Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday again cautioned EV makers to recall all faulty two-wheelers, saying that some EV batteries may be facing issues owing to extreme hot weather conditions the country is currently going through. Addressing the Raisina Dialogue here, he said that the domestic EV industry has "just started" but "safety is the highest priority for the government and there can be no compromise with human lives". "In the months of March-April-May, the temperature rises and there may be some problems with the EV battery. I feel that it is a problem of (high) temperature," Gadkari told the audience. Stressing that the government seeks to make EVs more popular among the masses, the Minister said the EV industry has just started. "We don't want to put a hurdle but safety is first and foremost priority," he added.
Gadkari last week warned EV makers that 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". "We have constituted an Expert Committee to inquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps. Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies," he said. "We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles," Gadkari added. His comments came as the country is going through a spate of EV fires and deadly battery blasts. In yet another tragic incident involving an electric two-wheeler, a 40-year-old man died in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada after a blast occurred in an e-scooter belonging to Boom Motors while being charged at home. The incident also left the Kotakonda Siva Kumar's wife and two daughters with severe burn injuries.
To date, three Pure EV, one Ola, two Okinawa and 20 Jitendra EV scooters have caught fire in the country, raising burning questions about their safety. The unabated deadly fires in the electric two-wheelers has shaken up the entire EV industry and its stakeholders, forcing the government to direct EV makers to immediately recall faulty batches that may trigger more such incidents. Earlier, an 80-year-old man was killed and two others injured when the battery of a Pure EV electric two-wheeler exploded in their house in Telangana's Nizamabad district.