Tesla Sues Ontario for Pulling Plug on Electric Car Rebates

(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. is taking the Ontario government to court over its decision last month to cancel incentives for purchases of electric vehicles.

The Palo Alto, California-based automaker claims in a lawsuit filed Aug. 10 in Ontario Superior Court that the province deliberately and arbitrarily targeted Tesla by treating it differently than other firms.

Premier Doug Ford’s government canceled rebates for electric vehicles on July 11, a week after the province ended its cap-and-trade program. It said buyers would still be eligible for the incentive on purchases of cars already on dealer lots, or on vehicles ordered by third-party dealers before July 11 so long as the consumer takes delivery by Sept. 10. The rebate was worth up to C$14,000 ($10,640).

Tesla alleges that since it doesn’t use third-party dealers, the policy change discriminates against the firm. It wants the court to quash its exclusion.

Ontario “left hundreds of Tesla Canada’s customers in the unfair position of no longer being eligible for the rebate they had expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles, while purchasers of other brands and from other dealers will still receive the rebate during a transition period,” Tesla said in its lawsuit.

The company added “the decision has also already inflicted substantial harm on Tesla Canada.”

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

Tesla also declined to comment further.

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