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Tesla buyers lose access to Ontario’s generous $14,000 electric car incentive

Bad news for Tesla Model S and Model X buyers in Ontario, Canada. The government quietly modified its generous electric car incentive program – removing access to current Tesla buyers.

Ontario’s government is offering one of the most generous direct electric vehicle incentive – between $6,000 and $14,000 to support the purchase or lease of eligible battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The incentive resulted in a massive 120% increase in EV sales in the province last year.

Until February 2017, Tesla buyers had no access to this full incentive since cars with MSRPs between $75,000 and $150,000 were capped at a $3,000 incentive.

The government lifted the cap a year ago and lowered the entry price of the Model S and X in Canada in the process.

It helped Tesla achieved record sales in the country last year with 75% increase in sales for the Model X and 14% increase for the Model S.

But now the Ontario government updated its website bringing back the MSRP limit and removing Tesla’s vehicles from the list of eligible cars in the process.

The unexpected change is sure to affect Tesla’s sales in Canada’s biggest province in terms of population.

When it becomes available in Canada, the Model 3 would technically be eligible under the current rules.

Electrek’s Take

That’s a big blow to Tesla and Tesla buyers in Ontario and it’s coming when there’s already some concerns over the overall EV incentive in the province.

They have an election coming in June and polls indicate that the Liberal Party, which implemented the incentive, is going out and the Conservative Party, which has been opposed to the EV incentive, could potentially take over.

I’ve received some feedback from Model 3 reservation holders in Ontario who are nervous about this possibility as the timing of Tesla’s Model 3 launch in Canada, which the automaker advertises as “mid-2018”, matches the election.

I think Model 3 is going to come to Canada before the election, but that will only be for the long range and dual motor versions of the vehicle. Those waiting for the standard battery pack are more at risk here.

Either way, it’s a wait-and-see game for the Model 3 right now and a big blow for Model S and Model X in Ontario.

I understand that most people don’t want to give money to people who can afford a $75,000 car, but that’s just not the point of an EV incentive and just goes to show the weakness of the program itself.

People should be incentivized to buy electric cars because they have a way lesser negative effect on the environment than gas-powered vehicles. Therefore, taxing gas-powered cars to represent that negative effect would make a lot of sense.

That way, you are not directly giving money to rich people for them to buy luxury vehicles, but you are still incentivizing them to buy an electric luxury vehicle instead of a gas-powered luxury vehicle.

But that’s just my two cents.

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