Indian government to take action after exploding e-scooters kill four

Electrical fires from exploding e-scooters have killed at least four people in India since March, as the government vows to step in to ensure the vehicles’ safety.

A 49-year-old man and his daughter died in March in the state of Tamil Nadu after his e-scooter, which was plugged in to charge, exploded at 1am as the pair were sleeping.

In similar circumstances, an 80-year-old man died in Telangana, followed by a 40-year-old man in Andhra Pradesh in April.

In all three instances electrical fires broke out as the e-scooters were charging overnight inside homes.

After the incident in Telangana involving a Pure EV scooter, the start up based in Hyderabad announced it would voluntarily recall 2,000 of its ETrance Plus and EPluto 7G models.

electric scooters parked on sidewalk

This isn’t the first EV company to do so, since Okinawa Autotech also decided to recall 3,215 Praise Pro scooters after reports of fires across the country.

In response, the Indian government have announced a probe, with an expert committee looking into the incidents.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport & Highways, tweeted: ‘We have constituted an Expert Committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps. Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles.

‘If any company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered.’

While these fires were initially thought to be down to faulty batteries, some are now beginning to wonder if the extreme temperatures in India are having an impact.

The Times of India reported: ‘Lithium Ion batteries used in almost all electric vehicles sold in India perform most optimally within a temperature range of up to 38 degrees + five degrees. However, our summer temperatures could go up to 50 degrees especially during direct exposure to the sun in simmers, which can result in thermal runaways and even fires.

‘The Indian climate and road conditions are harsh and contribute to faster degradation of batteries if not addressed properly.’

In related news, India experienced its hottest ever April, with areas in the northwest and centre of the country recording average temperatures of 35.9 and 37.78C breaking records since 1900.

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson


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