Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that the electric automaker had “acquired trucking capacity,” a move aimed to boost deliveries of its Model 3 vehicles before the federal tax credit begins to wind down December 31.
Musk at first didn’t explain what “acquired trucking capacity” meant. The company hasn’t posted any regulatory filings of an acquisition and Tesla has yet to respond to TechCrunch’s inquiry on the matter.
Musk later tweeted that Tesla had both purchased trucking companies and secured contracts with major haulers to “avoid trucking shortage mistakes of last quarter.”
It’s imperative that Tesla squeeze as many sales as it can before the end of the year. The federal electric vehicle tax credit gives consumers a $7,500 credit when they buy an all-electric vehicle. Once an automaker has sold 200,000 electric vehicles, the credit begins to wind down.
Earlier this year, Tesla delivered its 200,000th electric vehicle. The achievement activated a countdown for the $7,500 federal tax credit offered to consumers who buy new electric vehicles. Under these rules, Tesla customers must take delivery of their new Model S, Model X or Model 3 by December 31 to get the full credit.
“Take delivery” is the key term here. A failure to meet the delivery timeline could create a backlash among customers who make those last-minute purchases in hopes of securing the federal tax credit.
And deliveries have been a challenge for the company as it’s ramped up production of its Model 3 vehicle. Delivery logistics was the primary pinch point for the company in the third quarter. Customers reported delays and confusion over how to pick up their new Model 3s. Hundreds of Tesla owners ended up heading down to various Tesla showrooms where Model 3s were being handed over to customers in an effort to help the company meet its goal.
Several sources within the trucking industry speculated that Tesla likely purchased one or more smaller trucking companies, particularly ones that the company has done business with before.