Govt Is Concerned Over Electric Vehicles Catching Fire; NITI Aayog Asks Immediate Recall
Referring to the recent spate of electric scooters catching fire, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should voluntarily recall the batches that have been involved.
He said that that is common practice across the world for companies to withdraw batches which have malfunctioned seriously.
He added that the damage liability has to be borne by both the vehicle manufacturer and the battery maker.
He cited similar examples of Ford, BMW, Volvo, among others who had issued a recall of their vehicles over fire risk.
Need Of The Hour
At least five incidents of electric two wheelers catching on fire have been reported in the last two weeks.
Kant said that the batteries of such vehicles require special attention since they are complex in terms of manufacturing and maintenance.
He said that since manufacturing of cells isn’t regulated, the battery management system needs to be strengthened.
There has to be a clear partnership between battery manufacturing and battery management.
Currently, all lithium-ion cells which power the scooters are imported.
Kant claimed that India has the world’s stringent testing standards and OEMs need to ensure that batteries adhere to standards.
He also reassured the public that there is nothing to panic about, explaining that every transition (to EVs from ICE) has its own challenges.
No Cutting Corners
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is looking into all the incidents and is also interacting with the OEMs involved.
It will take stringent measures based on the investigation report of the technical committee.
NITI Aayog has warned against cutting corners and was in favor of recalls.
Jasmine Shah, Vice Chairman, Dialogue and Development Commission, Delhi government said that with new technology, OEMs should not be cutting corners.
The industry has to address the issue or customers will lose confidence.
Heatwave The Culprit?
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari opined that the cause of the incidents may have been the high temperatures prevailing in the country.
However he did say that reports from the expert committee after the 30-day probe were awaited for a final conclusion.
Managing director of Hero Electric, the country’s largest electric two-wheeler maker, Naveen Munjal commented that the government may get stricter with battery standards and how quickly one can launch the product following these incidents.