Electric vehicle fire incidents: Electric vehicles go mainstream, fire incidents help industry mature: Ather Energy CEO

Electric two-wheelers are going mainstream and the fires will only help manufacturers focus on quality, helping the industry mature, says Ather Energy co-founder and managing director (CEO) Tarun Mehta. The Hero MotoCorp-backed company expects that by the end of this decade, up to 30 million electric two-wheelers will be sold in India and Ather Energy will invest “significantly more” for its capacity growth in India. course of the next few years.

“What happened recently, I think, has finally matured the industry. It will cause more and more manufacturers to focus more on quality and reliability,” Mehta told PTI.

He was responding to a question about how electric two-wheelers fire from various manufacturers, such as Ola Electric, Okinawan, PureEV and even the sole case of Ather, would impact the growth of electric vehicles in India.

The incidents are pushing more and more players to focus on “quality as the number one parameter”, he said, adding in any case “electric vehicles are becoming widespread despite everything, but with better quality products , it will become obvious.

In April this year, cases of electric two-wheelers from manufacturers – such as Ola Electric,
Okinawa Autotech and
PureEV – catches of fire have been reported. This prompted the government to form a panel to investigate.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has warned companies of penalties if they are found to be negligent and said they will be ordered to recall faulty vehicles.

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Ola Electric has recalled 1,441 units of its electric two-wheelers. Okinawa also announced the recall of 3,215 units of its Praise Pro electric scooter to fix any battery-related issues. Likewise, Pure EV recalled 2,000 units of its ETrance+ and EPluto 7G models.

Regarding the incident of an Ather electric scooter that caught fire, Mehta said it was “a wrecked vehicle, where screws were replaced, water was spilled…this n was not a real script”.

“We have never had a fire in a working vehicle. We are extremely proud of this record,” he added.

Ather Energy has focused on quality and reliability from day one, Mehta said, adding, “We never rushed a launch. We never tried to skip a test step. and we stayed extremely focused.”

Regarding the market potential of electric two-wheelers in India, Mehta said that it is going to be huge and “by the end of this decade, 20 to 30 million electric two-wheelers will be sold in the country”.

In order to meet demand, he said, “we are going to invest a lot more money in capacity growth over the next few years. The first two plants are just a starting point.”

He, however, declined to comment on the company’s planned future investments.

Last year, in November, the
the company announced an investment of Rs 650 crore to set up its second manufacturing plant at Hosur in Tamil Nadu to increase its overall production capacity to 4 lakh units from 1.2 lakh units per year.

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