The incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire are on a periodic rise, drawing criticism from across the country. With serious casualties being reported as a result of such incidents, the Centre has finally intervened. After addressing the issue in Lok Sabha on March 31, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has warned companies of heavy penalties if negligence continues. This has sent a strong message to the niche community.

"Several mishaps involving Electric Two Wheelers have come to light in last two months. It is most unfortunate that some people have lost their lives and several have been injured in these incidents. We have constituted an Expert Committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps," the Union Minister said in a string of tweets in light of the unfortunate mishaps reported in the last two months.

Nitin Gadkari
Union minister Nitin GadkariFacebook/NitinGadkari

Penalty on erring EV cos

Gadkari has also informed that the government will issue necessary orders based on the findings of the reports. If an EV manufacturer is found defaulting, a heavy penalty will be issued and a recall of defective vehicles will be ordered.

He further added that quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles will be issued soon.

The government had ordered a probe last month into the EV fire incidents after concerns of safety of Ola Electric bikes were raised. The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) was asked to conduct a probe into the incident of Ola Electric scooter fire incident in Pune recently.

Ola Electric Scooter S1
Ola Electric ScooterOla Website

Gadkari's remarks come a day after report of a man was killed and two others injured when the battery of an electric two-wheeler exploded in their house in Telangana's Nizamabad district on April 19. An 80-year-old man, identified as B. Ramaswamy, died in the incident while his son B. Prakash and daughter Kamalamma suffered burn injuries when they tried to rescue him. They were admitted to a hospital. This is the latest in a series of such incidents in the country. Three Pure EV scooters and electric vehicles of some other manufacturers caught fire in separate incidents in recent months.