Nitin Gadkari had asked EV manufacturers to take “advance action” to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately.
Ola Electric has announced the recall of over 1,400 of its electric scooters in the aftermath of scores of instances involving two-wheelers catching fire, in which at least four people have been killed. The move occurred after Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requested that EV manufacturers take “advance action” to recall all faulty batches of their vehicles promptly.
Ola Electric is recalling 1,441 scooters from a specific batch, one of which caught fire while parked on the side of the road in a busy area of Pune last month. According to the firm, the occurrence was most likely “isolated.”
“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.
The recalled scooters will be inspected by Ola Electric service professionals and will undergo a diagnostics check across all battery, thermal, and safety systems. According to the company, our battery pack already conforms with and has been tested for AIS 156, the most recent proposed standard for India, as well as ECE 136, a European standard.
Over a dozen electric scooters have caught fire in recent weeks, including ones produced by Ola Electric, Okinawa, Pure EV, and Jitendra EV. Last month, an Okinawa scooter caught fire in Vellore, killing a dad and his 13-year-old daughter.
Earlier this month, more than 20 Jitendra EV electric scooters caught fire while being transported from the factory in Nashik. An electric scooter manufactured by Pure EV caught fire in Telangana’s Nizamabad on Wednesday when its battery ruptured, killing an 80-year-old man.
The other firms have stated that they are looking into the likely causes of the fires. Pure EV has recalled 2,000 electric scooters, and Okinawa has declared that it is recalling over 3,000 EVs to inspect them for potential safety hazards.
Gadkari stated earlier this week that if EV manufacturers are proven to be “negligent in their process,” the government will levy a high penalty and require the recall of all faulty EVs. He promised that quality-centric rules for EVs will be released soon. The Road Transport Ministry has requested that the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety conduct an inquiry into the fire events.
Responding to queries about the growing cases of EV fire incidents in the past few months, Aggarwal said that EV is a new industry for everybody, and skyrocketing of the adoption curve led to these instances coming to light. “In electric vehicles, we will all have to go through the curve of understanding what causes this, figuring out the right regulatory framework, the right policy framework, the right best practices in the companies and workers,” he added.