In a significant development, four electric vehicle (EV) makers including Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor Company, Ather Energy and Ola Electric Technologies have deposited around ₹300 crore to the government as penalty amount fined by the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) for violating the guidelines under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
While Ather has paid ₹157.78 crore, Ola has paid ₹136.10 crore as part of the amount for refund to the customers, sources from MHI told businessline.
Similarly, TVS Motor has paid ₹16.32 crore and Hero MotoCorp has paid ₹2.23 crore to the government.
Earlier this year, these companies were found to be charging separately from the customers for portable chargers. This route was taken by the companies to make their vehicles eligible for FAME incentives, but in return the customers had to bear the cost of the charger, over and above the ex-showroom cost of a two-wheeler, which was against the scheme.
The twist was to allow the buyers to claim for FAME subsidies, which is offered on electric two-wheelers with a price tag of up to ₹1.50 lakh. The MHI got to know about these issues from some customer complaints and immediately stopped issuing subsidies worth ₹800 crore.
The MHI also made sure these companies come under scrutiny and warned these companies of not letting them enter into any future subsidy schemes. The companies accepted their fault and decided to refund all the customers who were billed separately, and since then they have been giving the home charger as part of the vehicle invoice.
And, till October 10, these companies deposited the refund amount owed to the customers, through the government which asked the companies to deposit the money in a central account.
“Till October 10, all the four companies have deposited the amount. One of them has deposited the amount on October 5, another on October 6 and some other on October 9,” an official at MHI told businessline.