A Pure EV caught fire near Mathur Toll plaza in Tamil Nadu’s Manjampakkam.
Have taken cognizance of the matter and investigating the cause of it : Pure spokesperson
This is the fourth such incident of ebike bursting into flames this week itself
The recent spate of EV bikes on fires continues unabated. After Ola Electric and Okinawa, it seems that another EV player, Pure, is now in hot water.
In a video that has since gone viral, a Pure EV could be seen on fire, with plumes of smoke billowing from it. The incident reportedly took place near Mathur Toll plaza in Tamil Nadu’s Manjampakkam area, which lies on the outskirts of North Chennai. In the 26 second clip, a red colour ebike parked on the side of the highway could be seen engulfed in smoke.
The incident has prompted widespread condemnation on social media with netizens bewildered about the spate of burning ebikes.
A Pure EV spokesperson was quoted saying that said the EV startup had taken cognizance of the incident and was investigating the cause of it. It also added that the company followed all the best practices during the manufacturing, including a state of the art thermal management system.
The Burning EVs
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Within a span of a week, as many as three such incidents have been reported from different parts of the country.
It all began after videos of Ola Electric S1 bikes on fire were reported from Pune. Thankfully, no loss of life was reported. On the other hand, the second incident which was reported from Vellore claimed the lives of 2 people, including a 13-year old girl. The incident involved an Okinawa EV which was left on charge by the deceased, which later short-circuited and the duo were killed in their sleep due to inhalation of smoke.
On Monday again, another incident involving an EV bike took place in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy wherein a parked scooter caught fire.
The events have put a spotlight on the safety of EVs and has led to a rising scepticism among the general public.
Acting on the cases, the Centre also appears to have swung into action. Earlier on March 28, it was reported that the Centre had deputed a team of independent experts to investigate the matter.
As part of the probe, the team is also expected to look into how the Ola Electric scooter and Okinawa’s electric bike caught fire. The team will also travel to the two previous sites of incidents – Pune and Vellore – to ascertain the cause.
The Summer Effect?
There is no clarity yet on what is behind the sudden spurt in incidents of ebikes bursting up in flames. This comes amidst reports emerging of scooters malfunctioning and heating up in summers in India.
In addition, most EV players are dependent on China for Lithium-ion batteries, which form the core of the scooter. The absence of quality control over the manufacturing of these batteries has also fueled apprehensions that improperly manufactured components could be behind the fires.
Software malfunction could also be the reason behind the cases.
This follows a long list of such incidents in the country over the past year. In September last year, two Pure EV scooters caught fire, followed by another scooter from Okinawa catching fire in October 2021. Later in December, an HCD India EV caught fire while charging leading to the death of its owner, a 60-year-old man.
The incidents have put the EV companies under the lens and have dealt a major blow to the positive mindshare that the companies had generated over the years. With no clarity yet, EV-hesitancy seems to be on the horizon and, as such, could hinder the country’s transition to the next stage of mobility.