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GM hits EV sales cap, incentives drop to $3,750 in April 2019, report says

The incentives will disappear completely in April 2020.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

When Tesla announced that it hit 200,000 sales and would thus begin its federal tax incentive wind-down, it was believed that General Motors wouldn't be very far behind. As it turns out, GM wasn't far behind Tesla at all.

General Motors has reached 200,000 electric-vehicle sales, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the matter. The federal tax credit phase-out will begin in April 2019, when it will fall from $7,500 to $3,750. It will be halved again this coming October, and GM's federal incentive will cease to exist in April 2020.

It's worth noting that this incentive isn't a reduction of the window sticker's price. Instead, it's a dollar-for-dollar reduction of a person's federal tax liability. If a new EV owner didn't pay $7,500 in federal taxes the year they claim the incentive, then the incentive's full benefits won't be recognized.

Once the Volt disappears as part of GM's restructuring, the Bolt EV will be the only Chevy that qualifies for the federal tax incentive.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

GM declined to comment to both Roadshow and Reuters because its quarterly sales figures will be released on Thursday.

The incentive was created in the first place to offset the higher cost of electric vehicles compared to gas-powered cars. Tesla's federal incentive dropped to $3,750 for vehicles delivered after Jan. 1, and it attempted to balance that incentive reduction by dropping the prices of its three models by $2,000. It's unclear if GM has something similar planned. The Bolt EV starts at $37,495 including destination, with its higher Premier trim commanding $41,895.

GM announced in late November that it was doubling its spending on electric vehicles and autonomy over the next two years. However, that investment comes at a cost -- in that same announcement, GM said it would idle several manufacturing plants, reduce salaried staff and cancel several passenger cars (including the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Volt) as consumer tastes have pushed the industry toward crossovers, trucks and SUVs.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV: See why we still love it.

2019 Cadillac CT6: It was just refreshed, and they're still killing it. Oops.