With Ontario's electric vehicle rebate winding down on September 10, the province's Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) is issuing a warning to consumers to make sure they aren't left drained.

John Carmichael, CEO of Ontario vehicle sales regulator OMVIC suggests buyers make any EV deals conditional. "Have the dealer include a clause on the bill of sale stating that the vehicle must be delivered, registered and plated by September 10th and the purchaser qualifies for the EHVIP incentive," Carmichael advises.

The province's recently installed government announced in the middle of last month that the Ontario Electric Vehicle Incentive Program that gave buyers up to a $14,000 incentive to purchase an EV was cancelled. But there were some provisions in the axing of the rebate to protect consumers who were already in the process of buying their electric vehicle from a dealer.

Buyers who had already taken delivery of their EV and registered and plated it by July 11th were able to take advantage of the incentives, which range from $7,000-$14,000. Buyers who had cars on order by that date could still qualify for the incentive, if delivered and plated at a dealer by September 10th. 

It's the same for potential plug-in buyers now in the market for a vehicle that was on the lot or ordered by a dealer as of July 11, which means up to six more weeks to buy or lease an EV and collect the incentive. It's those with orders for cars or who are buying from existing inventory who need to be careful, OMVIC suggests.

Their consumer warning highlights that if the vehicle isn't registered, plated, and delivered by September 10th, buyers won't qualify for the incentive, which is a very significant amount for most buyers. And may certainly impact a buyer's decision to buy or lease that particular vehicle. 

If the dealer can't or won't agree to such a conditional clause, it is up to the buyer on whether to walk away from the deal, OMVIC advises. Dealerships aren't required to agree to the condition, the dealer regulator emphasizes, but consumers should be aware of this deadline, and that they may not receive the incentive if beyond this date, and let them decide accordingly.