Ontario EV Subsidies Under Fire As Minister Chief Of Staff Departs To Work For Tesla

2 months ago by Steven Loveday 35

Tesla

Both the Tesla Model S and Model X can far surpass the $100,000 mark. Even base models ring in at $68,000 and $74,000, respectively.

Patrick Brown, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Leader, believes that a $14,000 tax break, which can now be applied to $100,000 Tesla vehicles, is overboard. He also points out that it’s peculiar that the environment minister’s chief of staff just left the government position to go to work for Tesla.

Brown argued:

“It doesn’t pass the smell test. You’ve got someone that is leaving a minister’s office and going to a company that is now benefitting from these decisions.”

Brown feels that it’s a bit much to subsidize a luxury “race” car like Tesla Model S P100DL.

In February, Ian Myrans left the position of chief of staff to Environment Minister Glen Murray, to take a job at Tesla.

However, Murray disputes Brown’s assumptions because his office has no jurisdiction over electric vehicle rebates.

Murray explained that those decisions are handled by the Ministry of Transportation. Murray also pointed out the the decisions were made months ago. He shared:

“First of all, Ian didn’t work for the minister of transportation who made the decision. The decision on this was made almost a year ago … it wasn’t a decision he was directly involved in. As soon as Ian was aware — and that was quite recently — that he was going to go pursue a position in the private sector, he immediately … went to the integrity commissioner and rules were put in place about his involvement. He followed the very letter of the law and the spirit of it.”

Electric car subsidies in Ontario start at $3,000, and escalate based on battery size, passenger capacity, and other parameters. All Tesla vehicles get the top $14,000 rebate. Many other, less expensive models qualify for the maximum as well, including the Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Soul EV, Nissan LEAF, and Ford Focus Electric.

A prior rebate program excluded expensive EVs, like that of Tesla. Many argued that regardless of the price of the Tesla vehicles, it is only fair to offer the equal incentives, being that the vehicles fit the bill for passenger space and long-range battery capacity. Also, the incentive could be the reason that some people are able to afford more expensive vehicles, that they otherwise couldn’t purchase. EVs are more expensive than their ICE counterparts, and the incentive helps to minimize that discrepancy.

Steven Del Duca, the minister of transportation, believes that the incentives are helping to get more ICE cars off the roads. He explained:

“Having an enhanced incentive, which we announced months ago, is something that helps give people the opportunity to participate in the fight against climate change. We know that the transportation sector accounts for 35 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.”

Brown disagrees:

“I think you can fight climate change without subsidizing $100,000 cars.” 

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath sided with Brown on the topic:

“Why does somebody who can afford a luxury vehicle…need a tax break from the government? It makes no sense.” 

Source: The Star

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35 responses to "Ontario EV Subsidies Under Fire As Minister Chief Of Staff Departs To Work For Tesla"

  1. Grant Gerke says:

    “Why does somebody who can afford a luxury vehicle…need a tax break from the government? It makes no sense.” — Ontario Legislator

    She should come and take note of her conservative counterparts in the U.S. Let’s call it what it is, oil and gas politicians going after Tesla and not GM, Nissan and Ford. How about that smell test?

    1. Or the Smell Test of the Piggies (in the Newspaper & Locally in Toronto), that are at the trough of Government – spending extra on big Salary increases – that they vote in for themselves! – “Too many pigs at the trough” – https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2016/12/05/too-many-pigs-at-the-trough.html

    2. JIMJFOX says:

      All Tesla vehicles get the top $14,000 rebate. “Many other, less expensive models qualify for the maximum as well, including the Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Soul EV, Nissan LEAF, and Ford Focus Electric.”

      ‘Going after Tesla’? Read the above. . . since you didn’t read it first time round.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        I was told by my Canadian friends at GHEVA that the BOLT ev (which has a battery similar in size to Teslas) does *NOT* qualify for $14,000 CAN.

        When I was getting my Roadster Serviced in Mississauga, a McMaster student who had his Dad’s S in for service was complaining about the extremely high electric bills his family was forced to pay, due to the (at the time) 80 cents/ kwh subsidy being given to solar panels. This compares with the deal I have just across the Border, that of using myself the output of my solar, plus 1/33 of what those early adopters in Canada get.. Yes it is now down to 34 cents/kwh or something like that, but the 80 cent people never get sunsetted, and since it is such a bonanza to them, 100% of the solar goes back on a separate service, since why would anyone use any of the lucrative juice?

        (I wonder If some people use a small (1%) boost transformer to take 23 cents/kwh electricity, and send it back to through the solar meter and make 57 cents/kwh on the circulating current – the largess only limited by how much they feel they can get away with).

        As a foreigner it is not my place to critique this – but I understand how rank and file Canadians could get very hot under the collar at some of this stuff – where the gov’t is choosing winners and losers – the losers in this case enduring a real hardship.

        Some rural electric customers went from electric bills that were essentially nothing to CAN$300-$500 a month, and they are projected to go up 15% per annum for the next decade due to decisions either the provincial gov’t and/or Ottawa has made, such as prematurely shutting down 100% of the Coal plants, over-reliance and overbuilding of Nuclear facilities, subsidies, etc.

        1. Neromanceres says:

          At first the Bolt EV LT model did not qualify for the full 14000. As the rebate was limited to 30% of the MSRP of the car. However in the recent changes this 30% limit was listed and now all trims of the Bolt EV fully qualify for the 14000 credit. Below is the direct link to the Ontario ministry of transportation website stating as such.

          http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicles/electric/electric-vehicle-rebate.shtml

          1. Neromanceres says:

            Sorry should read the recent changes lifted the 30% requirement. This benefits all lower cost EV’s as well as this change didn’t just benefit Tesla.

            1. Bill howland says:

              Thank you for providing a reasonable explanation.

  2. Ambulator says:

    What makes sense is a tax on ICE cars. It’s apparently politically impossible, though. Rebates are an attempt to pursue the same goals through other means, but they won’t work as well.

  3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    Corporate welfare at its best.
    Free factory built on NY taxpayer money by corrupt politicians, $14k gifts to each buyer of luxury electric “tanks” that are disgrace to environmental movement. Just push it and you will get lucrative position in our company, how convenient.
    How about making some smaller electric sedan for $20k before subsidies that can compete in the market on its own and make environmental sense? Nope, it doesn’t pay off and doesn’t help to pump and dump stock.

    1. Nick says:

      Yea! Ford should be ashamed! All these darn oil externalities and subsidies!

      We are talking about Ford, right?

  4. DJ says:

    That’s because it is overboard. I don’t have a problem with people getting a tax break on Tesla’s, just the amount they get on all EVs is a bit much 😀

    1. You might realize that a 2017 Pacifica PHEV, 2016 & 2017 Focus EV, Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt, IONIQ, & Soul EV, all get the same $14,000 Rebates, as a Tesla Model S, which is the same for the S60, as the P90D? And the Smart Ed gets $13,000, the iMiEV gets $10,000! So – Proportionately, the Tesla’s get a lot less, based on their cost base, and the P100D get’s nothing – if that makes anyone happy!

      Besides, most of the Tesla’s are bought by folks who usually don’t shop for Efficiency, and would be focusing more on comforts, so their vehicles are seldom ‘high efficiency’ vehicles! More likely a person Driving a Tesla is not Driving a Mercedes, Audi, or BMW – that would get maybe 20-25 MPG! So this is a good thing!

      They maybe should have added – to qualify for full rebates on cars over $75,000 MSRP – you need to scrap out an old ICE, or just get a fraction of the full amount (maybe 10%-20%, or $1,400 to $2,800 – if you keep your ICE!)

      1. DJ says:

        Ya, I still say it is too much of a rebate just in general.

      2. Neromanceres says:

        Keep in mind in Ontario all vehicles (including EV’s) are still subject to a 13% sales tax. So the 14000 rebate on a Tesla Model S basically covers the sales tax. The government is still collecting a net tax gain on a Model X.

  5. Bill Howland says:

    I wish I got the same amount of money for the solar electricity I make, not more than a few miles from southern Ontario.

    I got 2.4 cents /kwh last year for solar excess.

    In Ontario, its all excess by definition, and initially the new or used panels got 33 1/3 times a much.

    1. Bill, When Ontario offered $0.802 Dollars (80.2 Cents) per kWh on Roof Topm Solar for Home Owners (Commercial Sites were less!), a 10 kW Solar Roof cost about $80,000 installed. As Solar Costs Dropped, they dropped the Rate Paid, each year.

      Current prices for a 10 kW Roof run around $30,000 in Ontario.

      A Coworker is doing a current install, about 9 steps though of 14 to get it done, the rate is 29.5 Cents per kWh – all on a separate meter, none is net metered, since he chose a Micro-FIT offer, not the Net Metering Offer, which still exists, and there is a 20 kWh installation on that offer, in Etobicoke, ON – Baka Mobile – https://api.plugshare.com/view/location/13451

      That is where I held EV Fest 2013!

      1. Bill Howland says:

        If you guys overpay for your solar installations that isn’t much of an argument. You still get ten times the return on your solar installations than I do, and the reason is obvious why you do not have net metering.

        No one would be dumb enough to use up any of their ‘golden electricity’ themselves since its cheaper to buy all what you need.

        But other Canadians are getting riled – the big thing affecting most would be that jobs will be affected – Ontario is already worried (at least in some circles) that factories will be closing as power-intensive firms cannot compete with other areas of North American will be far cheaper, especially given expected near future rates which are increasing.

  6. marcel says:

    Please correct the (very) misleading headline. The person who left to work was not the minister, but the chief of staff of a different department.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Apologies on that, yes it was the Minister’s Chief of Staff, will correct now.

      Thanks for the heads up marcel!

  7. ijonjack says:

    The REBATE in 0ntario Canada should be diminished as the EV car price Surpasses the $60,000 mark ..The more expensive a Luxury EV gets, the less the Rebate, So to help the common guy afford one & put More EV’s on the Roads. When someone can afford a $100,000 plus Tesla they need N0 Monetary Help..

    1. re-post from above:

      March 15, 2017 at 7:43 pm
      You might realize that a 2017 Pacifica PHEV, 2016 & 2017 Focus EV, Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt, IONIQ, & Soul EV, all get the same $14,000 Rebates, as a Tesla Model S, which is the same for the S60, as the P90D? And the Smart Ed gets $13,000, the iMiEV gets $10,000! So – Proportionately, the Tesla’s get a lot less, based on their cost base, and the P100D get’s nothing – if that makes anyone happy!

      Besides, most of the Tesla’s are bought by folks who usually don’t shop for Efficiency, and would be focusing more on comforts, so their vehicles are seldom ‘high efficiency’ vehicles! More likely a person Driving a Tesla is not Driving a Mercedes, Audi, or BMW – that would get maybe 20-25 MPG! So this is a good thing!

      They maybe should have added – to qualify for full rebates on cars over $75,000 MSRP – you need to scrap out an old ICE, or just get a fraction of the full amount (maybe 10%-20%, or $1,400 to $2,800 – if you keep your ICE!)

    2. Neromanceres says:

      Keep in mind in Ontario all vehicles (including EV’s) are still subject to a 13% sales tax. So the 14000 rebate on a Tesla Model S basically covers the sales tax. The government is still collecting a net tax gain on a Model X even after the rebate.

  8. Kdawg says:

    “Why does somebody who can afford a luxury vehicle…need a tax break from the government? It makes no sense.”
    ——–

    So would they follow this philosophy on all tax credits/rebates? What if you can afford a big home? What if you can afford to have 5 children?

  9. Nate says:

    While I believe the incentive for more expensive EVs is quite extensive, it is very important to maintain for lower priced EVs.

  10. abasile says:

    “Why does somebody who can afford a luxury vehicle…need a tax break from the government? It makes no sense.”

    Because the rebate may be what nudges them to buy an expensive EV rather than a luxury ICE.

    1. What is the Fuel Economy of Luxury SUV (ICE) these days, too? Nothing like that of a Model X!

  11. mxs says:

    No it is not the minister himself, but it was his right hand, basically, and a person who would undoubtedly had a lot to do with the EV incentive cap change, to include high-end Tesla cars. So, it makes it as bad as …

    This is after many ordinary Ontarians complained last time about the fact that the cap is too high at 75K, and should be lowered to 50K … what do the Ontario Liberals do, they increase it …

    That just describes a political party which has no idea what they are doing whether it is EV or energy strategy in the first place.

    Ontario = most expensive electricity rates in North America (google how the government is bribing their own citizens with a rebate to lower the crazy electricity costs), most generous EV incentives, highest vehicle insurance rates and sadly, most incompetent government in long time.

    Hopefully the voters will put an end to this non-sense. I am all for EV’s and non-fossil energy sources, but pls not this one-sided chaos the Liberals created here at the expense of taxpayers.

    1. Yup! I got the 8% Ontario Tax Rebate on my latest Bill! Saved me less than a fancy coffee at Starbucks! $5.61 – Wow! On the other hand – my Gas Bill for Natural Gas was up this month, $6 more than my Electricity Bill!

  12. Lps says:

    I agree. There is no need to give incentives for a $100,000 Tesla. The Tesla owners I know were full of tears, when the government dropped Tesla in the second round of the rebate. Now that Teslas were reinstated they all smile ear to ear. Folk who can afford a $100,000+ car will get it anyway. Their rebates could have been better spent on motivating people in the “middle class”.

    1. Don’t forget – your American $100,000 Tesla is an Ontario $$130,000 Tesla – for example – a Basic Model S 100D, + Delivery = $99,500 US $; and in Canada it is $136,200!
      https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/models/design

      13% Taxes (HST) on top of that – is much more than this $14,000 Rebate, so it is just a band-aid on a big tax cut – at best!

  13. Neromanceres says:

    A few points left out in this article. This recent change didn’t just benefit Tesla. This change also removed the rule that limited the rebate to 30% of a vehicles MSRP. So this benefited all lower cost EV’s as well.

    Also Ontario pays a 13% sales tax on all cars (including EV’s). So on a vehicle like a Model S the 14000 rebate is basically paying the sales tax.

  14. Kenneth says:

    I totally disagree with all who are not in favour of the EV rebates. The only way to spur electrification adoption is to offer incentives as EV’s still cost more than their equivalent ICE counterparts, for the most part. To effectively reach more of the masses and continue adoption growth, manufacturers have to make BEV’s with higher ranges and faster charging. Hence the prices climb and an EV incentive can still be a major part of a BEV purchase decision. Within a few years, Ontario will stop the incentive program once sales reach some sort of critical mass number. I believe we need these incentives to now accelerate EV adoption and all the positive things this brings. EV’s are not for everyone nor will ICE be going away any time soon (however, look at Europe and other places that are planning to do away with new ICE sales in less than 20 years). Even though the transportation sector contributes about 10% towards global GHG emissions, and automobiles are a small percentage of that number, BEV’s can still make a small difference that we really can fully understand the long term ramifications of this (over decades of time). I say anything is better than doing nothing and staying our polluting course in trying to right our planet’s environment.

    1. Jason says:

      Don’t forget these are zero emission, so in the density of cities you are getting immediate health improvements due to better air quality. As buses and other heavy vehicles move to EV it will only get better. GHG is important, but local health outcome is really more important as well.

  15. james says:

    Here’s an idea, drop the incentive’s on the buyers’s INCOME. Then the subsidy effects are not going to the rich, but may allow others to buy up (so to speak) or encourage the SAVING of money to buy something in the future…

  16. Jason says:

    So let me get this straight, do these high income earners who can afford a Tesla pay income or other forms of taxes? If so, sounds like they contribute, so why shouldn’t they get the rebate? Always rich get taxed and rich try to avoid the taxes. Maybe just fix that problem as well?

    And I agree if it moves these buyers from a gas guzzling luxury car to a Tesla (or Lucid Air or whatever comes next), that sounds like a win for your environment.

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