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Nitin Gadkari Asks EV Companies To Recall Defective Vehicles

Gadkari advised companies involved in EV mishap incidents to take “advance action to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately”

He also warned of heavy penalties on companies found to be negligent in their processes

A series of mishaps, including fire incidents, involving EVs have raised concerns among their users and in the government

Amid a series of reported mishaps with two-wheeler electric vehicles (EVs), Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on April 21 advised companies to take “advance action to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately”. 

In a series of tweets, Gadkari warned EV manufacturers, saying, “If any (EV) company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered.”

Several mishaps, including fire incidents, involving EVs have come to light in the last two months, with some people losing their lives and several getting injured.

Gadkari reiterated that the government has constituted an expert committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps.

“Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles,” he said. 

Incidentally, in another such mishap on Tuesday (April 19) night, an 80-year-old man reportedly died and two others suffered burn injuries after the battery of an electric two-wheeler manufactured by Pure EV exploded in their house in Telangana’s Nizamabad district.

Meanwhile, Pure EV on Thursday said it was recalling 2,000 units of its ETRANCE+ and EPLUTO 7G escooters. The company is the second EV maker to take such a step, following Okinawa

In a statement, Pure EV said, “In view of the recent fire incidents involving our vehicles in Nizamabad and Chennai, Pure EV has decided to recall 2,000 vehicles from the models ETRANCE+ and EPLUTO 7G of the concerned batches.”

“The vehicles and batteries therein shall undergo a thorough check for their health. We shall inspect the battery for any imbalance issues and shall calibrate through our device BATRICS FARADAY. Additionally, the BMS and charger calibration shall be carried out as required,” it added. 

Pure EV was not immediately available to answer Inc42’s further queries till the time of publishing this report.

Government’s Action So Far

On April 20, reports said that the government might soon come out with standards for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, following the fire incidents in electric scooters across brands.

Earlier, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had also asked EV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to voluntarily recall batches involved in EV fire incidents.

Talking to CNBC-TV18, Kant said last week, “Manufacturing of cells isn’t regulated… battery management system needs to be strengthened. There has been a clear partnership between battery manufacturing and battery management.”

EV Sales In The Country

With the government encouraging electric mobility, EV sales in the country more than tripled year-on-year in FY22.

According to Federation of Automobile Dealers  Associations (FADA) data, 4,29,217 units of EVs were sold in FY22, compared to 1,34,821 in the previous financial year. Out of this, electric two-wheeler retail sales stood at 2,31,338 units, as opposed to 41,046 units in FY21.

Hero Electric registered sales of 65,303 EV units in FY22, accounting for 28.23% of market share in the two-wheeler segment, followed by Okinawa Autotech. Okinawa sold 46,447 units in the financial year, accounting for a 20.08% market share.

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