and Tesla said it was keeping some of its Bay Area dealerships open until midnight for those last-minute shoppers.
Among the larger than usual crowds inside Santana Row’s Tesla showroom, Megha Manoher and her husband of Saratoga closed a deal, even though they settled for a different color.
"I couldn’t get my favorite color, so we had to negotiate down to a color we didn’t like because we wanted to get the rebate," Manoher said.
The $7,500 federal tax credit is good for any all-electric car such as a Tesla or Nissan Leaf, until midnight.
"They start to have the credit of $7,500 reduced by half, and then after six months, it goes down half again; six months after that, it’s gone," said professor Annette Nellen of the San Jose State University School of Business.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that many dealerships will stay open until the last minute. Among those, besides Santana Row, are showrooms in Burlingame, Fremont and Dublin.
Tesla is losing the tax credit first because it’s the first carmaker to sell 200,000 plug-in cars. But Nissan and General Motors may have just crossed that threshold as well.
"We know that the rebate ends today, so, yeah, that’s an incentive to buy today," Manoher said.