The Centre on March 28 decided to depute a team of independent experts to investigate two incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire, CNBC-TV18 reported, quoting government sources. An Ola electric scooter and an Okinawa electric bike recently caught fire, leaving many customers concerned.
The government sources said: “Centre has taken note of the incidents involving fires in electric vehicles; will probe them… Deputing independent experts to investigate cases of EVs catching fire.”
The experts will travel to Vellore and Pune to probe whether structural or external factors have caused the fire in the Ola electric scooter and the Okinawa electric bike.
Notably, both two-wheelers had been tested and received type approvals before they were launched. The investigators will try to find out if there is a manufacturing defect that affected their operation.
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According to a Reuters report, lithium-ion batteries (used in the Ola scooters), whether used in electric vehicles or electronic devices, can catch fire if they have been improperly manufactured or damaged, or if the software that operates the battery is not designed correctly.
Softbank Group-backed Ola Electric said last week that it has also launched an investigation to find out what is causing the electric scooters to catch fire.
Ola launched the probe after a Twitter user from Pune shared a video of his Ola scooter bursting into flames.
Responding to it, the company had said in a statement: “We are aware of an incident in Pune that happened with one of our scooters and are investigating to understand the root cause and will share more updates in the next few days.” The customer is absolutely safe, the company added.