Govt Calls EV Manufacturers To Explain Recent EV fires

Highlights :

The Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), DRDO’s lab, has accused the manufacturing companies of having intentionally used lower-grade materials to cut costs. Based on this report, the Ministry officials have already summoned representatives of Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles & Boom Motors last week to submit an explanation.

The Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), DRDO‘s lab, has blamed the EV manufacturing companies for the recent spate of fires. The report has found that recent electric scooter fires were caused by defects in their batteries, including in the designs of the battery packs and modules.

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Published on May 23, the report quoted an anonymous source as saying that the defects may have crept in because electric two-wheeler companies intentionally used lower-grade materials to cut costs. Tasked with investigating incidents of electric scooter catching fire, the CFEES has submitted its report to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. “The ministry will fully hear the companies and then at an appropriate level a decision will be taken whether to accept their explanation or reject it” the source added.

On March 28, the Road Transport Ministry had asked DRDO’s lab, CFEES to conduct an investigation into frequent incidents of EV scooters catching fire and share findings of its report along with remedial measures. More than half a dozen cases of electric scooters catching fire have been recently reported from across the country.

In April, the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, was also roped in along with DRDO’s CFEES for a more comprehensive investigation. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had tweeted, “If any company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered”, he had said, also advising companies to “take advance action to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately”.

So far, Ola Electric has recalled over 1,400 electric scooters, Pure EV has recalled 2,000 units of its ETrance+ and EPluto 7G scooters, while Okinawa Autotech has recalled 3,215 scooters. The country aims to increase the share of electric scooters and motorcycles in total two-wheeler sales to 80 per cent by 2030 from 2 percent now. From January next year, India will reportedly make it mandatory for EV makers to comply with a new set of safety standards.

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