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Ola Electric investigating S1 Pro e-scooter fire incident, affirms appropriate action

Ola S1 Pro e-scooter engulfing in flames in Pune. (Image extracted from a video circulating in social media)

In yet another setback to electric scooter maker Ola Electric on public perception about the company's products and its reliability, a video of its S1 Pro scooter engulfing in flames in just few seconds went viral in social media.

The incident is reported to have occurred in Lohegaon area of Pune yesterday, in which the scooter parked near the sidewalk of a busy road caught fire on its own and burst into flames in no time. No causalities were reported.

Battery fires in EVs can happen due to various reasons, ranging from thermal runaways due to short-circuiting, poor thermal insulation, or failure of BMS algorithms, to poor quality of metals used in battery cells, to name a few. Only a detailed and scientific investigation can reveal the exact cause and nature of the fire.

Acknowledging the fire incident, Ola Electric issued a statement and assured that the incident will be taken seriously. "We are aware of an incident in Pune that happened with one of our scooters and are investigating to understand the root cause and will share more updates in the next few days. We're in constant touch with the customer who is absolutely safe".

"Vehicle safety is of paramount importance at Ola and we are committed to the highest quality standards in our products. We take this incident seriously and will take appropriate action and share more in the coming days", added the official statement.

Incidents of electric scooters catching fires are not unheard of. There have been media reports of similar fire accidents of the e-scooters of other leading EV makers as well, including Pure EV and Okinawa, in the past. In a similar incident, just a day before Ola S1 fire, an e-scooter in Vellore, Tamil Nadu caught fire midnight during overnight charging, killing two persons.

Increasing incidents and their massive and immediate social media attention serious threatens the public perception of the safety and reliability of electric vehicles in India. It is high time that EV makers and battery suppliers take up the issue of battery and charging pile safety in EVs, and come up with adequate safeguards and fire safety measures, while also stepping up their testing and validation procedures to ensure optimal safety standards for their products. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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