Rivian, Lucid, And BMW Are Rushing To Beat Congress's New EV Regs

Electric Vehicles / 1 Comment

Luxury EV brands are doing everything they can to earn customers $7,500 in tax rebates.

In case you hadn't heard, Congress has turned EV buying upside down. Due to several factors we won't get fully into here (instead, you can find that info here), the $7,500 EV tax credit now applies to a much narrower range of cars and situations, and luxury autos like the Rivian R1T and Lucid Air are on the out.

We've previously discussed what Rivian is doing to circumvent the process, grandfathering in some of its customers by having them sign a binding contract. That way, its customers qualify for the old tax credit without being disqualified under the new rules, which consider factors like the car's MSRP and the applicant's income. Now, Lucid and BMW are looking into similar solutions.

2022 Rivian R1T Truck Frontal Aspect Rivian 2022 Rivian R1T Truck Rear Angle View Rivian
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Frontal Aspect
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Rear Angle View

Per Automotive News, Rivian said in a statement that "Buyers who have a 'written binding contract' to purchase a qualified EV before the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law will be able to apply under the current IRC 30D tax requirements." IRC 30D is the technical name for the EV tax credit.

As of last week, Lucid issued a statement saying that it was "exploring opportunities to invite reservation holders to confirm their orders now in order to keep eligibility for current incentives." AN reports that some Lucid customers have posted their Rivian-esque Lucid contracts online for others to see.

As of now, there are tens of thousands of customers for both brands who are waiting to try and lock in their tax rebates. Rivian on its own has roughly 98,000 pre-orders and has previously said it will only produce 25,000 vehicles this year.

2022 Rivian R1S SUV Front Angle View Rivian Rivian
2022 Rivian R1S SUV Front Angle View

Lucid, on the other hand, has said it will build around 6-7,000 cars this year with reservations totaling in the neighborhood of 37,000. Unfortunately, there's some confusion around buyers will be able to lock in their tax incentives. Some say it will be the instant Biden's pen touches the bill, others say it will end by the time this year is out.

That said, the law's text offers some clarification, stating that "before the date of enactment of this Act," a taxpayer that bought or entered into a contract to buy a new and qualified plug-in "electric drive motor vehicle" would qualify. Hence all of the rushing about to get those contracts signed by both Rivian and Lucid. Currently, only 12 EVs qualify under the new regs, and we expect we'll continue to see agreements like this for those that won't qualify for the new cash incentives.

Lucid Motors 2021-2022 Lucid Air Forward Vision Lucid
2021-2022 Lucid Air Forward Vision

BMW, meanwhile, is also trying to get customers to sign purchase agreements ASAP. In a letter issued to BMW dealers from the CEO of BMW North America, Sebastian Mackensen, is urging dealers to "work with your customers to convert vehicle orders into binding sales as quickly as possible."

In his letter, he outlines similar statements to Rivian and Lucid, expounding further by saying, "We are working to understand the details of what constitutes a "written binding contract to purchase" and what is required to ensure that customers can qualify."

According to Mackensen, "This issue has moved through Congress at an unprecedented pace, and we can expect further detailing of the rules going forwards." He says that BMW "will provide regular updates on progress and implications for our mutual business."

2022-2023 BMW i4 Front Angle View BMW 2022-2023 BMW i4 Rear Angle View BMW CarBuzz
2022-2023 BMW i4 Front Angle View
2022-2023 BMW i4 Rear Angle View

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