Tesla takes Ontario government to court over pulled plug on rebates

Lloyd Doyle
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. The incentives were funded by Ontario's cap-and-trade program, which the government also canceled in the name of reducing gas prices.

The Ontario Transportation Ministry said that because the case is now before the courts, it could not comment on the Tesla action.

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. The program initially offered rebates of up to $14,000 on eligible vehicles.

It claims Tesla was singled out.

The company is asking the court to overturn the decision excluding Tesla customers from getting the rebate.


The company alleges that the province sent letters on July 11 to dealerships outlining the transition plan procedure for vehicles purchases up to that point.

The government of Canada made provisions for individuals who had just purchased or requested cars yet organized the progress program so as to prohibit Tesla, which does not use the franchised dealerships - a "arbitrary" rejection, Tesla claimed in the court file.

Tesla called the decision "unreasonable and unlawful" and said that "it has created the impression that Tesla Canada and its customers will not be treated equally under the law".

It's unclear what Tesla Canada's policy is on refunding deposits to customers who may no longer be able to afford a Model 3 without the rebate, but Global News apparently spoke to one Mississauga man who was able to get his money back.

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

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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