Ontario.ca behind on EV purchase reimbursements> leaving dealerships in the lurch

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Ontario.ca behind on EV purchase reimbursements> leaving dealerships in the lurch

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http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/province-falling-behind-on-reimbursing-electric-car-dealerships
Province falling behind on reimbursing electric car dealerships
November 30, 2017  Chris Thompson

The province’s enhanced Electric Vehicle Incentive Program to encourage
drivers to buy green vehicles is proving to be quite a success, so much so
that the government is leaving dealerships in the lurch for months before
compensating them.

The province’s enhanced Electric Vehicle Incentive Program to encourage
drivers to buy green vehicles is such a success, the government is leaving
dealerships in the lurch for months before compensating them.

“Right now we have $266,000 owing to us at the present time,” said Jamie
Smith, controller at Gus Revenberg Chevrolet Buick GMC on Tecumseh Road
East.

In its 2016 budget the province announced an enhanced rebate program that
would increase rebates for electric and hybrid vehicles up to a maximum of
$14,000, which applies to the Chevrolet Volt [pih] and Bolt [EV] sold at
Revenberg.

Since the program went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, there has been a steady
increase in eligible vehicles sold, Smith said.

“On the bill of sale the customer gets credit for the $14,000 immediately
and then we’re left to collect the money from the province,” Smith said.

“It’s just a system that maybe wasn’t well thought out. When they unveiled
the system and incentives — whether they underestimated the popularity of it
— I don’t think they did because they set some pretty lofty targets for
electric vehicle sales to help the province and yet they don’t have the
manpower or the systems to back it up.”

Smith said he is waiting to be reimbursed for 19 vehicles sold since May 26,
the majority of them Volts. Thus far this year Revenberg has sold 17 Volts
and five Bolts.

The last reimbursement came on Oct. 6 for vehicles sold on March 16 and
April 4, Smith said.

“We’re left to collect the receivables from the Ontario government hoping
we’re going to get paid within 30, maybe 60 days at the most,” said Smith.

“It’s turning out to be six months. We said fine, enough’s enough.”

A frustrated Smith reached out to Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield,
who rose to ask about the situation at Queen’s Park on Thursday.

“The Liberals grabbed the headlines with a rebate for people buying new
electric vehicles, fuel efficient vehicles,” Hatfield said in a question
directed at Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. “Here’s a new headline:
‘The Liberals Are Deadbeats.’ They’re not paying their bills. Some new car
dealers are owed as much as half a million dollars.

“In the spirit of being open and transparent, when will these deadbeat
Liberals start paying the rebates to new car dealers in a timely fashion?”

Del Duca acknowledged there is a problem in his response.

“The member is right, there have been some challenges within the processing
of payment for those — in some cases dealers and in some cases individuals —
to receive their rebate,” Del Duca said.

“I can assure the member that the government and the Ministry of
Transportation are working very hard to fix some of the challenges. I
anticipate that the individual or the dealer that he’s talking about will
receive the rebate soon.”

According to Automotive News Canada in a story published last week, a dealer
in the Hamilton-Oakville area who owns a General Motors and BMW dealership
is owed more than $780,000 by the government.

On the government’s webpage for the Electronic Vehicle Incentive Program
they offer both an email and a telephone number followed by “Please note due
to the high volume of applications one access point may be busy — if so
please try the other.”
[© 2017 Postmedia Network]




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