Electric vehicles incentives are a hot button issue as some critics claim they unfairly benefit the wealthy.
Canada tried to level the playing field by requiring electric vehicles with six or less seats to have a base price lower than $45,000 CAD in order to be eligible for a $5,000 CAD incentive. That’s pretty restrictive, but the program also allowed these vehicles to be offered in higher trims costing up to $55,000 CAD without losing the incentive.
While the rules were designed to prevent luxury car buyers from taking advantage of the incentive, Electrek discovered Tesla found a way to effectively circumvent them. As they noticed, the company has quietly introduced an entry-level Model 3 that starts at $44,999 CAD and has a “software-locked” range of just 93 miles (150 km).
The range is pathetic by today’s standards, but that’s not the point and Tesla doesn’t want anyone to actually buy the car. Since it starts at $44,999 CAD, it makes the more expensive Model 3 Standard Range Plus eligible for the $5,000 CAD incentive even though it starts at $53,700 CAD. It delivers a more traditional Tesla experience as it has an estimated range of 240 miles (386 km).
In an apparent effort to ensure customers don’t ‘accidentally’ order the wrong car, the 93 mile (150 km) variant is only available for purchase at dealerships. The Model 3 Standard Range Plus, on the other hand, can be ordered online and is shown on the company’s Canadian configurator.
The move will probably anger politicians who crafted the rules, but it’s totally legit. It also helps consumers as they can now get a $5,000 CAD incentive to purchase a Model 3.