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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: ont pc's question timing of Tesla rebate Reply with quote

PCs question timing of electric vehicle rebate benefiting Tesla buyers

Tesla model
The logo of the Tesla model S is pictured at the Paris Auto Show in Paris, France, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. (AP / Christophe Ena)

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:20PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 23, 2017 5:32PM EST

TORONTO -- The Progressive Conservatives say a $14,000 subsidy for some Tesla electric vehicles "doesn't pass the smell test" as it was introduced around the same time a top staffer for the environment minister went to work for the company.

Environment Minister Glen Murray says his former staffer was cleared to do so by the integrity commissioner, and decisions about the subsidy were made in the Ministry of Transportation, not his own department.

The Liberal government introduced rebates for electric vehicles last year, but earlier this month it removed a $3,000 cap on vehicles that cost between $75,000 and $150,000.

That means that buyers of vehicles in that price range are now entitled to the full rebates of up to $14,000 -- the same rebates available to lower-cost electric vehicles.

Both the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP say that anyone who can afford a $100,000 car doesn't need a $14,000 rebate.

Tory Steve Clark says the LinkedIn profile of Murray's former staffer shows he started working for Tesla this month and asked the Liberals if it was just a coincidence.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8327
Reputation: 279.5
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario subsidies for electric vehicles under fire after minister’s staffer leaves to work for Tesla

All Tesla models qualify for top payout of $14,000. Environment minister defends former chief of staff saying there is no conflict of interest.

Tesla Model S vehicles parked outside a car dealership in Shanghai in 2015. The Ontario government is under fire for offering green-vehicle incentives for all Telsas.

By Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau
Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief

Thu., Feb. 23, 2017

The government is getting a rough ride over new $14,000 subsidies for buyers of some “luxury” electric vehicles around the same time the environment minister’s chief of staff left to work for Tesla.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said Thursday after his party raised concerns about the grant rising from $3,000 under a previous program.

“You’ve got someone that is leaving a minister’s office and going to a company that is now benefitting from these decisions.”

Ian Myrans, the former chief of staff to Environment Minister Glen Murray, left the government in February for the high-end electric vehicle maker, Conservative MPP Steve Clark told the Legislature’s question period.

Murray said the electric vehicle rebate program is not administered by his office, but at the Ministry of Transportation, and insisted there was no conflict of interest.

“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,” said Murray.

“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,” Murray added.

“He followed the very letter of the law and the spirit of it.”

All Tesla models qualify for the highest Ontario government incentive of $14,000, which also applies to cheaper vehicles include the Ford Focus EV BEV (battery electric vehicle), the new Chevrolet Bolt, the Kia Soul EV BEV, and Nissan Leaf.

The size of electric vehicle subsidies, which start at $3,000, depends on several factors, including battery capacity and the number of passengers carried.

A Tesla Model S sedan can cost in the range of $90,000 to $100,000. Under the previous subsidy program, cars like Tesla in the $75,000 to $150,000 price category qualified for a smaller $3,000 rebate.

Murray’s office said the decision to remove the $3,000 cap on that price category was made in mid-2016, several months after the new rebate program was first announced, and wasn’t revealed until earlier this month. It is retroactive to January 1.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca defended the electric vehicle incentives, saying they are helping to get gasoline-powered cars off the road.

“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,” he told reporters.

“We know that the transportation sector accounts for 35 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions,” Del Duca added, noting most subsidies help lower the prices for many electric cars down to the mid-$30,000 to $40,000 range middle-class families can afford.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath joined Brown in challenging subsidies for buyers of the most expensive electric cars.

“Why does somebody who can afford a luxury vehicle…need a tax break from the government? It makes no sense,” she said, calling for subsidies to be limited to more reasonably priced models.

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


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8327
Reputation: 279.5
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario's rebates on pricey electric cars draw fresh criticism

Progressive Conservatives question changes after top Liberal staffer joins Tesla

By Mike Crawley, CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2017 6:27 PM ET| Last Updated: Feb 23, 2017 6:27 PM ET

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk introduces the falcon-wing door on the Model X electric sports-utility vehicles during a presentation in Fremont, Calif.

The Ontario government's recent move to boost rebates for electric vehicles is under fire, amid revelations that a senior Liberal staffer has been hired by electric car-maker Tesla.

Ian Myrans left his post as director of policy to Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray and joined Tesla this month. At about the same time, the government announced it was removing caps on its electric vehicle incentive program that had previously prevented buyers of Tesla models from getting the maximum rebate.

"This certainly doesn't pass the smell test," deputy PC Leader Steve Clark said Thursday during Question Period. "Was this just a coincidence?"

"You've got someone leaving the minister's office and going to a company that is now benefiting from these decisions," PC Leader Patrick Brown told reporters at the Legislature.

The Wynne government introduced a cap on electric vehicle rebates last year. It meant that buyers of vehicles costing more than $75,000 could receive a maximum subsidy of $3,000.

Earlier this month, the government tweaked the rules for electric cars costing $75,000 to $150,000. It means such vehicles as the Tesla Roadster are now eligible for rebates of up to $14,000.

Steven Del Duca and Glen Murray
Environment Minister Glen Murray, right, says the policy change on electric vehicle rebates was a decision of Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, left. (L:stevendelduca.onmpp.ca, R: Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Murray denied any connection between the change in policy and Myrans's move to join Tesla.

"This is someone who followed all the rules," Murray told reporters at Queen's Park, calling Myrans "a man of immense character and great integrity."

"As soon as he was approached about a job possibility, he immediately went to the [provincial] integrity commissioner to have those discussions before anything else happened," Murray said.

He said the policy change was made by the Ministry of Transportation, and it was decided before Myrans was approached to work for Tesla.

The Wynne government first came under pressure for giving incentives for luxury electric vehicles when CBC News revealed taxpayers had handed $770,000 in subsidies to buyers of vehicles costing more than $100,000.

Earlier this month, the Wynne government more than tripled the maximum rebate on electric vehicles that cost between $75,000 and $150,000. It means buyers of new Tesla models are now entitled to rebates of up to $14,000. (Tesla.com)

"If we're talking about encouraging an average family to buy a Chevy Volt instead of a non-electric vehicle then sure, I think that makes a lot of sense," NDP leader Andrea Horwath said Thursday. "But when you're talking about millionaires and luxury vehicles it makes no sense whatsoever. I don't think people in Ontario would support that type of rebate, it's excessive."

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca wouldn't confirm if Tesla models are the only new vehicles to which the rebate change applies.

"I'm not personally aware of the price point of every single vehicle offered by every single auto manufacturer," he said. But he defended the principle behind the rebates.

"It is about giving people more of an opportunity to enter this particular segment of the market, as that segment of the market is growing, because I think there's a collective understanding we need to do more to fight climate change, particularly in the transportation area."


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8327
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario U-turn means Tesla buyers will get full $14,000 subsidy

Jordan Chittley

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2017 3:51PM EST

The Ontario government has flip-flopped on the electric vehicle incentive program, reinstating the maximum subsidy for battery-electric vehicles priced between $75,000 and $150,000.

The move, which is part of Ontario’s Climate change Action Plan, permits buyers of most new Tesla vehicles to receive the full $14,000 rebate instead of just $3,000. It retroactively applies to vehicles bought since Jan. 1.

“The changes address concerns that some zero-emission BEVs (battery electric vehicles) were receiving lower incentives than higher-emitting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), said Bob Nichols, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) spokesperson. “Removing the $3,000 vehicle cap for BEVs only, ensures that the program reduces the purchase price premium at all price ranges, promoting greater EV adoption across all segments of the market and maximizing the program’s potential.”

The province increased incentives for plug-in electric vehicles last February, but capped the rebate at $3,000 for vehicles with a sticker price of between $75,000 and $150,000. Vehicles priced at more than $150,000 became no longer eligible for subsidies, and this continues to be the case.

“If you can afford a $150,000, you don’t need a $14,000 subsidy from the rest of us,” said Christine Van Geyn, Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Those cars are worth more than the median salary in this province. Most people in this province are driving cars worth less than the subsidy these people are given.”

The change in the incentive program came a few months before the Canadian Taxpayers Federation reported more than $14 million of the $39 million spent on electric vehicle incentives between 2010 and January 2016 were for vehicles priced at more than $70,000. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation obtained the information from a Freedom of Information Act request. In addition, $27,690 of subsidies in 2015 went to five owners of the Porsche 918, a plug-in hybrid that retails for about $1.1 million.

“There was a lot of outrage when people found out that the buyers of million-dollar Porsches were getting subsidies,” said Van Geyn. “The government changed the policy and now looks like they are changing it back when no one is paying attention.”

Van Geyn says the province is raising taxes, putting a carbon tax in place and people are “literally crying to the premier because they can’t pay their hydro bill.” She says the province hasn’t been clear about what it is going to spend the money on. “Is this one of the initiatives, subsidies for millionaires?”

Other vehicles – including the Hyundai Ioniq BEV, Kia Soul EV, Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Pacifica PHEV and Ford Focus BEV – are also eligible for the full rebate.

The average Canadian spends around $28,000 on a new car and the median family income in Ontario is $79,000, according to Statistics Canada, for 2014 the most recent year figures are available.

“If you are buying a $70,000 car, you are probably doing better than the rest of us,” says Van Geyn. “(Tesla) is a company that is doing interesting stuff, I just think they should rely on people wanting their product. It’s a luxury vehicle.”

According to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner site, Tesla was lobbying the Ontario government last year. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for an interview.

The Ontario government says the changes will help it hit its goal that five per cent of new passenger vehicles sold or leased by 2020 will be electric or hydrogen-powered. There are around 9,000 electric vehicles registered in Ontario and less than 2 per cent of new cars sold nationwide are hybrids or electrics. Ontario is also committing to build 500 charging stations across the province by the end of March.

“Transportation emissions are the single-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the province,” said Glen Murray, Ontario environment and climate change minister, in a statement. “That’s why we are moving forward on a commitment to make it easier for Ontarians to purchase and drive an electric vehicle


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8327
Reputation: 279.5
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit that I'm rather skeptical about these electric cars , they built a charging station for them at our local mall and the big laugh here is its always empty , there has been virtually no cars use it . other than the odd tourist from Toronto on weekends .

I don't imagine many people here could afford a $100,000 electric car from Tesla anyways , which may explain why so few are interested in making the conversion .

perhaps these cars are the way of the future but that still seems a long ways off become they become more common
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ont pc's question timing of Tesla rebate

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