Expert Committee To Enquire Electric Vehicle Fire Incidents

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari said quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles to be in place soon

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Nitin Gadkari, the minister for road transport and highways, said quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles will soon be announced. This comes after several incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire over the last two months. In the past few days, electric scooters from OEMs, including Oikanava, OLA, Jitendra EV and Pure EV have caught fire. The companies said they are investigating the incidents. Battery and battery management system issues are presumed to be the main reasons behind EVs catching fire.

Nitin Gadkari's official Twitter handle

"Several mishaps involving electric two wheelers have come to light in last two months. It is most unfortunate that some people have lost their lives and several have been injured in these incidents," Gadkari tweeted, on April 21.

Stating the government's stand, Gadkari said, "We have constituted an expert committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps. Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies and also issue quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles. If any company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered."

Currently, two EV manufactures — Oikanava and Pure EV — have recalled some vehicles after the incidents of fire.

Electric vehicle expert Rajeev YSR in a news report was quoted as saying, "When the temperature is roughly 40-45 degrees outside, it is possible that the temperature at the battery cells would easily cross 50-55 degrees and in such cases these battery cells undergo "thermal runaway' which is when they start exploding."

In 2021, according to the reports, 329,190 electric vehicles were sold in India, representing 168 per cent increase over last year's sales of 122,607 units.