General Motors has reportedly reached the 200,000-vehicle cap that triggers the electric car tax credit’s sunset period, Reuters reported Wednesday.
GM had long suspected it would reach the cap in late 2018 or early 2019, but a source close to the matter told the publication GM has, indeed, reached the limit. When the automaker makes the news official, it will mean the $7,500 electric car tax credit will decrease to $3,750 come April 2019 since GM reached the threshold in the fourth quarter of 2018. After April, the $3,750 will stick around until it drops again to $1,875 in October 2019. The credit will disappear entirely come April 2020.
The 200,000-vehicle limit covers all qualifying vehicles GM sold since 2010 after Congress in 2009 set the sunset period at the 200,000 car figure.
GM becomes the second automaker to trigger the phase-out period in the industry. Tesla was the first in 2018 and will see its tax credit fall to $3,750 this month. Qualifying GM vehicles for the full $7,500 tax credit include the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Bolt EV. GM plans to end production of the Volt by mid-2019.
The end of the tax credit for GM will put it at a disadvantage as more automakers begin to roll out their own electric vehicles and competition will largely come from foreign automakers. While rivals can tout a $7,500 discount for buyers on their tax return, GM will eventually need to sell their cars at full price or absorb more losses.
Three proposals have made their way to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to either end or extend the tax credits. Their fate remains unknown as the House flips to Democratic control while Republicans hold the Senate. CEO Mary Barra has called for Congress to extend the tax credits while the automaker she oversees joins forces with Tesla and Nissan to lobby lawmakers with the shared goal in mind.