India's top EV two-wheeler makers to refund customers for chargers

The refund will allow companies like Ola, Ather, TVS, and Hero to qualify for government incentives that have been delayed for over two months.

India's top EV two-wheeler makers to refund customers for chargers

Tuesday May 02, 2023,

3 min Read

The country's top electric two-wheeler makers Ather Energy, TVS Motor Company, Ola Electric, and Hero MotoCorp are planning to issue refunds to customers for chargers that were given with the scooter for which they were separately billed.

This is in a bid to qualify for subsidies granted by the government, according to a report by Mint that cited people familiar with the matter.

These companies had been billing the customers separately for the vehicle and the chargers to ensure the scooters were below the eligibility threshold required for the subsidy—Rs 1.5 lakh—for which the government had pulled up manufacturers and halted the release of subsidies worth nearly Rs 800 crore.

YourStory could not independently verify these reports.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have already absorbed the cost of the chargers and changed its products to remain below the Rs 1.5 lakh limit, but the Ministry wants OEMs to refund customers who paid for the chargers separately.

Ola has decided to comply, and will be reimbursing around Rs 130 crore to around one lakh customers who had purchased the Ola S1 Pro scooter, The Economic Times reported, citing a senior government official.

Ola declined to comment on ET's report or the refund issue, while Ather told YourStory it was contemplating reimbursements.

Hero and TVS did not immediately respond to YourStory's request for comment. This story will be updated to reflect the companies' responses.

The government suspended the disbursal of incentives guaranteed under the FAME II scheme in March this year after it found several inconsistencies relating to the localisation norms it had stipulated.

The Ministry has suspended subsidies for two OEMs—Hero Electric and Okinawa Autotech—after investigations revealed the two had failed to meet FAME II's localisation criteria, a result of which both companies had to return the subsidies released to them thus far.

Hero said it had not received any such letter from the Department of Heavy Industries so far.

"The news in the media seems to have been planted as a last-ditch attempt to derail our business by exaggerating, sensationalizing and maligning our brand–a syndicated attack that has been going on for the last 15 months to shake our market leadership of close to a decade," said Sohinder Gill, CEO of Hero Electric in a statement.

The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) last month said the government owes nearly Rs 1,200 crore worth of subsidies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) at the moment, which it has paid from its own pocket. It added that the delay in rebates was squeezing OEMs and making things difficult financially.

Edited by Akanksha Sarma