TVS To Refund iQube Customers Who Paid Over Rs 1.50 Lakh For The E-Scooter
By Amaan Ahmed
3 mins read
Published on May 3, 2023
- Up until recently, the TVS iQube’s portable charger cost an additional Rs 9,450.
- TVS says the refunds to existing customers will cost the company less than Rs 20 crore.
- iQube crossed the 100,000 units sales milestone in April even as sales dipped.
Facing allegations of exploiting a loophole to avail subsidies under the FAME-II scheme, two-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company has announced it will refund owners of the iQube electric scooter who paid over Rs 1.5 lakh for their vehicle, including the extra cost paid for the vehicle’s charger. In a media statement, the company said it will extend a ‘goodwill benefit scheme’ to existing iQube customers, who, at the time of purchasing the scooter, were asked to pay an additional amount for the portable charger bundled with the scooter, and ended up paying more than Rs 1.5 lakh for their purchase. The total reimbursement cost to TVS is understood to be in the region of Rs 15-16 crore.
“As a responsible corporate, TVS Motor has fully complied with all government regulations specified under FAME. Further towards alleviating ambiguity and ensuring a clear policy direction, TVS Motor will offer a goodwill benefit scheme for its customers who have paid over and above the threshold limit fixed by FAME. The overall cost impact to TVS Motor Company is less than Rs 20 crore”, said KN Radhakrishnan, Director and CEO, TVS Motor Company, on the subject.
TVS Motor Company was named in whistleblower emails to the heavy industries ministry alongside Hero MotoCorp, Ola Electric, Ather Energy, with the whistleblower pointing out how all four brands, up until recently, excluded the portable charger to be sold along with the scooter from the vehicle’s ex-showroom cost. Brands resorted to this in order to meet the Rs 1.50 lakh ex-factory price limit, failing which they wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies under the FAME-II scheme.
The portable charger for the TVS iQube cost an additional Rs 9,450.
However, sources tell carandbike that all four manufacturers were served a notice by the heavy industries ministry on the matter a few days ago, following which the brands have sprung into action and are in the process of finalising reimbursement for their customers. This includes Hero MotoCorp, which has confirmed it will reimburse early Vida V1 buyers, along with slashing prices of the e-scooter.
Buyers of the TVS iQube have, up until now, had to shell out an additional Rs 9,450 for the portable charger supplied with the scooter. However, the on-road price of the iQube was lower than that of its peers, and even with the extra cost of the charger included, barely exceeded the Rs 1.5 lakh mark in most locations it was sold in.
As TVS is only refunding the difference customers paid in excess of Rs 1.50 lakh, Radhakrishnan said the average refund cost comes up to around Rs 1,700 per scooter, in a recent analyst call, which is why the total reimbursement due from TVS is significantly lower than that due from the likes of Ola Electric and Ather Energy.
The cost of the charger is likely to be included in the ex-showroom price of the scooter going forward. carandbike has reached out to TVS for clarity on the updated price of the iQube, and will update this story with TVS’ response.
Uncertainty surrounding the sector owing to allegations of subsidy misappropriation had an impact on electric two-wheeler sales in April. Last month, registrations of electric two-wheelers were down by a substantial 23 per cent, with both TVS and Ather witnessing a sharp drop in sales compared to March. The iQube crossed the 100,000 units sales milestone in April, but its sales fell by nearly 48 per cent month-on-month. In its sales report, TVS attributed the drop to production being ‘constrained due to AIS-156 changeover and supply chain challenges’.
Last Updated on May 3, 2023
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