Ontario expands incentive program wind-down to Tesla owners, dealers after court decision

A file photo of Tesla charging stations.
A file photo of Tesla charging stations. Roman Pilipey/EPA

Tesla owners in Ontario are now eligible for electric vehicle wind-down program incentives days after a court ruled in favour of Tesla Motors Canada in an application filed against the provincial government.

“The court has rendered its decision. The ministry will abide by the court’s decision and I have directed the ministry to expand the wind-down process for the electric and hydrogen vehicle incentive program,” Transportation Minister John Yakabuski said in a written statement Friday afternoon.

The Ontario government said incentives will be offered to owners of eligible vehicles that were delivered, registered and plated on or before July 11. Vehicles on dealer lots, or ordered by dealers or customers, in Ontario on or before July 11, and delivered to customers, and registered and plated on or before Sept. 10, will also be eligible. The province said applications need to be submitted within 90 days of vehicles being registered, plated and delivered.

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READ MORE: Court rules in favour of Tesla over Ontario government’s cancellation of electric vehicle rebates

Yakabuski said cancelling the electric and hydrogen vehicle incentive program could result in $1 billion in savings over four years. The move came after the provincial government cancelled the cap and trade program.

In a decision released on Monday by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Justice Frederick L. Myers ruled against the government after Tesla was excluded from the incentive program.

“If the government wants to transition out of the electric car subsidy program, the [Minister of Transportation] must exercise his operational discretion in a lawful manner. He has yet to do so,” Myers wrote.
“I therefore quash and set aside the minister’s unlawful exercises of discretion to implement the transition program announced [in July].”

In its application, Tesla claimed it has been treated unfairly in the cancellation of a program providing rebates to Ontario residents who bought electric vehicles.

The company said 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.

Tesla claimed it was also left out of a program that allowed customers of other electric vehicle brands to continue receiving rebates during a transition period.

READ MORE: Ontario government asking court to toss application from Tesla over electric vehicle rebates

The court found the government’s decision to restrict the transition program to franchised dealerships was “arbitrary.”

“The minister singled out Tesla for reprobation and harm without provided (sic) Tesla any opportunity to be heard or any fair process whatsoever,” Myers wrote.

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However, the court didn’t stop limiting the transition program to franchised dealers.