Ola, Ather, Hero and TVS agree to refund EV charger cost to customers
Ola Electric, Ather Energy, Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor have all agreed to refund EV charger costs paid by their customers. The decision comes after the Centre had blocked paying out incentives to EV makers under the FAME II scheme for charging customers for the EV charging unit that came with their electric scooters. The amount of refund is estimated to be nearly ₹300 crore. The refund will allow the EV makers to be eligible again for FAME II incentives offered by the government.
Ola Electric, currently the leading electric two-wheeler manufacturer in India, has put the blame on vested interests trying to derail the EV industry's growth. In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Ola Electric said, “The EV industry has witnessed unprecedented success in the last couple of years, despite attempts from vested interest groups, like with the recent narrative on charger pricing."
The EV maker also said that it has decided to refund to keep the trust alive among customers. The statement read, “Setting aside the technicalities and as an example for others to follow, we have decided to reimburse the charger monies to all eligible customers. This move will not only demonstrate our commitment to the EV revolution but also serves to strengthen trust and add more value for out customers."
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According to reports, Ola Electric will refund ₹130 crore to around one lakh customers who had separately paid for the chargers. Ather Energy, one of the top EV makers in India, is also going to pay up around ₹140 crore to 95,000 customers. The EV maker issued a statement announcing the deadline by which it will completed the process. Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor are also reportedly going to reimburse around ₹18 crore to nearly 90,000 customers. Earlier, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) had said that the Centre owes nearly ₹1,200 crore to EV makers in the form of EV subsidy payout.
The Centre had stopped rolling out FAME benefits to EV makers after finding out the irregularities. At least two electric two-wheeler manufacturers faced suspension from getting incentive benefits as they did not meet localisation norms which is part of the criteria to be eligible for FAME subsidies.