Electric vehicle fires: Boom Motors recalls Corbett bikes and temporarily halts production

Boom Motors, the Coimbatore-based electric two-wheeler manufacturer is recalling its Corbett e-bike days after a fatal crash. It also became the first E-two-wheeler manufacturer to temporarily halt production after the government order.

Meanwhile, taking note of the fires that have become recurrent since the beginning of the summers, the government has taken a heavy swipe at the manufacturers of electric two-wheelers.

In a virtual meeting attended by more than 50 senior officials representing various two-wheeler manufacturers, Giridhar Aramane, Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Heavy Industries (MoRTH) ordered manufacturers to promptly recall vehicle batches faulty on their own or be prepared to face “serious consequences” for hiding any incidents of fire or delay, according to a company official who attended the meeting.

During the half-hour meeting, Aramane cited a provision in the Motor Vehicles Act, which empowers the government to take tough action against manufacturers for causing harm to people and public property. He said “no one will be spared” for compromising passenger safety, the official said quoting the secretary.

Boom will be the fourth company to recall its e-two-wheeler model involved in fires, following Okinawa, PureEV and Ola Electric. Okinawa Autotech, based in Gurugram, had recalled 3,215 vehicles and another 2,000 renewable energy electric vehicles (PURE) based in Hyderabad earlier this month.

Later, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 S1 Pro scooters, in a specific batch.

Last week a 40-year-old man was killed and three others injured in Nizamabad after a fire in which a Boom Motors bicycle was involved.

All electric vehicle manufacturers have been ordered to send out standard operating procedures (SOPs) and testing standards for quality control of batteries and other equipment in the coming weeks, in addition to increased focus on research and development.

In addition to small, fringe players operating with minimal staff, the secretary has also drawn the attention of large-scale manufacturers for taking “short cuts” and rolling out “half-baked goods” and then not being proactive in the process. recall of defective vehicles.

If it doesn’t stop, companies that don’t comply will be severely punished and the manufacturer concerned may even face permanent closure, Aramane warned e-two-wheelers.

The MoRTH secretary also suggested that manufacturers who have witnessed fires should refrain from new launches for the time being. He particularly insisted that there should be no repeat incidents.

So far, at least eight incidents of electric vehicle fires have been reported in just over a month. The first such incident occurred in Vellore when a 49-year-old man and his daughter died after their electric scooter allegedly caught fire on March 25. Reported incidents included three Pure EVs, two models from Okinawa, one from Ola, another from Boom Motors’ and about 20 involving models from Jitendra Electric Vehicles.

Meanwhile, the government will propose CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Regulation) standards for electric vehicles, it will be notified in three months. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and CMVR.

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