Tesla sues Ontario government over auto rebate program

Marco Green
August 19, 2018

USA 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.

Since 2010, the Ontario government had offered incentives to individuals purchasing or leasing hybrid-electric or electric vehicles.

In an application for judicial review, Tesla Motors Canada says the decision by Premier Doug Ford's government to halt the program in July left hundreds of its customers no longer eligible for rebates they expected to get when they ordered their vehicles.

Customers who ordered their auto before July can still benefit from the program until mid-September - except for hundreds of Tesla customers, according to the firm.

It doesn't appear to be as straight-forward as Tesla claim, however, and here's why: The government said in July, that incentives would be honored under certain conditions, specifically, if a vehicle is ordered through a dealership, and delivered and registered before September 10th.

The incentives allowed residents to receive rebates of up to about CA$14,000 (about US$11,000) on the purchase of an electric or hydrogen vehicle. 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.

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".

The electric vehicle maker also said that Transportation Minister John Yakabuski's comments in the legislature on July 26, when he stated that anyone who purchased or ordered a vehicle "other than Tesla" would receive a rebate, made the "discriminatory intentions even more clear".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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