The Government of India has sent out show cause notices to electric two-wheeler manufacturers Ola Electric, Pure EV, Okinawa Autotech, and Jitendra EV. To recall, the Ola S1 Pro caught fire in Pune in March 2022, followed by the multiple Okinawa Praise Pro scooters that caught fire in April/May 2022. This raised serious concerns regarding EVs in India and the government quickly ordered a probe into the matter of EV fires. Now, by sending show cause notices to the manufacturers, it is asking them to report the root cause of the incidents and is demanding an explanation as to why penal action shouldn’t be taken.
The aforementioned EV manufacturers will have a month’s time to respond to the show cause notice. Failing to respond to these notices by end of July 2022 could mean heavy penalties for these Indian EV companies.
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Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, had slammed the EV manufacturers for their negligence and warned them back in April 2022. An investigating team was formed in alliance with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), which reported the inferior quality of the components in the batteries to be one of the major causes of the fire incidents.
Tarun Mehta, CEO of Ather Energy, stated in an interview that the battery packs are mostly imported from China. They aren’t developed considering the Indian weather, which crosses 45-degrees Celsius in most parts of India during the summers. Also, battery packs constitute more than 50 percent of the total electric vehicle cost. So, it is fair to assume that these manufacturers might be opting for inferior battery components or battery packs to keep the prices of their products low.
Also Read: All Ola S1, Ola S1 Pro Problems Listed
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has laid out revised standards for EV companies in India. The lithium-ion battery packs to be used in the vehicles will need to get certifications from the government agency. Additionally, the government wants e-scooters and e-bikes to account for 80 percent of total two-wheeler sales by 2030. This won’t be possible if the EV owners feel like they are travelling on a ticking bomb, waiting to explode. Fortunately, the government is proactive in this regard and is willing to take strict action against these EV brands.