Heat on e-scooter makers after deadly fires, govt steps in

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The recent tragic incident in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district where a man and his daughter died after their e-bike went up in flames has woken up the government, and the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry has ordered a probe.

The government has asked independent experts to find the root cause and submit their findings within a month, according to sources.

The government was forced to intervene after two back-to-back fire incidents over the last weekend with the latest e-scooters alarming the industry stakeholders.

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First, a blue-colored Ola S1 Pro e-scooter that was parked on the side of a road in Pune was spotted catching fire. The e-scooter burst into flames that soon engulfed the entire vehicle. The company said it was investigating the incident.

After that, an Okinawa e-bike went up tragically in flames due to an electrical short-circuit in Vellore, which eventually led to two fatalities.

As per the police’s statement, the user plugged the charger of his bike into an old socket in the entrance to his house and went to sleep.

An electrical short circuit led to the e-bike going up in flames. The police stated that the socket might be an old one with less voltage capacity to charge an e-bike.

Okinawa Autotech said that they adhere to the highest quality standards in their electric scooters.

“This particular case has further brought to light how important it is for users to understand the correct usage and charging guidelines for EVs,” the company said in a statement.

“We are taking a lot of initiatives to create awareness and educate our customers on the proper usage of electric 2-wheelers and about the possible hazards that they could experience in case of any negligence in taking proper care of the battery of the vehicle,” the company added.

The battery manufacturers are cautious and are assuring exhaustive tests and technology to deal with the overheating issue.

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