Another day of bad news for e-2-wheelers in India: Battery explosion & mishap

A Pure EV going up in fire near Chennai
Pure EV in fire near Chennai a few days back. (Image credit: Twitter)

These are obviously not the best of times for e-two-wheelers in India. Many of them have been going up in flames. It has triggered a panic, and the government is looking into it. 

Amidst the existing pandemonium, things got worse as reports of one EV exploding killing one emerged today. Worse, another EV malfunction from a few a few days back has resulted in grievous injuries to the rider.

Battery blast kills one

In the first incident, the battery of a Pure brand EV reportedly exploded, killing one person and leaving two persons injured in Hyderabad. The owner of the e-scooter had reportedly put the detachable battery on charge, and that is said to have exploded after a few hours of charging.

This is the third instance of a fire involving a Pure EV scooter.

"We deeply regret the incident and offer condolences to the family of the victim. Fully cooperating with the local authorities and seeking complete details from the user. The incident happened two days ago," Pure EV said in a statement.

"We do not have any record of sale of this vehicle or service by the user in the database. We are exploring if the vehicle was purchased through a second hand sale," the company added.

In the other incident, an Ola S1 Pro was involved a dangerous accident due to malfunction. "A fault in regenerative breaking where on a speed breaker instead of slowing, the scooter accelerated sending so much torque that he had an accident," the rider's father said in a Twitter thread.

"The scooter went airborne crashing and skidding. My son was severely hospitalised on 26th March where he had fractures in left hand and 16 stitches in right hand due to fault in ola S1 Pro (sic)," he added.

Ola Electric has taken away the scooter for understanding the underlying issue. But beyond that the company has not responded.

What exactly is happening?

Recently, forty e-scooters from the stable of Jitendra Electric Vehicles (EV) fire after being put into a transport container in Nashik. Okinawa and Ola Electric scooters were involved in fire mishaps. In the Okinawa battery blast, a father-daughter were killed in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Responding to various troubles in its vehicles, Okinawa has recently recalled 3,215 units of its 'Praise Pro' scooters. This confirms that there were some fault in the vehicles. Such voluntary recalls are pretty rare in the Indian market.

There is no clarity yet on what is the reason behind the sudden spurt in incidents of e-scooters going up in flames. There are some reports that claim that the vehicles are heating up due to the blazing summer in India. But that idea seems unconvincing and unproved.

An accusing finger is also pointed at the battery. Most of the EV players are said to be dependent on cheap Chinese-made lithium-ion batteries, which form the core of these vehicles. The absence of quality control over the manufacturing of these batteries has fueled apprehensions that components of dubious quality could have triggered the fires.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.