Imported Electric Scooter Batteries Not Suitable For Indian Conditions, Primary Cause Of Fires? Govt Investigation Is On..
In the midst of multiple incidents of electric vehicles catching fire, Niti Aayog Member and eminent scientist V K Saraswat have said that imported battery cells used in the electric vehicles “may not be” suitable for the country’s conditions and stressed the need for local manufacturing the cells.
His comments also come against the backdrop of authorities investigating such incidents and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, recently, declaring that recall of all defective vehicles is going to be ordered after the expert panel submits its report.
The EV fires may be because of poor quality batteries
In recent times, there have been various incidents of Electric Vehicles (EVs) catching fire and resulting in deaths as well as severe injuries to people.
Saraswat, who is also a former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), stated the fires may have been due to poor quality cells which have not been designed for high temperatures and tropical climates.
“What (battery) cells India is getting may not be suitable for Indian conditions… so what is important is when we import cells, we should do our own screening and rigorous testing system,” he said.
He also observed that there are certain countries that have developed cells that can operate at very high temperatures.
Answering the question of whether the fire incidents could undermine India’s efforts to become a leader in EVs, Saraswat said, “what we are seeing is that the kind of accidents which are taking place will certainly have some impact on the penetration of batteries into the automobile sector”.
Recently, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is known for his straightforward views, said the companies found negligent will be penalized and a recall of all defective vehicles will be ordered after the expert panel submits its report.
Government investigations are ongoing
Last month, the government ordered an investigation after an e-scooter launched by ride-hailing operator Ola’s electric mobility arm caught on fire in Pune.
The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) has been asked to examine the incidents of EVs catching fire and also to suggest corrective measures, according to the ministry.