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Why Some EV Makers Are Recalling Their Electric Scooters? Explained

In yet another tragic incident involving an electric two-wheeler, a 40-year-old man has died after a blast occurred in an e-scooter belonging to Boom Motors while being charged at home.

Updated: April 25, 2022 3:18 PM IST

By Puja Sethi

Why Some EV Makers Are Recalling Their Electric Scooters? Explained
EV makers are recalling their faulty scooters in wake of rising incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire (Photo/Twitter)

New Delhi: Ola Electric voluntarily recalled a batch of 1,441 units of its electric two-wheelers on Sunday in the wake of rising incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire. In a similar move, Okinawa Autotech had also recently recalled over 3,000 units, while PureEV called back around 2,000 units. The move came after Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari cautioned electric vehicle manufacturers about the incidents, asking them to take “advance action” in recalling all defective batches of vehicles immediately.

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What did Ola say while recalling its scooters?

Ola Electric recalled a batch of 1,441 scooters, one of which had caught fire while parked on the roadside in a busy area in Pune on March 26. The company said it is investigating last month’s incident and added that its ongoing and a preliminary assessment found that it was an isolated one.

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“Our internal investigation into the March 26 vehicle fire incident in Pune is ongoing and the preliminary assessment reveals that the thermal incident was likely an isolated one. As a pre-emptive measure, we will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles,” it said.

Ola Electric further said that the recalled units will be inspected by its service engineers and will go through a thorough diagnostics across all battery systems, thermal systems as well as the safety systems. The company said its battery systems already complies with and is tested for AIS 156, the latest proposed standard for India, in addition to being compliant with the European standard ECE 136.

List of recent EV fires

To date, three Pure EV, one Ola, one Boom, two Okinawa and 20 Jitendra EV scooters have caught fire in the country, raising burning questions about their safety.

On Saturday, a 40-year-old man died after a blast occurred in an e-scooter belonging to Boom Motors while being charged at home. The incident in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, also left the deceased Kotakonda Siva Kumar’s wife and two daughters with severe burn injuries.

According to multiple reports, the police registered a complaint under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against the EV maker and a notice was sent to the Boom Motors dealer that sold the e-scooter to Kumar. Kumar, a DTP designer, had bought the e-scooter for nearly Rs 70,000 on April 22. The battery exploded within a day of purchase early on April 23, according to reports.

Ironically, Boom Motor was among those selected under the government’s automotive production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

On Wednesday, an 80-year-old man was killed and two others injured when the battery of a Pure EV electric two-wheeler exploded in their house in Telangana’s Nizamabad district.

Prior to that, a man and his 13-year-old daughter lost their lives after an Okinawa scooter erupted into flames in Vellore.

Govt working on quality guidelines for EVs

The fire incidents had prompted the government to form a panel to examine and had warned companies of penalties if they were found to be negligent.

Taking cognisance of repeated incidents, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the Centre will announce ‘quality-centric’ guidelines for manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs). He also warned EV makers of heavy penalties in case of negligence.

Gadkari said the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) had constituted an expert committee to examine EV manufacturing issues, especially those related to two-wheelers, and make recommendations to be added to the upcoming guidelines. He also advised EV companies to act responsibly by identifying and recalling defective batches without waiting for orders or the guidelines from the ministry.

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Published Date: April 25, 2022 12:35 PM IST

Updated Date: April 25, 2022 3:18 PM IST