An electric scooter burst into flames on Saturday in Tamil Nadu's Hosur in Krishnagiri district. The owner, a supervisor at a private firm in Bengaluru, jumped to safety when he noticed flames under the scooter's seat.
This is the latest incident of explosions and fires in electric scooters in recent weeks that have turned out to be fatal at times. The Union government has taken note of these accidents and have formed an expert committee for an inquiry.
In last two weeks, two people have been killed in two separate incidents of electric two-wheelers' explosions in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Last month, a father and his daughter died in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district due to the smoke inhalation caused by the explosion of the electric bike while being charged.
Electric-vehicle manufacturers have voluntarily recalled thousands of their two-wheelers in the wake of these accidents. Most recently, citing an incident in Pune last month, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 of its scooters. The two-wheelers will be inspected by Ola's engineers and their battery, thermal, and safety systems will go through diagnostic tests.
This is BIG : an #OLA #S1pro electric scooter caught fire in Pune. Company says will investigate & take appropriate action.— Sumant Banerji (@sumantbanerji) March 26, 2022
ETAuto has maintained a bigger discussion is needed on battery safety of #EVs. Hopefully, this will trigger it.#ElectricVehicles https://t.co/Z5YZBXvz6X pic.twitter.com/UiZ4jQwsjv
Following an 80-year-old man's death in Telangana, cited above in the story, after his scooter's battery exploded, EV-maker Pure EV expressed deep regret over the incident and recalled 2,000 vehicles in Telangana's Nizamabad and Tamil Nadu's Chennai.
Okinawa Autotech, another EV-maker, recently recalled over 3,000 units of their electric scooters.
On April 20, government think tank Niti Ayog had published a draft policy for EV battery swapping. It had suggested incentives as well as a rigorous testing protocol for swappable batteries.
Concerned over the rise in incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said the companies found negligent will be penalised and a recall of all defective vehicles will be ordered after receiving the report of an expert panel that has been formed to inquire into the matter.
We have constituted an Expert Committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps.— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) April 21, 2022
Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles.
(With PTI inputs)