Ola Electric Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced on Saturday that a few batches of electric scooters will be recalled. It will depend on the recommendations given by the probing agencies, once the cause behind the fires is known. The founder further assured that world-class agencies have been hired to find out the reason behind the fires.
Aggarwal said: “We have commissioned world-class agencies on the root cause of the recent EV fire and what can be done better. We might do a recall of a few batches depending on the recommendations we receive. We will try to make sure consumer confidence remains high and we will look out for defects if any.”
The statement comes as the Ola S1 scooter is set to be launched this year; it will reportedly be a lower-priced variant. However, since deliveries started in December last year, Ola Electric has struggled with issues pertaining to the quality, delivery, and after-sale service of its scooters. In recent weeks, scooters from Ola Electric, Pure EV, Okinawa Scooters, and Jitendra Electric Vehicles have also gone up in flames, casting a shadow over the prospects of a nascent but fast-growing industry.
On March 28, the government deputed a team of experts to investigate the incidents. On April 7, it called technical teams of Ola Electric and Okinawa Scooter for an explanation for recent fires in their EVs. All testing requirements for batteries, battery management, and cells are now being updated amid mounting worries about safety issues surrounding two-wheeler EVs owing to previous fire accidents. The government is in talks with companies involved in recent EV fires.
According to reports, these companies are also being instructed on the procedures that need to be taken to prevent future fires. It’s also been stated that, if necessary, the government can provide EV manufacturers instructions on what steps they must do. At the manufacturer’s end, the government is also modifying quality assurance and quality control criteria. Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said recently that the government has constituted an expert committee to enquire into these incidents. He further said, “Several mishaps involving electric two-wheelers have come to light in the last two months. It is most unfortunate that some people have lost their lives and several have been injured in these incidents. 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.”