The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a show cause notice to the CEOs and MDs of the two-wheeler electric scooter manufacturers associated with the recent fire incidents in the country, to explain the reasons why the relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act should not be invoked against them, said Shri Krishnan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Heavy Industries.
The statement added that according to the VAHAN portal, no downtrends were observed in the sale of EVs, and that, "testing of components for EVs is done as per relevant standards, as specified in Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rule 1989, to ensure compliance."
The statement mentioned the fire incidents involving electric vehicles that took place in March 2022, in Tamil Nadu and April 2022, in Andhra Pradesh.
However, since early April, there have been multiple instances of EVs catching fire, with e-scooters sold by Ola, Okinawa, Pure EV, and Jitendra EV all going up in flames.
Although the overall sales of EVs in India have gone up 6 percent, according to the VAHAN portal, the registration of electric two-wheelers (both cargo and passenger) declined from 49,084 units in April to 39,492 units in May this year.
Those numbers almost mirror FADA’s latest data, which showed a month-on-month decline of nearly 20 percent in E2W sales to 39,490 units, from 49,183 units in April 2022.
As per information received from the MoRTH, an expert committee was constituted -- to enquire into the above issues and for making any recommendations on remedial steps -- with independent experts from DRDO, Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bengaluru, and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL) Visakhapatnam.
The committee would further help the companies to recall a whole lot of vehicles, action against the defective manufacturers, and to ensure adequate compensation for the mishaps.