Electric scooter fire: Faulty battery cells likely caused mishaps, says probe 

  • Electric scooters catching fire became regular news at one point a few weeks back when the country was facing severe heat waves.
Ola Electric scooter in flame became viral a few weeks back. (HT_PRINT)
Ola Electric scooter in flame became viral a few weeks back.

Faulty batteries and modules are likely the reasons behind multiple electric scooter fire incidents that took place across India in the last more than one month. Reuters reports that the initial findings of a federal investigation have identified defective battery cells and modules as the leading cause behind electric scooter fires that even cost the lives of some people.

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Several electric scooters from manufacturers such as Ola Electric, Pure EV and Okinawa have been involved in those fire incidents. In at least two cases, multiple people died due to the electric scooter fire incidents. Multiple electric scooter fire incidents prompted the central government to take cognizance and start an investigation into these matters in March. The report claims that the probe looked into fire incidents involving three companies.

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It also claims that in Ola's case, the battery cells were found to be an issue as well as the battery management system too. In Okinawa's case, there was an issue with the cells and battery modules and for PureEV it was the battery casing, the report claims.

The report claims that the government has taken samples of battery cells from the three EV companies for further inspection. The final investigation report is expected to be out in about two weeks. Ola Electric on the other hand has claimed that it was likely an isolated thermal issue and there was no fault of Ola's battery management system.

The revelation comes at a time when India is aiming for electric scooters and electric motorcycles to make up 80 per cent of its total two-wheeler sales by 2030, up from the current two per cent. After multiple electric scooter fire incidents were reported, the upbeat consumer sentiment towards electric scooters took a hit instantly. Several potential consumers changed their minds to buy electric two-wheelers and opted for ICE-powered models instead. The concerns around safety could jeopardise consumer confidence and could derail the growth of India's EV sector impacting the country's carbon reduction goals.

First Published Date: 08 May 2022, 16:43 PM IST

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