The Ontario government has restored rebates to new Tesla owners under the province’s Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program after having its knuckles rapped by the province’s Superior Court of Justice.
On July 11, 2018, the government pulled the plug on the program, which paid rebates of up to $14,000 to purchasers of new electric, hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, following cancellation of the cap-and-trade program that helped fund it. However, the province said it would honour rebates for cars on the lots or on order from franchised dealerships in Ontario. As Tesla does not sell through franchised dealerships, its vehicles were excluded from the extension, and it was the only manufacturer so excluded.
Tesla sued, arguing that it alone was singled out for vilification by the government, and presented statements by Premier Doug Ford that tended to back it up.
Those statements didn’t carry any weight with the court, but how the cancellation was rolled out did.
“The evolution of the program terms propounded by the Minister lays bare the targeting of Tesla,” wrote Justice F.L. Myers in an August 27, 2018 decision that quashed the cancellation and awarded Tesla costs of $125,000.
Rather than appeal, the government relented. All eligible vehicles, regardless of manufacturer, that were on order by dealers or by customers directly from manufacturers on or before July 11, 2018 and delivered to customers, registered and plated on or before September 10, 2018, will now have their rebate honoured.