Indian Govt. Wants To Fine EV Firms And Make Recalls Mandatory Following EV Fires: Minister
Following a string of e-scooter fires, the Indian government wants to impose harsh fines and mandate recalls if electric vehicle (EV) companies are found to be careless. According to the country’s transport minister, this is part of a set of new “quality-centric” laws that the government wants to implement.
Until the new punitive regulations are implemented, electric vehicle-making companies may take advanced steps to recall any defective batches of automobiles, Nitin Gadkari said on Twitter on Thursday. He added that the government prioritizes the safety of every commuter.
“Several mishaps involving electric two-wheelers have come to light in the last two months. If any company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed, and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered,” Gadkari said.
Nearly a dozen reported incidents of e-scooters catching fire or being involved in fires have surfaced in recent weeks, including an incident involving an e-scooter manufactured by SoftBank Group-backed Ola Electric. These reported incidents have raised many safety worries among a section of EV buyers.
Scooters made by Indian start-ups Okinawa and PureEV have also been reported to have caught fire in what some see as an early setback for a new industry critical to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s carbon reduction and climate aspirations.
India wants electric scooters and motorcycles to account for 80% of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, up from just 2% currently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is providing companies billions of dollars in incentives to manufacture EVs in the country.
The government has already initiated an investigation into the fires, and Gadkari stated that an expert group had been constituted to provide recommendations on how to proceed.
“Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies,” he said.