Tesla Cybertruck: Tax Rebates
The Tesla Cybertruck is hands-down the EV that has generated the most buzz in 2023. From its futuristic looks to its impressive performance and cutting-edge tech, the stainless-steel pickup truck has been getting all kinds of headlines. Some of those headlines have been negative, as the Cybertruck is a lot more expensive than originally promised. But some relief for potential Cybertruck buyers may be coming: two versions are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax rebate – at least for now.
The U.S. Department of Energy fuel economy website, which maintains a list of vehicles eligible for the rebate, now lists two versions of the Cybertruck – the all-wheel drive variant and the range-topping "Cyberbeast” as eligible for the $7,500 rebate, which requires vehicles to be built in North America, as well as meet requirements around the sourcing of battery components and minerals. Built at Tesla’s new “Gigafactory” in Texas, the all-wheel drive and Cyberbeast qualify on both counts, but it’s not clear whether the entry-level rear-wheel drive version will qualify; so far, it has not been listed.
Which Tesla Cybertruck Models are Eligible?
What’s interesting about the federal rebate is that it stipulates a starting MSRP of under $80,000 for trucks and SUVs to qualify for the credit – yet Tesla lists the three-motor Cyberbeast as having a starting MSRP of $99,990 before taxes and fees. On the other hand, the all-wheel drive version has a starting MSRP of $79,990, and the rear-wheel drive model $60,990. That model is also built in Texas, but Tesla has said that deliveries of the rear-wheel drive Cybertruck won’t start until 2025. So it’s likely to not show up on the tax-credit lists until then.
Of course, the requirements around tax incentive eligibility are changing in 2024. Starting next year, batteries in eligible EVs cannot contain minerals and components from “foreign entities of concern” (FEOC). That means if battery parts come from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, the batteries are ineligible for the incentive. It’s unclear whether the Cybertruck versions listed on the Department of Energy site will qualify next year. So the benefit may only be available to the very limited number of Cybertruck owners who will take delivery before the end of 2023.
Tesla Cybertruck: Features and Capability
Regardless, if you get along with the way it looks, the Cybetruck offers a compelling list of features for a starting MSRP that puts it right in the middle of the increasingly competitive EV pickup truck market. On a smaller footprint than the Ford F-150 Lightning or Chevrolet Silverado EV, it packs in a spacious cabin, six-foot bed, and a spacious front trunk as well as:
- 11,000-pound towing capacity for all-wheel drive and Cyberbeast models (7,500 pounds for rear-wheel drive)
- 2,500-pound payload
- 67 cubic feet of lockable storage
- Standard self-levelling air suspension with variable ride height for better off-road performance and on-road fuel economy
- Four-wheel steering for a right turning circle
- 17-inch touchscreen interface
Tesla has only just started delivering its first Cybertruck models to customers and has cautioned its million-plus deposit holders that it will take a while to ramp production up to full capacity due to the new technology in its stainless-steel body construction. Full capacity may only be 250,000 vehicles a year, says Tesla, meaning some Cybertruck deposit holders are in for a bit of a wait. Should the Cybertruck models remain eligible for the tax credit, the financial benefit should make the wait a little more palatable.