Ola Electric has announced a recall of 1,441 units of its S1 Pro electric scooter in India. The company says that it will run some diagnostics and vehicle health check-ups on the affected units. This comes after various issues faced by Ola S1/S1 Pro users. Also, an Ola S1 Pro electric vehicle went up in flames in Pune on March 26, 2022. Although the issue isn’t as severe as some other electric scooters from Okinawa and Pure EV, Ola Electric doesn’t want to take the battery fire issues lightly.
Like most electric scooters, the Ola S1 Pro started emitting white smoke before catching fire. This suggests that it was battery related issue which could have been caused by faulty manufacturing of battery packs or ineffective thermal management.
Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola Electric, quickly responded on the matter stating, “Vehicle safety is of paramount importance at Ola and we are committed to the highest quality standards in our products”. The company commented on the recall, “As a pre-emptive measure, we will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles”. According to Ola Electric, the battery packs it uses for its scooters are tested for AIS 156, which is the latest proposed standard for India, and are also European ECE 136 compliant.
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Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said that the government has formed a committee to look into the EV fire incidents. He tweeted, “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”.
The government needs to lay down stringent rules for EV manufacturers as electric vehicles are more likely to explode and catch fire when compared to petrol/diesel cars. Also, the fire departments need to be trained accordingly to tackle such situations, as extinguishing an EV fire is very difficult when compared to a normal vehicle.