(905) 545-1188   

Tesla files suit against Ontario government over cancelled EV rebates

Posted: August 21, 2018

Because it doesn’t have a traditional franchise dealership model, Tesla Canada claims it is being treated unfairly

In a recent Notice of Application for Judicial Review, it appears that Tesla Motors Canada is suing the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation for discrimination in its recent cancelling of the (up to) $14,000 rebate offered to purchasers of electric vehicles and is asking specifically that the plan — more specifically an “exclusion decision” in the “transition plan” — be quashed.

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.” Since the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP) is funded by cap-and-trade revenue, incentives for the purchase of a new zero-emissions vehicles were cancelled as of July 11. As a sop to all those who had purchased an EV, the transition plan mentioned earlier allowed the incentives would be honoured up to September 10 for vehicle on order from a dealership, but they had to be delivered and registered by that date.

As has made headlines around the world, Tesla originally received deposits for more than 400,000 Model 3s, many bought by Ontario customers. 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. For those not au courante on Tesla business models, it has no franchised dealerships and owns all its outlets, therefore it contends that Model 3s already on the ground should not be excluded from the government’s transition plan. 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 other words, those Model 3 owners who might have taken delivery between July 11th and September 10th would not have received the same incentive as owners of competitive electric vehicles. Tesla calls this exclusion “arbitrary and targeted” and, for the first time in quite some time, Motor Mouth agrees with Tesla.