Tesla’s price shift for its Model Y SUV have raised questions about the company’s strategy in the electric vehicle market. While the higher price threshold gives Tesla more latitude to raise prices, the recent price cut drew backlash from customers and pressured competitors. The Treasury Department’s rules and the Inflation Reduction Act are significant changes to the government’s electric-vehicle incentive program and other measures to spur EV adoption.
esla Inc. has raised prices for its Model Y SUV in the US. The base price for the long-range version is $54,990, which is $2,000 higher than mid-January after the company lowered prices. The performance version of the SUV is priced at $57,990, which is $1,000 higher than the January low. The Biden administration recently modified rules to expand the population of electric vehicles that qualify for a $7,500 consumer tax credit, including the Model Y.
Tesla cut prices across its vehicle lineup last month to ensure that more of its models cost less than the $55,000 threshold to qualify for the federal subsidy. Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn said the cuts aimed to help with this. It’s unclear whether Tesla adjusted prices in response to the recent rule change, as the company did not respond to a request for comment. The higher price threshold effectively gives Tesla more latitude to raise prices, since the Model Y, its top-selling vehicle, is now comfortably below the $80,000 cap.
Tesla’s price cut pressured competitors and drew a backlash from customers who had bought vehicles before the reduction. A few weeks after Tesla’s reductions, Ford cut prices on its Mustang Mach-E SUV, a direct Model Y rival. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had criticized the initial eligibility rules and urged customers to comment on it directly to the government.
The Treasury Department has been crafting rules to implement pieces of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed last year and includes significant changes to the government’s electric-vehicle incentive program and other measures to spur EV adoption.