Tesla sues Ontario government for 'unfair' scrapping of electric car scheme

Tesla superchargers are installed at the Quinte Mall in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.
The Canadian arm of Tesla Motors is taking Ontario’s new Conservative government to court, claiming it has suffered “substantial harm” after the cancellation of a rebate programme for residents who bought electric vehicles.
Since taking power earlier this year, the new government – led by Doug Ford, the brother of the former, late Toronto mayor Rob Ford – has killed off several initiatives ushered in by previous Liberal governments, from a pilot exploring basic income to a hike in the minimum price of beer.
Included in this was the end of a carbon pricing policy that sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s most populous province. The move would also end a range of environmental initiatives funded by the programme, including rebates of up to C$14,000 ($10,700) for residents who bought electric vehicles.
In an application for judicial review filed earlier this month, Tesla Motors Canada claimed this stipulation unfairly singled the company out, as it sells vehicles directly to customers rather than through dealerships.
“The Minister of Transportation’s decision suddenly left hundreds of Tesla Canada’s Ontario customers in the unfair position of no longer being eligible for the rebate they had expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles,” the lawsuit claimed. It noted that those who purchased other brands of vehicles can still receive a rebate.
The lawsuit asks the province’s superior court to quash what is described as an “arbitrary and entirely unreasonable” decision.
“The decision has already inflicted substantial harm on Tesla Canada in the form of lost sales and the creation of an impression among Ontarians that Tesla Canada may be singled out for future arbitrary treatment under the law,” the lawsuit noted.
None of the company’s claims have been proven in court.
A spokesperson for Ontario’s transportation ministry said that it was aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment, noting that the matter is before the court.

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