Suing for Incentives: Tesla Doesn't Like the Way Ontario's Treating It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
suing for incentives tesla doesnt like the way ontarios treating it

In June, Ontario — the place just over yonder from Detroit and Buffalo — switched governments for the first time in 15 years. As part of his planned overhaul of the province’s finances, newly minted leader Doug Ford announced the cancellation of an electric vehicle rebate program that handed up to $14,000 to buyers of green cars.

Hardly an appropriate use of taxpayers’ dollars in a place where the debt’s approaching a third of a trillion dollars, the government implied. Ford axed the rebate last month, with buyers allowed to accept the former perk until Sept. 10th. Sorry — almost all buyers.

As the Canadian Press reports, the subsidy extension applies to all buyers who ordered their vehicle through a dealership and expect to take delivery by Sept. 10th. However, because of Tesla’s direct sales method, it didn’t make the cut. The $14,000 government perk dangling in from of its Model 3 sedan vanished overnight, leaving competitors to reap some sort of an advantage, if only for a couple of months.

Tesla’s Canadian arm is not happy about this, as Ontario has plenty of wealthy, green people who like driving around downtown Toronto, Ottawa, etc, in electric vehicles. (One of them bought a Tesla last year, only to find out on a road trip that the Supercharger plug didn’t fit. Fun story.)

In its bid to even the playing field and ensure the government hands over dough to its buyers, Tesla filed a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court, seeking a judicial review. It’s unfair, says Tesla, that one company’s customers would be denied what other buyers enjoy, even if it is during a short transition period. The Ford government’s “arbitrary and entirely unreasonable” decision has already harmed the company financially, the automaker claims.

Model 3s only recently began appearing on Ontario roads, so there’s quite a backlog of buyers waiting for theirs to show up. Obviously, having the province hand over $14k for your car purchase sweetens the pot considerably, and Tesla says buyers expected that incentive to be in place when they take delivery. Both entities will have their day in court.

(Note: It seems Tesla’s weird feud with Ford now includes anyone named Ford.)

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Don1967 Don1967 on Aug 17, 2018

    Anyone know where I can get a MOGA hat?

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 18, 2018

      MOGA hat? That will be the drinking hat with the “buck a beer” cans attached to it ;)

  • Mikey Mikey on Aug 17, 2018

    Yes , the new government cancelled the carbon tax. Ottawa has a complete different agenda. We may find ourselves with a federally mandated carbon tax. With a federal election coming up we will see if the "Little Potato " has the gonads to shove the carbon tax down the throat of "vote rich " Ontario. Doug Ford for P.M.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.