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Storyboard18 | How EV brands should douse the fire

Managing a crisis maturely will not only mitigate damage and protect a brand’s reputation from going up in flames, it can help define the course of the brand in a positive way.

March 30, 2022 / 12:06 PM IST
Screen grab from a widely shared video of a PureEV scooter catching fire in Chennai in late March 2022. More such videos featuring electric scooters by different companies have emerged in the last few weeks. (Image credit: Screengrab from video tweeted by @sumantbanerji)

Screen grab from a widely shared video of a PureEV scooter catching fire in Chennai in late March 2022. More such videos featuring electric scooters by different companies have emerged in the last few weeks. (Image credit: Screengrab from video tweeted by @sumantbanerji)

The video of an Ola electric scooter catching fire in Pune that went viral last week has three key takeaways for entrepreneurs, investors and crisis managers.

1. EVs are EVolving: Despite all the hype and excitement around the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, there's a plethora of issues yet to be resolved. From primary issues like safety, to other fundamental issues like EV business models and evolution of the ecosystem: recharging infrastructure, battery swapping, power grid capacities and pricing.

More than a 100,000 units of the Ola electric scooter were pre-booked within 24 hours, when the company announced the launch of its electric scooters on August 15 last year. Ola began deliveries in mid-December. Things seem to be cruising along well when out of the blue came this video of the e-scooter self-combusting in Lohegaon, Pune.

Now with panic spreading rapidly, the Government of India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked the Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety to investigate the circumstances that led to the parked vehicle to go ablaze. Investigations are also expected to go into similar issue of Okinawa Scooters’ Praise Pro electric scooter which also caught fire in a separate incident in Tamil Nadu. So, while the EV market is exploding (pardon the dark pun), safety concerns need to be addressed on topmost priority.