Telangana and Andhra Pradesh last year witnessed about eight incidents of e-bikes, houses and even e-bike showrooms and a hotel catching fire due to e-batteries exploding, killing 10 people and injuring many others.
Almost all the incidents took place when e-bikes were kept on charge and it is suspected that overcharging triggered the explosions. The biggest disaster happened in Hyderabad in September when eight people lost their lives after a fire broke out in an e-bike showroom in the cellar of a multi-storeyed building and spread to a hotel on the upper floors.
The fire broke out in Gemopai electric scooters showroom in the building. The fire was caused by a short circuit which was triggered due to overcharging of the EVs. Police had said that the CCTV footage showed that the smoke first emerged from an e-bike kept for charging.
Fire services officials also said the fire was the result of an apparent explosion of batteries in the e-bike showroom. The horrific incident was captured on CCTV. Smoke emanated from an electric scooter and gradually spread around the vehicle.
Within a few seconds, a small explosion occurred with the vehicle catching fire. According to investigating officials, heat generated from over charging of electric vehicles parked in the basement of Ruby Pride Luxury Hotel at Kummarguda in Secunderabad, had triggered an explosion in which eight persons succumbed to burns and 11 suffered burn injuries.
The investigations revealed that the vehicles were plugged for charging for a long duration and the lithium-ion battery pack that has a hundred individual battery cells reacted due to overheating and exploded.
A month later a fire broke out in a motor showroom in Andhra Pradesh's Parvathipuram district. As many as 36 electric bikes were gutted in a huge fire in the showroom in Palakonda town.
E-bikes and batteries kept in the showroom for special discounted sale on Diwali were destroyed in the fire. These were not isolated incidents. The Telugu states witnessed a series of fire accidents due to explosion of e-vehicle batteries.
In August two electric bikes caught fire as their batteries exploded while charging in Hyderabad. In the first incident that occurred under the limits of Kushaiguda police station, two e-bikes were gutted.
One T. Haribabu, who had purchased two e-bikes, had kept both the vehicles on charging in front of his house. An hour later, he heard a loud explosion and came out of the house to see both the two-wheelers engulfed in flames.
Three days before this, a person was injured when the battery of an electric bike exploded in the NGO colony of Vanasthalipuram. The incident occurred when Koteshwar Rao turned the switch on to charge his parked bike, but it exploded.
He suffered burn injuries on his hands and other parts of the body. A house was gutted when an electric bike caught fire while it was being charged in Siddipet district of Telangana on June 8.
An electric bike burst into flames in Hyderabad on May 11. There were no casualties. A man was killed and three others injured when the battery of an electric two-wheeler exploded in their house at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on April 23.
Earlier on April 19, an 80-year-old died and two others were injured when an electric bike kept on charging burst into flames when they were asleep at their house in Telangana's Nizamabad town.