Ola Electric, the electric two-wheeler manufacturer, has decided to reimburse approximately Rs 130 crore to customers after a probe by the Ministry of Heavy Industries for overpricing. The probe was initiated following whistleblower complaints against four companies, including Ola Electric, for charging customers over and above the Rs 1.5 lakh threshold under the central government’s FAME scheme for availing subsidies. The company has informed the government that it will reimburse the cost of the off-board charger to customers who purchased it as an accessory when buying an Ola S1Pro model scooter from FY 2019-20 until March 30, 2023.
According to sources, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) will not be taking any further action against Ola Electric as the company has voluntarily decided to reimburse the amount. Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Agarwal had recently told CNBC-TV18 that the company would comply with any government requests. The company has reduced the cost of its electric scooter from Rs 1.39 lakh to Rs 1.24 lakh, inclusive of the cost of the charger and software features, to meet the eligibility criteria of the FAME scheme.
Other companies under scrutiny, including Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor Company, and Ather Energy, have claimed that the additional cost was for additional software features and the off-board charger. Ather Energy and Ola Electric have also reduced the cost of their electric scooters to meet the eligibility criteria of the FAME scheme. The government’s probe had led to the suspension of subsidies, but the companies are in touch with the government to resolve all issues. Ola Electric is also expected to submit a certified statement to ARAI after reimbursing all customers.