Independent consultant to investigate electric vehicle fires

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NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) will appoint an independent consultant to investigate two recent cases of electric scooter fires in the country, people familiar with the plans told Mint.

Last week, two separate cases of electric vehicle fires were reported in Vellore in Tamil Nadu and Pune in Maharashtra, involving electric scooters from electric vehicle brands Okinawa and Ola Electric respectively.

According to the people quoted above, an external consultant will be commissioned by the MoRTH secretariat to carry out an investigation.

In the Vellore incident, where two people lost their lives, Okinawa said the fire was caused by improper charging by the customer, who purchased the scooter just two days before the event.

“In a recent tragic incident in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, a man and his daughter died after their e-bike caught fire. According to the police statement, the rider plugged his bike’s charger into a an old plug at the entrance to his house and fell asleep on Friday night An electrical short circuit led to the e-bike catching fire Police say the plug may be old with a lower voltage capacity for charging an e-bike,” company sources said.

The company said: “According to credible sources, the media and local authorities, this is a clear case of a short circuit due to negligence in charging the vehicle. We will wait for the full investigation to take place.”

“This particular case has further highlighted how important it is for users to understand the correct usage and charging guidelines for electric vehicles. As a responsible brand, time and time again we have come forward and have taken many initiatives to raise awareness and educate our customers on the proper use of electric two-wheelers and the possible dangers they could encounter if they are negligently taking care of the vehicle’s battery,” he added. .

Ola Electric also said the company is investigating the cause of the fire.

The company said: “We are aware of an incident in Pune that occurred with one of our scooters and are investigating to understand the root cause and will share more updates in the coming days. We are in constant contact with the client who is absolutely safe. Vehicle safety is of paramount importance at Ola and we are committed to the highest quality standards for our products. We take this incident seriously and will take appropriate action and share more in the coming days.”

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