The Ministry of Road, Transports, and Highways has asked the electric vehicle manufacturers to stop new EV launches until the investigation of fire incidents gets completed, The Economic Times reported citing sources.
According to the report, EV manufacturers are verbally dissuaded not to launch any new product until the reason behind the fires gets clarified and the steps required to stop them have been firmed up.
The development comes at the backdrop of eight EV explosions that happened in the span of a month.
Earlier, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced any EV company found to be negligent with customer safety will be penalized heavily. He also issued orders to recall the defective electric vehicles.
NITI Aayog also formulated a team of independent experts to investigate the EV fire incidents. Notably, the Indian thinktank also introduced the draft battery swapping policy last week, to level the field across business modes for EV sales with fixed or swappable batteries.
Meanwhile, citing an incident in Pune last month, Ola electric has recalled 1,441 of its scooters to be inspected by its engineers and to put their battery, thermal, and safety systems through diagnostic tests. Amidst the rising EV fire incidents, Okinawa Autotech recently recalled over 3,000 units, Pure EV recalled around 2,000 units.
Experts told Outlook Business that the reason behind EV fires can be multiple. Rajeev YSR, chief mentor, EV Masterclass said, “The primary reason for EV scooters catching fire is a thermal runaway, which can be caused due to multiple reasons-- melting of the electrolyte, operational temperatures of the battery, poor quality of the battery cells and battery pack assemblies, and lack of active cells assemblies."
Sudden acceleration or prolonged charging/fast charging of the vehicles can also have a negative impact on the battery. Rajeev said, "Prolonged and fast charging will result in higher currents passing through the wires and this might result in the melting of wires and thus short circuits. This is one main reason why vehicles catch fire during charging inside homes."