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Tesla buyers screwed over by Ontario government over direct sales for EV incentive

Last week, we reported on Ontario shutting down its electric vehicle rebate just as Tesla Model 3 deliveries are ramping up in the province.

Now we’ve learned that the situation is even worse than first thought for Tesla buyers as the Ontario government is treating the company in a different manner than car dealerships.

After the Conservative party took over the government, they killed the $14,000 EV rebate effective July 11.

At the time, we thought that the many Model 3 buyers who had a car on order, which would be a lot since Tesla just opened orders for the dual motor and performance versions in Canada, were safe because the government announced this:

Inventory that dealers have on lots or orders made by dealerships with manufacturers on or before July 11, will also be honoured for the incentive provided that the vehicle is delivered to consumers, registered, and plated by September 10.

While Tesla doesn’t have third-party dealers, they do have dealership licenses for their stores in Ontario.

Yet, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation confirmed that they are treating orders for Tesla vehicles differently:

It means that many Model 3 buyers who budgeted their order while taking into account the $14,000 rebate for electric vehicles are now not going to be able to get the rebate even if Tesla delivers the vehicles before September 10.

Tesla has been informing customers with vehicles on orders of the current issue.

Electrek’s Take

Well, dumb just became even dumber. I thought that Tesla’s issues with direct sales had been limited to a few states in the US, but it looks like it is now spreading to Canada.

There’s no reasonable explanation to treat Tesla differently from car dealers here.

As we always mention when talking about EV incentives, I know that a lot of people look at EV rebates as taxpayer money financing the purchase of fancy vehicles, which is true to a degree, but that’s not the right way to look at it.

If the cost of emissions from gas-powered cars is not properly accounted for then there’s an unpriced externality in the market that needs to be regulated.

In a perfect world, there would be a direct price to pay for the cost of emissions from polluting cars, like a carbon tax, but right now that price ends being paid by everyone who breathes air and who is affected by climate change.

Therefore, I think it’s backward for Ontario to remove the incentive without any other comprehensive plan to encourage EV adoption, but now they are topping it off by making the way they are phasing out the incentive even more stupid.

I don’t what kind of recourse if any Tesla buyers have, but please let us know if you have ideas in the comment section below.

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