Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Tesla sues Ontario government over vehicle rebate program

Tesla sues Ontario government over vehicle rebate program

Electric auto maker Tesla Motors Canada ULC is suing the Ontario government, claiming it has been treated unfairly in the government's decision to cancel an electric vehicle rebate.

But, according to Tesla, the MTO specified that "vehicles that have been orders directly from an original equipment manufacturer [as the government of Ontatio considers Tesla_ed.] but which have not been delivered, registered and plated on or before July 11, 2018 are not eligible for n EHVIP incentive".

In court documents cited by Canadian media, Tesla slammed the "arbitrary" exclusion.

The government of Canada made provisions for individuals who had just purchased or requested cars yet organized the progress program so as to prohibit Tesla, which does not use the franchised dealerships - a "arbitrary" rejection, Tesla claimed in the court file.

A spokeswoman for Ontario's Ministry of Transportation said the territory knew about the application for judicial review filed by Tesla Canada, yet declined to comment as the issue is under the watchful eye of the court.

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Purchasers were able to garner as much as CAN$14,000 (US$10,636) toward the purchase, but newly elected Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative Party killed the plan in July.

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

And herein lies Tesla's problem as it sells vehicles directly to customers and not through a dealership as has always been its norm.

NDP economic development critic MPP Catherine Fife said in an email that Ford's "reckless decision" to cancel Ontario's cap and trade program and thus remove the funding for the electric vehicle rebates has had a negative impact on the province.

According to data compiled by FleetCarma, 7,477 battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were sold in Ontario a year ago, up 120 per cent from 2016 when increased rebates were implemented. By December, electric vehicles accounted for 1.4 per cent of all sales.

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