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Are India’s Electric Scooters Actually Safe?

A senior government source informed Business Standard that the new fire involving a PureEV electric scooter has been added to the inquiry of the government-appointed expert committee, which looks at occurrences involving Ola Electric’s S1 Pro and Okinawa cars catching fire.

The instances are being looked at by a team made up of specialists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) and the Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES).

The secretary of the ministry of road transport and roads, Giridhar Aramane, stated, “We would take necessary measures as soon as the report is filed.

4 INCIDENTS WITHIN A WEEK

On social media Tuesday night, videos showing a PureEV electric scooter model on fire in Chennai quickly went viral.

It was the fourth occurrence of this nature using electric scooters in a week, raising concerns about the security of battery-powered two-wheelers.

For the Hyderabad-based PureEV, it wasn’t an isolated incident.

Various Electric Scooters in India

Two of its EPluto 7G devices caught fire in September 2021. According to a corporate statement on the most recent accident, the fire was started by a “Thermal Runaway scenario,” in which a battery’s cells reach a threshold temperature and spontaneously ignite.

“We are investigating the incident and will do a thorough assessment.

We adhere to the highest safety standards through rigorous internal testing as well as special phase change materials being implemented in our battery packs to avoid rapid fire/blast kind of scenarios

the company said about the fire at Mathur toll plaza at Manjampakkam area in north Chennai.

A dad and his daughter, 13, perished in the Okinawa EV fire that occurred in Vellore on Saturday.

The Ola car fire in Pune resulted with no fatalities.

For the worst-case thermal runaway scenarios and to provide sufficient warning times to end users, PureEV claimed that their batteries had the following mechanisms.

In order to prevent heat-runaway situations, it was said that “PURE batteries come with the state-of-the-art thermal management system, which is a mix of the electronics paired with different active/passive materials.”

Additionally, we have a specific vent system that releases smokes quickly once any type of incident occurs inside the battery; otherwise, a pressure cooker-like scenario might occur, resulting in a sudden blast or explosion,” it was stated.

A 60-year-old man was strangulated to death and four other people were hurt in Kanhai village, Gurugram, in December 2021 as a result of their electric two-wheeler exploding as it was being charged at home.

The same month, the Super Eco electric bike X1 from Gwalior caught fire in Mumbai.

An electric scooter made in Okinawa caught fire in September 2021.

The government should enact a mandated recall programme for EVs, according to experts, given the novelty of the technology and a shoddy testing mechanism.

If anything, it raises doubts about the testing organisations that provide the cars type clearance.

Are they doing enough rounds of safety checks and audits? Maybe not

said an industry veteran on automobile safety.