Tesla sues Ontario for pulling plug on electric vehicle rebates

Mae Love
August 19, 2018

U.S. electric automaker Tesla has sued the government of Ontario, Canada, after the province scrapped a rebate initiative for purchases of electric cars, Canadian media reported Thursday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford canceled the rebate program on July 11th, shortly after the government scrapped the cap-and-trade program that funded the incentives.

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 July, the government said the incentives would be honoured for vehicles ordered through a dealership if they are delivered and registered by September 10, but Tesla sells vehicles directly to customers rather than through a dealership.

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The Ontario government didn't immediately return a request for comment, but it also declined to comment to Reuters because the issue is already before the court.

Toronto teacher Kurtis Evans said he was planning to sell his current vehicle - and was counting on receiving the maximum rebate of 14,000 Canadian dollars ($10,068) to be able to afford the Tesla he ordered in June for 71,000 Canadian dollars ($60,000). A spokeswoman for Tesla affirmed the claim on Thursday yet would not comment further. Tesla said that the Ministry of Transportation excluded the electric auto maker from its transition plan after it ended the rebate program. Tesla received one of those letters, it said in the application, but then received a notice that the sender "attempted to "recall" it".

It claims that Tesla was singled out and that purchasers of other brands will still get rebates during a transition period.

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

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