Electric vehicle startup, Ather Energy has decided to offer refunds to customers for charging devices of its scooters bought before April 12, 2023.
TVS and Hero MotoCorp have also been ordered to refund the charger cost to buyers after the government found that chargers were being billed separately, which is a violation of the FAME II guidelines.
According to a media report, Ather Energy will refund Rs 140 crore to 95,000 customers who purchased the 450X up to April 12, 2023. TVS will reimburse Rs 15.61 crore to 87,000 customers who purchased the iQube S between May 2, 2022, and March 2023, while Hero MotoCorp will refund Rs 2.23 crore to 1,100 buyers who have purchased the Vida V1 Plus and V1 Pro.
EV makers had come under the scanner for allegedly mispricing their products to make them eligible for subsidy under the Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. As per the policy, electric 2-wheelers that cost more than Rs 1.50 lakh are not eligible for benefits under the scheme. Also, chargers and proprietary software cannot be sold by a company at an additional cost.
A media statement from Ather Energy read, “While there is no legal compliance requirement to bundle chargers, after discussions with MHI and in the larger interest of the EV ecosystem, we recently made the change to bundle the charger with the vehicle. In order to be fair to 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. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be sending out an email to the customers who are eligible to claim this refund.”