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Govt Asks Two-Wheeler EV Makers To Halt New Model Launches

Govt Asks Two-Wheeler EV Makers To Halt New Model Launches

EV makers were asked to voluntarily recall the entire batch if a vehicle from the batch was involved in a fire instance

The transport ministry also pointed out that under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, the government could force recalls

The ministry asked the EV makers to educate customers about charging safety and how to prevent fire incidents as well

The Union Transport Ministry has asked all of the two-wheeler EV manufacturers to not launch new models till the investigation into the multiple instances of EVs catching fire is going on.

The ministry communicated the same to the manufacturers at a meeting on Monday to discuss the e-scooter fires that have been reported across the country.

An official aware of the developments told ET, “Two-wheeler EV makers have also been verbally dissuaded from launching new vehicles until clarity about the cause of fires and steps required to stop them have been firmed up.”

Electric two-wheeler makers were also asked to voluntarily recall the entire batch of the vehicles if one vehicle from the batch was involved in a fire incident. According to the official cited above, most of the OEMs have already started this process.

At the same time, the ministry also reiterated the recall instructions and reminded the EV makers of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. It is prudent to note that under the said provisions, the government has the power to force the said recalls if the EV makers fail to comply.

The ministry has also cautioned the OEMs who haven’t had any vehicles involved in the said fire instances and have been asked to take corrective measures on the sold vehicles. 

Further, the ministry asked the EV makers to educate customers about charging safety and how to prevent fire incidents.

It has been widely thought that the instances of EVs catching fire are because of the Lithium-ion batteries overheating. However, that is not the only reason for the same.

Last week, the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had asked electric vehicle makers to recall faulty two-wheelers after a series of fire incidents were reported throughout the country.

In a series of tweets, Gadkari warned EV manufacturers, saying, “If any (EV) company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered.”

“Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles,” he said.

Weeks back, NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant called on the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to voluntarily recall the batches of EVs involved in recent accidents. 

Ola Electric recalled a few batches of its e-scooters as well besides Okinawa and PureEV. The decision was reportedly taken based on recommendations from investigators looking at the recent fire incidents involving its EVs.

What’s more, there have been multiple incidents of scooter malfunction that have led to injuries to the riders.

“In view of the recent fire incidents involving our vehicles in Nizamabad and Chennai, PURE EV has decided to recall 2000 vehicles from the models ETRANCE+ and EPLUTO 7G of the concerned batches,” the EV manufacturer said in a statement.

The government of India might soon come out with structured protocols for EV batteries, following the recent fire mishappenings.