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Indian EV maker denies allegations of misappropriation of incentives

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NEW DELHI — India’s Avon Cycles Ltd has denied any wrongdoing in a scheme granting subsidies to vehicle manufacturers to boost the sale of electric vehicles (EV), after the government said the company was among those being investigated for misappropriation.

The Indian government is reimbursing electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle manufacturers for reducing the purchase price of their vehicles under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) program.

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Complaints were made against 12 electric vehicle and parts manufacturers, including Avon Cycles, for violating guidelines under the 100 billion rupees ($1.21 billion) program, Minister for Heavy Industries Mahendra Nath Pandey told parliament on Tuesday.

The other companies named by Pandey did not respond to Reuters request for comment.

Pandey said two of the 12 companies have been suspended from claiming incentives following the investigation.

Avon Cycles said in an email on Thursday that it does not have any two wheeler model covered under the scheme, and its three wheeler models that qualify under the program “fully meet the eligibility criteria.”

“At present we have presence in low speed category of two wheelers only, which implies that we do not have any two wheeler model which is covered under FAME – phase 2 scheme and hence no subsidies have been claimed in two wheeler segment by ‘Avon Cycles Limited’,” the company said in a statement.

“We do have two number three wheeler models which qualify under FAME – phase 2 scheme which fully meet the eligibility criteria set by the concerned authorities. Also, the sales volumes of these three wheeler models sold under the stated scheme, so far, have been insignificant.”

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

($1 = 82.8300 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Jacqueline Wong)

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