Ola Electric To Reimburse INR 130 Crore To Its Customers The development comes amid reports that the government has initiated an investigation into FAME scheme irregularities after whistle-blowers raised apprehensions
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Electric two-wheeler manufacturer Ola Electric will reportedly reimburse INR 130 crore to customers, who bought EV chargers. According to a report by CNBC-TV18 citing sources, the two-wheeler company was responding to the probe initiated by the Ministry of Heavy Industries for overpricing. Earlier, the company had taken money for the charger, presenting it as an add-on service, as its cost wasn't included in the electric scooter's price. Customers were reportedly charged from INR 9,000 to INR 19,000 for a smart fast charger.
The government raised objections with Ola Electric, asking to compensate the buyers who had purchased chargers separately. It also asserted that the subsidy given to the company will be cut if Ola Electric sticks to sell chargers separately.
On Sunday, Ola Electric reportedly told the ministry that it has decided to refund the price of off-board chargers to those customers who had bought it at the time of scooter purchase. The development comes amid reports that the government has initiated an investigation into FAME scheme irregularities after whistle-blowers raised apprehensions.
The word FAME stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles, which is a scheme under NEMMP (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan) of government of India that aims to promote the sale of electric vehicles across the country by providing a subsidy in the overall cost of the vehicles. The government approved Phase II of the FAME Scheme with an outlay of INR 10,000 crore for a period of three years commencing from 1st April 2019. Out of total budgetary support, about 86% of the fund has been allocated for demand incentives so as to create demand for EVs in the country.
As per the media reports, some of the electric vehicle companies were charging customers over and above the INR 1.5 lakh threshold under the central government's FAME scheme for availing the subsidies. The companies had earlier claimed that the additional cost was for additional software features and the off-board charger.
When asked about the government's probe and suspension of subsidies, Ola Electric Founder and CEO Bhavish Agarwal had told CNBC-TV18 that the company will do whatever the government asks them to do. Moreover, with the latest developments, the company said that Ola Electric remains in touch with the government to resolve all issues.