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India probes possible misappropriation of incentives by EV makers

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NEW DELHI — India is investigating the possible misappropriation of incentives given to electric vehicle (EV) makers under a 100 billion rupee ($1.21 billion) program to promote their faster adoption, the minister for heavy industries told parliament on Tuesday.

Complaints were made against 12 electric vehicle and parts manufacturers, including Hero Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd and Okinawa Autotech Pvt Ltd, for violating guidelines under the program, Mahendra Nath Pandey, the minister for heavy industries, said.

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Other companies were Benling India Energy and Technology Pvt Ltd, Okaya Ev Pvt Ltd, Jitendra New Ev Tech Pvt Ltd, Greaves Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd, Revolt Intellicorp Pvt Ltd, Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions Ltd, Avon Cycles Ltd, Lohia Auto Industries, Thukral Electric Bikes Pvt Ltd and Victory Electric Vehicles International Pvt Ltd.

None of the companies responded immediately to a Reuters request for comment.

Pandey said all complaints were being re-verified by agencies, while two EV makers have been suspended from taking incentives under the scheme after examination of complaints. He did not name the two companies.

India wants to grow its electric car market from 1% of total car sales, of about 3 million a year, to 30% by 2030.

To achieve that, the government is reimbursing EV and hybrid vehicle makers for reducing the purchase price of their vehicles under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) program.

Pandey told parliament that the sale of electric vehicles under the program has increased from 19,100 in 2019-20, when the scheme started, to 442,901 in 2022-23 up to Dec. 9 2022.

($1 = 82.7750 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Shivam Patel and Sakshi Dayal in New Delhi; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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