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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Ordered - Tax Credit Race Condition

On June 26th, 2018, Tesla opened up my ability to order a Dual Motor Model 3; and that's exactly what I did.

We ordered a blue, long range, premium interior, with Enhanced AutoPilot. We passed on the Performance option, wheel/tire upgrades, and we passed on the Full Self-Driving option. I'll explain my reasoning below. If I regret passing on the wheels or the self-driving, we can upgrade these later.

Below, I'll walk through the screenshots of the order process; but first, let's talk about the US Federal EV Tax Incentive. The incentive is reduced 3 to 6 months after a manufacturer sells 200,000 cars in the US. If my estimations are correct, then Tesla will deliver their 200,000th US car in early July, just a couple of weeks from now. This would result in the full $7500 incentive lasting through the end of the year. So, if you are in the US and want the full incentive, you need to take delivery (not just place the order) this year.

Race Condition (not the kind you find at the track)

In addition to waiting for dual motor, I had been considering waiting for the cream interior option too.  However, Tesla currently says the dual motor delivery estimate is "~3 to 5 months" and there is no sign that other interior colors (other than black and white) will be added soon. With a June 26th order date, 5 months later is November 26th. That is cutting it close to the end of the year. It does say "3 to 5", so it could be as short as 3 months, but the scariest part of that "~3 to 5 months" quote is the little squiggly character in the front. It is called tilde and, in this use, it means "about" or "approximately". This gives Tesla some wiggle room to push the delivery date around as warranted by production or force majeure.

This creates a race condition between the reduction of the incentive on January 1st, 2019 and the delivery of the car. In computer science, you generally do things in series, one after the other, in the order you want them done. Instead, if you execute tasks in parallel, then you include some sort of barrier to guarantee that all the needed tasks are complete before going on to other work that may depend on the results of these parallel tasks. When you have a bug in your code where things did not occur in the order that you expected, it could be because you have a race condition. In this case, for the car, I want the order of events to be 1) Delivery 2) New Year's Day 2019. However, there's nothing that I can do to enforce this order of events, so it's a race condition. If the events happen out of order, I'll receive half (or less) of the tax incentive.

Order Process

Here are the screenshots and my rationale. Your choices may be different, but consider this food for thought; and if you disagree with my selections, leave me a comment. If you're persuasive, I may change my order.


Select Your Car: three options
1) Long Range: Rear Wheel Drive
2) Long Range: Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive
3) Long Range: Dual Motor Performance

All-wheel drive will make it surefooted and for our needs, the dual motor car will have more than enough performance.

Select your color: Black, grey, silver, red, white, or blue.

Select your wheels. We stayed with the standard 18" aero wheels. These have better range than the 19" wheels and if you don't like the look of the aero cover, you can pop it off and the wheels underneath are not bad looking. For me, the aeros look better in person, than they do in photos, especially when the car is in motion.


Interior: There is only one option. The white seats are only available with the performance vehicle and the cream will not likely be available until next year. I'd rather have a car with black seats this year, than a car with cream seats next year.

Besides increasing my odds of getting the full tax credit, the other advantage I get by ordering now is the free Premium Communications package. The note on the right side of the screen above says that vehicles ordered before July 1st have this included.


Autopilot: We have enhanced AutoPilot V1 in our Model X and I love it. I use it nearly everytime I drive. Given this statement, you might think that I'd select Full Self-Driving. I do think the technology will be there within the next 5 years. But I am not as confident about the legislation needed to make it legal to use it. Given this uncertainty, I'll keep the $3,000 invested. Buying self-driving later will cost me $5000 instead of only $3000, but by the time I'm ready to buy it, perhaps my investments will have turned that $3000 into $6000.


There is the final price: $60,000 even with destination fee. I plan to pay cash. We've been saving for years for this and I don't like to pay interest on depreciating assets. I will, however, check around. If I can find an interest rate that is less than 1%, then I'll consider taking out a loan.