Transport minister Nitin Gadkari urged electric vehicle makers to voluntarily recall all defective EVs after several incidents of battery fires leading to loss of life and property came to light. The directive comes close on the heels of government think tank, NITI Aayog, floating the draft of battery swapping policy for public comments.
“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,” Gadkari said in a series of tweets on Thursday.
“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. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles,” the union minister further added.
Gadkari warned that 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.
“Meanwhile companies may take advance action to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately,” he added.
Earlier this week, Okinawa Autotech, the second-largest e-scooter retailer in the country, announced a voluntary recall of 3,215 units of Praise Pro scooters to fix any issue related to batteries with immediate effect.
Last month, 49-year-old Durai Verma and his daughter Mohana Preethi succumbed to asphyxiation reportedly after leaving their brand-new Okinawa scooter charging overnight, which went up in flames. An Okinawa dealership in Tamil Nadu was gutted in a blaze allegedly caused by an electric scooter parked in the premises that caught fire.
“This voluntary campaign is in the wake of the recent thermal incident and in line with the company’s long-standing commitment to customer safety. The batteries will be checked for loose connectors or any damage and be repaired free of charge at any of the Okinawa authorised dealerships pan India,” the company had said in a statement.
PURE EV, another electric scooter manufacturer in India, called 2,000 units from the ETRANCE+ and EPLUTO 7G models following incidents of fire.
“The vehicles and batteries therein shall undergo a thorough check for their health. We shall inspect the battery for any imbalance issues and shall calibrate through our device BATRICS FARADAY. Additionally the BMS and charger calibration shall be carried out as required,” PURE EV said in its statement today. “The company shall reach out to all the customers through the dealership network and ensure an expeditious campaign for health checkups in the larger interest of all stakeholders.”
Earlier today, one person was killed and two others were injured in Hyderabad’s Nizamabad after the battery of a PURE EV e-scooter exploded while charging.