In India, dangerous battery cells and modules are likely to be caused by electrical fires, according to an initial probe

In India, dangerous battery cells and modules are likely to be caused by electrical fires, according ...

According to an initial federal investigation, dangerous battery cells and components have been identified as the leading cause of electric scooters catching fire in India in recent weeks. According to two government sources, the findings of the initial federal investigation have prompted a spokesman.

In April, a probe uncovered fire incidents involving three businesses, including Ola Electric, which is managed by Japan''s SoftBank Group, and was the country''s largest-selling e-scooter manufacturer.

"In Ola''s case, the battery cells were discovered to be an issue as well as the battery management system," said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of the report.

After a number of e-scooter incidents, India launched a investigation in February, including one where a man and his daughter died when their e-bike "went up in flames."

India wants e-scooters and e-bikes to make up 80 percent of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, from roughly 2 percent today. But concerns over safety have put consumer confidence in jeopardy, putting the country''s carbon reduction strategy at jeopardy.

"The government has taken samples from the three companies to perform further inspections," the person said, adding that the final investigation report is expected to take place in just two weeks.

  • Ola Electric Recalls 1,441 Two-Wheelers Units

Ola, which collects its cells from LG Energy Solution (LGES) in South Korea, claims to be working with the government on the issue, and has appointed an external expert agency, along with conducting its own investigation.

"As per the preliminary judgment of these experts, there was no fault of the Ola battery management system at all, and it was likely an isolated thermal incident," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

"The Indian government''s report has not been released or shared with us. We cannot comment on the report as we have not yet identified the root cause of the Ola scooter incident in March," LGES in Seoul said in a statement.

Prashant Kumar, an executive of LGES in India, told Reuters that the company and Ola are "collaborating on an unfortunate incident, which is attempting to investigate the root cause."

The government probe also investigated fire incidents with Okinawa and PureEV scooters built by Indian companies. In Okinawa''s case there was a problem with the cells and battery modules, according to the first source.

PureEV and Okinawa did not respond to an email they asked for advice, but they previously said they are investigating the fires and have issued a recall of some scooters.

According to the second source, the government should consider testing battery cells of e-scooters before they can be launched.

India is currently experimenting with batteries, but not with batteries that are mostly imported from South Korea or China.

"If India decides to test the cells, it will have to build the infrastructure and expertise," said the person.

2022, Thomson Reuters