Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Central Government asks Electric Vehicle makers to suspend two-wheeler launches

Central Government asks Electric Vehicle makers to suspend two-wheeler launches.

In light of the recent incident of battery-related fires occurring inside electric two-wheelers in the country, the Union government has asked all-electric two-wheeler (e2W) brands to hold back from launching any new products in the market. The Union Ministry of Highways and Road Transport recently held a meeting in the national capital to discuss the rise in battery-related fires that have become a public health concern.

While e2W makers are free to sell current models, several have been issued to further investigate the cause of these fires. Okinawa gave the most significant memory, with 3,215 scooters going back to base. Pure Electric Vehicle, which has been mired in fire-related incidents since last year, also forms a substantial portion of the number of recalled scooters. Ola Electric has placed 1,441 scooters.

Central Government asks Electric Vehicle makers to suspend two wheeler launches 1unsplash image

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It should be noted that Ola did this after a singular battery fire incident occurred in Pune. But the actions are in-line with the government’s instructions that an entire batch of scooters be recalled, even if a single scooter malfunctioned. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari threatened brands with penalties if they failed to identify the scooters in time.

According to this directive, even brands that have seen no battery-related fires will not be launching any e-scooters this year. How brands react to what has only been a verbal suggestion remains to be seen.

The move has been made to provide the government with more time to set up the right body of authority and look at the cause behind these incidents. At the same time, it does prevent brands from launching faster, bigger, and potentially more dangerous versions of these scooters; it also prevents brands from launching improved versions of lackluster products. What happens to EV brands waiting to make their debut in the Indian market remains to be seen.

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