Tesla Buyers Reach Back Into the Public Purse After Court Ruling

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tesla buyers reach back into the public purse after court ruling

We told you earlier this month that Tesla’s Canadian arm was suing the Ontario government for access to big rebates for some of its vehicles. For years, Ontario, located north of Erie, Pennsylvania, handed out up to $14,000 in taxpayer cash to electric vehicle buyers, part of its effort to support green living.

Over the years, the ceiling of eligible MSRPs varied — from unlimited, to $75k, to $150k, and back to $75k, shortly before the ousting of the previous government in this June’s election. This writer made his feelings on lofty EV subsidies quite clear.

While the cancellation of the province’s Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP) came with a grace period for buyers awaiting delivery that runs out on September 10th, it didn’t include Tesla buyers. Thanks to the automaker’s lawsuit, Tesla buyers can now grab back that $14,000.

According to a CBC report, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sided with Tesla after declaring the government’s reasoning shaky. Ontario stated in early July that only vehicles purchased from a traditional dealer would get the grace period, whereas direct sales would end immediately.

Tesla’s Canadian branch said the decision inflicted “substantial harm,” with many would-be customers cancelling their orders after learning they wouldn’t be eligible for the rebate. The brand was “deliberately and arbitrarily” targeted, it said.

“We’re pleased with the Court’s decision to strike down the [Ontario government’s] transition plan as unfair and unlawful,” a Tesla representative told CBC. Tesla Canada argued that, as an Ontario-licensed dealer, it is just as eligible for the rebate as GM or Nissan.

In the court’s decision, Justice Frederick L. Myers wrote, “The [Government of Ontario’s] asserted rationale for limiting the transition program to franchised dealerships is laden with factual assumptions that were susceptible to being proved or disproved with evidence.”

This might not be the final word on the issue. Through a spokesperson, Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said the government is “reviewing the ruling and will make a decision on how to proceed in the coming days.”

In fairness to Tesla Model 3 buyers, many other car shoppers also benefited from the rebate, including those lusting after the Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, and other green machines. Lesser sums were paid to buyers of plug-in hybrids with lower seating capacities and smaller batteries.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Aug 28, 2018

    Not particularly a Tesla fan - but GM, Chrysler, and even Ford were saved by gubmint bailouts, and the oil industry has received Billions in subsidies over the years.

    • See 1 previous
    • Thelaine Thelaine on Aug 29, 2018

      This is the most tired rationale for Tesla subsidies. This argument justifies any subsidy of anything anyone personally wants. The government subsidizes GM, so why can't they subsidize my swimming pool or my neighbor's sludge factory? After all, he employs ten idiots who would otherwise be on welfare or crack. This is weak. We should be moving in the opposite direction. The size of government and the amount of debt and waste are so great as to be almost literally incomprehensible. We need fewer subsidies and less government, not more. Tesla is a poster child for subsidy-sucking greed monkeys like Musk and all his wealthy entitlement-gobbling customers and acolytes.

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Aug 28, 2018

    stingray65: I thought someone? wanted to end the supposed "war on coal" because heat waves are a hoax?, but it seems they expect to get paid by the rest of us to do it.

  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.
  • Inside Looking Out It looks good and is popular in SF Bay Area.