Auto Companies Ordered to Pay Rs 27.8 Crore to Customers for External Chargers

The central government has issued a stern directive to electric scooter companies regarding the payment of external chargers. Ola Electric, Ather Energy, TVS Motors, and Hero MotoCorp have been instructed to pay Rs 27.8 crore to nearly 2 lakh customers. The government has set a deadline of November 2023 for the payment to be made.

Notifications have been sent to the defaulting companies, clearly stating that failure to make the payment by the specified date will result in punitive action. If the companies do not comply, the government is prepared to halt the subsidies provided to them for the conversion to electric vehicles. Additionally, other facilities available to Fame 2 companies will also be stopped. The FAME 2 program is scheduled to end in March 2024.

This issue arose when car companies made the mistake of charging customers separately for the external chargers instead of including the cost in the overall price of the scooter. Upon realizing the error, the companies agreed to reimburse the customers for the charger cost. The government had initially planned to release a subsidy of 800 million rupees, but only 300 million rupees will be disbursed to the companies once they rectify the charging error and inform the government.

The government’s firm stance is a consequence of customer complaints regarding the separate charging for the external chargers. The companies will now have to pay the specified amount to the customers within the given timeframe to avoid further penalties and loss of subsidies.

Overall, this development highlights the government’s commitment to ensuring fair practices and protecting consumer rights in the electric vehicle industry.

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Summary at glance

The Indian government has instructed electric scooter companies Ola Electric, Ather Energy, TVS Motors, and Hero MotoCorp to pay a total of Rs 27.8 crore to nearly 200,000 customers who were not charged for external chargers. The government has set a deadline of November 2023 for the payment, and warns that punitive action will be taken if the companies fail to comply. If the payment is not made, the government plans to stop the subsidies and other facilities available to these companies for converting to electric vehicles. This issue arose when customers complained that they were charged separately for the chargers, instead of having the cost included in the price of the scooter. The government had previously halted subsidies to all companies in February, but allowed them to resume in April with the condition that the wrongly charged amount be returned to customers.

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