Tesla files lawsuit against Ontario government

Irving Hamilton
August 19, 2018

This version of the story corrects figure in second paragraph to C$14,000 from C$4,000) Electric vehicle-maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is taking the Ontario government to court over the Canadian province's cancellation of an electric vehicle incentive program, according to documents filed in court on August 10.

The automaker claims that the government's decision left hundreds of customers ineligible for rebates they expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles.

In court documents cited by Canadian media, Tesla slammed the "arbitrary" exclusion.

"As this matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment", Ontario government spokesman Bob Nichols said in an email Thursday.

"Tesla Canada received no reasons at all for its exclusion, which was an arbitrary and entirely unreasonable decision and should be quashed", the filling further adds.

None of the claims has been proven in court.

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Tesla Inc.is taking the Ontario government to court over its decision last month to cancel incentives for purchases.

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.

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.

Subsidies are generally frowned upon by his members because they distort the marketplace, but the rebates for electric vehicles are seen as providing a balance for the substantial difference in price versus fossil-fuel powered cars, Adams said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford canceled the rebate program on July 11th, shortly after the government scrapped the cap-and-trade program that funded the incentives. By December, electric vehicles accounted for 1.4 per cent of all sales.

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