Stephen Beatty, managing director of Toyota Canada is not to thrilled with plug-in rebate plan announced by Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty this week. In fact, Beatty sees the plan as more of a subsidy for General Motors and the Chevy Volt than a real plan for promoting plug-in vehicles. While McGuinty made the announcement at a Toronto Chevrolet dealer where a Volt concept was on hand. Toyota – and presumably other automakers – was not consulted or even notified about the plan before the announcement.
While the plan will provide financial incentives for buying ER-EVs, EVs and PHEVs, non-plug hybrids will be left out in the cold. Given Toyota's oft-stated skepticism about plug-in vehicles, it's no wonder they are upset. Given the Ontario government's investment in GM, it's not unexpected for them to do things that might promote the direction GM is going. The government's policy may well be too specific and should perhaps provide some incentives for other types of cleaner, more efficient vehicles like hybrids and diesels.