Car News

Tesla, Porsche Cut from EV Rebate Program in Ontario

New changes to Ontario's Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program see a big change in the province's electric vehicle rebates. The new rules slash payouts on popular models, increase the rebate on a few, and leave Tesla and Porsche out in the cold.

On March 9th, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation made changes to the province's EV rebate program. The old rules cut off rebates for fully-electric cars at an MSRP of $150,000. Plug-in hybrids above $75,000 were limited to $3,000.

Now the rebates are cut off at an MSRP of $75,000. That pushes Tesla off of the rebate list completely, at least until the Model 3 arrives here. Porsche is off too, it's plug-in Cayenne and Panamera received the $3,000 amount last year. Mercedes sees most of its plug-in models dropped as well. The government has also altered the formula that decides how much of a rebate each model can get, based on battery capacity and number of seats.

The cut-off limit has a strange effect on some vehicles. Like the Volvo XC90. Previously, all trims of this model qualified. Now only the T8 Momentum trim gets a rebate. It's also one of the few models to get a raised rebate, up from a maximum of $8,825 to $10,000.

Mitsubishi is the only other brand to get good news under the new system. The i-MiEV sees its maximum rebate climb from $10,000 to $11,000

Other popular models to see a rebate reduction are the Ford Fusion Energi (down $730 to $7,000), Chevrolet Volt (down $1,000 to $13,000), and the Kia Optima Plug-in (down $1,460 to $7,000). Honda's new Clarity plug-in sees its maximum rebate cut $1,000 to $13,000, and Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV sees one of the biggest drops, down $2,555 to $7,000.

Cutting rebates for six-figure electrics and plug-ins makes sense, at those price points the amounts have a smaller impact on buyers. But cutting the rebates on more affordable vehicles could have an impact on Ontario's EV adoption. One that sees the province fall further behind on hitting clean-car targets.