Inside Ola Electric, Ather’s race against time to refund customers


Pranav Balakrishnan

20 reads

Pranav Balakrishnan

20 reads

In May, EV two-wheeler makers Ather, Ola Electric, Hero MotoCorp, and TVS Motors agreed to refund customers to the tune of Rs 278 crore after being accused of mispricing their scooters. Despite originally committing to a November deadline, however, EV makers are still scrambling to comply.

October 17, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • In May, following allegations they’d gamed the government’s FAME-II subsidy requirements, Ola Electric, Ather Energy, TVS Motor, and Hero MotoCorp agreed to refund customers
  • Collectively, the four companies were to pay back Rs 278 crore to some 200,000 customers. The deadline for this was November-end
  • Meeting this deadline, though, seems unlikely. Not just for Ola Electric and Ather—which account for the vast majority of refunds—but the other two companies as well.
  • The EV makers have run into various hurdles as they attempt to complete the refund process and have deposited a “guarantee” with the government while they continue their efforts

On October 12, reports surfaced that Ather Energy, Ola Electric, TVS Motor, and Hero MotoCorp had collectively deposited Rs 129 crore with the government. This follows on from a government probe earlier this year, which found that the EV two-wheeler manufacturers had effectively gamed the government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles, or FAME-II, scheme.

The four companies were found to have mispriced their EVs by billing customers for the chargers and software of their vehicles separately. This allowed them to keep the price of their vehicles below Rs 1,50,000 in order for them to qualify for subsidies under FAME-II.

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