Corrected: Tesla sues Ontario over cancelled electric vehicle rebate

Corrected: Tesla sues Ontario over cancelled electric vehicle rebate

Corrected: Tesla sues Ontario over cancelled electric vehicle rebate

Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Canada ULC has filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government, alleging it was the subject of "unjustified targeting" when the province cancelled its electric vehicle rebate program last month.

Tesla is suing Doug Ford's PC government.

The suit claims that Tesla Canada was removed from a program where buyers of some electric vehicles could still get the rebates during a transition period to end the bonuses.

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 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".

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The Palo Alto, California-based automaker claims in a lawsuit filed August 10 in Ontario Superior Court that the province deliberately and arbitrarily targeted Tesla by treating it differently than other firms. But it ended immediately for those who bought cars directly from the manufacturer, in this case Tesla.

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

Toronto teacher Kurtis Evans, 38, said he was planning to sell his current vehicle - and was counting on receiving the maximum $14,000 rebate - to be able to afford the $71,000 price of the auto he ordered in June.

However, Matthew Cheung of Mississauga, Ont., said the Tesla he helped his father order in June has already been cancelled because it would not have been affordable without the rebate. The incentives were funded by Ontario's cap-and-trade program, which the government also canceled in the name of reducing gas prices.

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". By December, electric vehicles accounted for 1.4 per cent of all sales.

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