SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE: Ford unhappy with Biden EV tax credit

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U.S. President Joe Biden’s protectionist electric vehicle strategy would hurt both countries’ economies, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says.

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The issue came up in a discussion this week with the country’s premiers and Justin Trudeau, and Ford is giving the Prime Minister his full support when he raises this trade matter at Thursday’s meeting of Canada-United States-Mexico leaders, he said.

Biden is proposing a generous tax credit that rewards motorists who buy American, union-made EVs.

“I’m very concerned … why would you go after your number one ally and number one economic partner. And for what, it’s going to hurt them just as much as it hurts us,” Ford said Wednesday. “We faced this under the previous president. We thought things would be different with this president and hopefully they will be …. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

As first revealed by the Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley, Ford was at Linamar in Guelph on Tuesday to announce the second phase of his government’s auto strategy with a commitment to build at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles in Ontario by 2030.

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Ford also suggested he was prepared to revisit EV subsidies if the market required it.

The Ford government cancelled a previous EV subsidy in 2018, unhappy it was going to people wealthy enough to purchase top-of-the-line Teslas.

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According to data released by Statistics Canada, Ontario went from leading the country in battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales in 2017 to trailing Quebec and B.C. after the subsidy ended.

NDP MPP Wayne Gates said the Ford government has not been receptive to EV, going so far as to order charging stations removed.

“Doug Ford’s sudden flip-flop on electric vehicles is late, weak and badly incomplete,” Gates said in a statement Wednesday. “He still refuses to have electric vehicle incentives or rebates, and refuses to commit to putting back the charging stations he took away.”

Ford said EV sales are up in Ontario and his government is committed to the sector’s growth.

aartuso@postmedai.com

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