Ola Electric, Ather to refund charger cost to e-scooter buyers

New Delhi: Ola Electric and Ather Energy on Thursday said they will reimburse the cost of chargers to buyers of electric scooters in the larger interest of the EV ecosystem.

In a statement on Twitter, Ola said the electric vehicle industry has witnessed unprecedented success in the last couple of years despite attempts from vested interest groups, like the recent narrative on charger pricing.

“As a leader of the industry, we remain committed to putting our customers first. Therefore, setting aside the technicalities and as an example for others to follow, we have decided to reimburse the charger monies to all eligible customers,” it stated.

This move will not only demonstrate the company’s commitment to the EV revolution but also serve to strengthen trust and add more value for the customers, the company noted.

Ola did not provide the details regarding the amount it planned to reimburse.

Reports citing government officials had pegged the amount to be around Rs 130 crore.

In a separate statement on Twitter, Ather Energy said that over the last few weeks, the company has been in discussion with the Ministry of Heavy Industries on the topic of bundling chargers with the purchase of an EV scooter.

”While there is no legal compliance requirement to bundle chargers, after discussions with MHI and in larger interest of the EV ecosystem we recently made the change to bundle the charger with the vehicle,” it said.

It further said: ”In order to be fair to the customers who had bought the vehicle prior to this change, we have decided to refund the invoiced amount of the chargers for vehicles bought before April 12, 2023.” On Wednesday, TVS Motor Company announced that it will refund around Rs 20 crore as a goodwill benefit scheme to customers who have paid over and above the threshold limit fixed under the FAME scheme.

Last week, the government sent notices to Okinawa Autotech and Hero Electric for debarment from the FAME-II Scheme and sought the recovery of incentives claimed since FY20 after the two companies were found to be violating localisation norms under the scheme.

Based on anonymous emails, the government has recently re-opened audits for 2020 and 2021 where all companies were importing certain components which weren’t manufactured in India.

The FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) scheme commenced on April 1, 2019, for a period of three years, which was further extended for a period of two years up to March 31, 2024.

The total outlay for FAME Scheme Phase II is Rs 10,000 crore. The scheme is exclusively for public and commercial transport in the segments of electric three-wheelers (e-3W), electric four-wheelers (e-4W), and electric buses.