Tesla Canada Sues Province of Ontario for Abruptly Cancelling EV Incentive Program

Tesla Inc. and SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks at a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Fla. Feb. 6 2018. The Canadian arm of Tesla Inc. is taking the Ontario government to court claiming it has been treated unfairly in

Tesla is taking the Ontario government to court over a unique exception in its EV-rebate cancellation that the electric automaker believes discriminates against its way of selling cars.

As has been reported here, the newly-elected Conservative provincial government cancelled Ontario cap-and-trade program in a quest to fulfill premier Doug Ford's promise to reduce the price of gasoline by as much as 10 cents a litre and with it, "all programs funded out of cap-and-trade carbon tax revenues".

The incentive, which was first introduced by Ontario's former Liberal government, promised rebates of up to $14,000 CAD (or $10,650) on eligible green cars worth up to $75,000 CAD ($57,000 in US bucks). It claims that Tesla was singled out and that purchasers of other brands will still get rebates during a transition period.

Tesla called the decision "unreasonable and unlawful" and said that "it has created the impression that Tesla Canada and its customers will not be treated equally under the law".

None of Tesla's claims has been proven in court.

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The problem, says the application, is that the Ontario government sees Tesla Canada as a subsidiary of the company's manufacturing arm whereas the company itself contends that Tesla Canada is nothing more than a dealership network.

It said buyers would still be eligible for the incentive on purchases of cars already on dealer lots, or on vehicles ordered by third-party dealers before July 11 so long as the consumer takes delivery by September 10.

The incentives allowed residents to receive rebates of up to about CA$14,000 (about US$11,000) on the purchase of an electric or hydrogen vehicle.

He added Tesla has agreed to provide a refund of the deposit. By December, electric vehicles accounted for 1.4 per cent of all sales.

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