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EV fire incidents: Serious defects in batteries, design, and modules observed, says DRDO

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The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) which was tasked with investigating EV (electric vehicle) fire incidents by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry, has discovered serious defects in the batteries, including the designs of the battery packs and modules.

According to sources, these defects occur because the electric two-wheeler manufacturers like Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles, Ola Electric, and Boom Motors may have used "lower-grade materials to cut costs".

The Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) at the DRDO has presented its fact-finding report to the Ministry.

According to the sources, the ministry has now summoned representatives of these EV manufacturers, asking them to submit an explanation of the DRDO report findings.

Earlier this month, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which comes under the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, sent notices to Pure EV and Boom Motors after their e-scooters exploded in April. The consumer watchdog is also examining more cases of e-scooter fires and will serve similar notices to other EV makers too.

Pure EV and Boom Motors along with Ola Electric, Jitendra EV, and Okinawa Autotech, recalled faulty batches after the EV fire incidents were reported. The preliminary findings from the government-constituted probe committee on EV fires have already identified issues with battery cells or design in nearly all of the electric two-wheeler fire incidents in the country.

The committee was constituted in the wake of EV fires and battery blasts in e-scooters. The experts found defects in battery cells as well as battery design in nearly all EV fires. The government is now working on new quality-centric guidelines for EVs that will be unveiled soon. 

At least 12 electric two-wheelers have exploded till now and several EV makers have recalled the faulty batches amid the growing pressure from the government. 

Author : Debi Dash
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