We’ve seen a flood of EV-related mishaps in recent weeks, ranging from battery fires to accidents. Following this, the government requested an investigation into the incident. According to Reuters, faulty battery cells and modules have been identified as the major cause of electric scooter fires in India in recent weeks.
The investigation focused on three companies, the most prominent being Japan’s SoftBank Group-backed Ola Electric. Presently, Ola Electric is the country’s largest manufacturer of e-scooters. According to preliminary federal probe findings, “in Ola’s situation, the battery cells as well as the battery management system were discovered to be an issue”. The investigator added, “The government has taken samples of cells from the three companies to do further inspections”.
The government wants e-scooters and e-bikes to account for 80 percent of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, up from the current 2 percent. However, safety concerns have been undermining customer confidence. Moreover, it threatens the expansion of a sector critical to the country’s carbon reduction goals. Ola has been procuring their batteries from LG Energy Solution (LGES) in South Korea, and the company says it is working with the government on the matter and has recruited an external expert agency.
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Ola, for their part, is in talks with LGES, and both firms are investigating the sad incident of an Ola e-scooter catching fire. The study also discusses fires involving scooters manufactured by Indian firms Okinawa and PureEV. Okinawa’s problem was with the cells and battery modules, whereas PureEV’s problem was with the battery shell.
The investigation’s preliminary findings have prompted the government to consider testing e-scooter battery cells before allowing them to be sold. There are no established testing requirements for these components, and e-scooter manufacturers currently test the battery packs but not the cells, which are primarily supplied from South Korea or China.