Windsor car dealer waiting on $266K provincial reimbursement on electric incentives

A local car dealership has been waiting for months for a provincial government reimbursement on sales of electric vehicles.

Some of the outstanding amounts go back to May of this year

Okanagan resident plugs in electric car. (Simon Charland/CBC)

A local car dealership has been waiting for months for a provincial government reimbursement on sales of electric vehicles. 

Gus Revenberg Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd. is waiting for $266,000 in reimbursements through the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP). The Ministry of Transportation initiated the program to provide financial incentives to purchase or lease an eligible new electric vehicle.

"It's not going to break us but it's still a lot of money," said Jamie Smith, ‎Controller at Gus Revenberg Chevrolet. "It does tie up a lot of your working capital."

The incentive allows the dealership to give customers a $14,000 credit on their bill towards the eligible vehicles. Smith said the dealership has the option to not give the incentive and allow the customer to apply to the province after purchase — but then they could "go down the street to a competitor" who would offer it right away.

Smith said the dealership sold 22 electric models this year, and so far has only received payment on three of them. He said said they file their paperwork "within a few days" of a sale. The last payment received was on October 6, for sales made in March and April.

The dealership has contacted the ministry several times, said Smith, but continue to deal with reimbursement issues.

On Thursday in the Ontario Legislature, Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield called the Liberals "deadbeats" because of the backlog. 

"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?" he said.

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca admitted to the issues, and said that dealers and individuals will "receive the rebate soon.

Smith said the program does encourage some buyers to go electric, as the vehicles tend to be a bit more pricey.