Ola Electric CEO meets Nitin Gadkari amid EV fire incidents
At a time when Ola Electric faces probe by the Centre over EV fire incidents, the EV maker's CEO Bhavish Aggarwal met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to discuss future of electric vehicles in India. Ole Electric CEO shared moments from his meeting with Gadkari where he is also seen attending a demo by Aggarwal of the company's S1 Pro electric scooter.
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Aggarwal took to Twitter to reveal details about his meeting with Gadkari. He wrote, “Met Shri Nitin Gadkari-ji and discussed India's potential to become world's EV hub and Ola’s plans. Demoed the scooter to him! His belief in bringing together an electric revolution and making sustainable mobility a reality is really inspiring for us at Ola Electric."
The meeting comes days after the Centre ordered a probe into the recent EV fire incidents involving several electric two-wheeler manufacturers across India. Ola Electric too comes under the probe after one of its S1 Pro electric scooters caught fire in Pune recently. Though no one was injured, the electric scooter was completely gutted by the fire. The incident triggered debate on safety standards of electric two-wheelers in India.
The Centre has asked the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) to probe the EV fire incidents. The government has also asked the agency, which comes under the SAM (System Analysis and Modelling) cluster of DRDO labs, to share preventive measures and scopes for improvement to avoid similar incidents in future.
Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, was quoted by news agency PTI last week saying, “If required, the government may call Ola Electric to explain the incident."
Ola Electric, on its part, has initiated an internal probe into the incident. Last month, the EV maker came out with a statement that said, “We are investigating to understand the root cause and will share updates in the next few days."
The EV fire controversy has come at a time when electric two-wheeler segment has been witnessing phenomenal rise in India. The EV two-wheeler segment saw 370 percent growth in the last month. With nearly 50,000 electric two-wheelers sold in March, India saw 2.31 lakh EV two-wheelers sold between April, 2021 and last month. Compared to the previous fiscal when EV two-wheelers found only 41,046 homes, it is a massive increase of 564 percent.