Centre orders probe into EV fire incidents after Ola S1 Pro catches fire
Days after a video of an Ola electric scooter engulfed in fire went viral on social media, the Centre has stepped in to probe safety concerns of vehicles powered by batteries. At a time when the Centre and state governments are actively pushing for faster adoption of EVs, a couple of fire incidents threaten to derail the momentum.
According to reports by news agency PTI, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has roped in the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) to probe the circumstances that led to the fire incident. In a letter to CFEES, the ministry has also asked it to share the findings along with the remedial measures for improvement and to prevent such incidents in the future. The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) comes under the SAM (System Analysis and Modelling) cluster of DRDO labs.
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Last week, a video of an Ola Electric S1 Pro scooter on fire was shared widely across social media platforms. Ola Electric has assured to investigate the incident which took place in Pune. Though no one was injured, the electric scooter was completely charred. There has been another incident in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, reportedly involving another electric scooter, in which two people died due to suffocation.
The Pune fire incident, a first for Ola Electric, prompted the electric two-wheeler manufacturer to issue a statement. The Bengaluru-based brand said, "We are aware of an incident in Pune that happened with one of our scooters in Pune and are investigating to understand the root cause and will share updates in the next few days. We take this one incident seriously and will take appropriate action and share more in coming days."
The electric scooters currently available in India mostly come packed with lithium-ion batteries. Whether used in electric vehicles or electronic devices, these batteries can catch fire if they have been improperly manufactured or damaged, or if the software that operates the battery is not designed correctly.
Ola S1 Pro electric scooter comes with a 3.97kWh lithium-ion battery. It uses an electric motor that puts out 8.5 Kw of power and 58 Nm of torque.
(With inputs from PTI)