There is no clarity on the reason behind the fire, which took place in a house in the Panavoor village on July 19
Sources told Inc42 that a preliminary probe revealed that the battery of the impacted EV was still intact after the incident
As per the FIR, the complainant claims to have incurred a loss of INR 4.49 Lakhs due to the fire
In yet another incident of electric vehicle (EV) fire, an Ola scooter burst into flames in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram district last week.
There is no clarity on the reason behind the fire, which took place in a house in the Panavoor village on July 19.
Meanwhile, a first information report (FIR) has been lodged by Nedumangad Police Station in the incident. Local officials told The Economic Times that investigations are currently underway into the matter and that the incident was not a case of arson.
As per the FIR accessed by Inc42, the vehicle was parked in the garage of his house and caught fire around 3 AM on July 19. The complainant has alleged that the fire caused damage to their television, among other things, incurring a loss of INR 4.49 Lakh.
Inc42 has reached out to the company for a comment. This story will be updated with the statement when it is received.
But sources close to the company told Inc42 that a preliminary probe has been launched into the incident, adding that the battery of the EV, in question, was still intact after the incident.
The Churn At Ola Electric
This is not the first time that Ola Electric has been embroiled in a controversy involving EV fires. It all began early last year when a video went viral online showing an Ola electric scooter on fire in Pune.
Since then, multiple such incidents have come to light. In January this year, another Ola Electric user claimed that his wife was hospitalised after the front wheel of her Ola scooter came off mid-ride. At the time, the company said the incident was isolated, and blamed it on an unexplained ‘high impact’ accident.
In March as well, an Ola S1 Pro scooter caught fire in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal.
Besides this, there have also been complaints about issues with Ola S1 Pro’s regenerative braking system. After a rising tide of complaints from users, the Bhavish Aggarwal-led company also announced a free upgrade of the front fork arm for its users in March this year.
Not just Ola, EVs of other manufacturers such as Ather, Pure, Okinawa, among others have also been involved in similar incidents. The spate of EV fires which began last year have raised concerns about the safety and efficacy of indigenously-made EVs.
The incident could also cast a gloomy shadow over the company’s fortunes as Ola Electric preps for a potential $1 Bn public listing soon. The company has also underlined plans to expand its production capacity from 2 Mn scooters a year to 10 Mn in the near future, even as it barely managed to sell 1.5 Lakh EVs last year.
Making matters worse has been the FAME-II fiasco which has stalled subsidy and hit adoption in the nascent stage. EV registrations tanked 56% month-on-month (MoM) in June, a 12-month low, to 45,734 units.
However, Ola Electric led the pack, even as registrations plummeted 38% MoM to 17,552 units in June 2023.
However, Ola Electric has aggressive plans up its kitty as it looks to cash-in on the potential EV boom in the country. While the incident is expected to hit Ola’s image, there is much at stake for the original equipment manufacturer. Ola Electric operates in the larger Indian two-wheeler EV segment, which is projected to reach a sales volume of 22 Mn by 2030.