Softbank-backed Ola Electric said that it will recall 1,441 of its electric scooters, weeks after one of its vehicles caught fire, prompting a government probe into the incident. Scooters involving Indian start-ups Okinawa and PureEV have also been involved in fires, in what some say could be an early setback for a nascent sector that is key to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s carbon reduction and climate goals.
India launched an investigation into the fires, and formed a committee of experts to make recommendations on remedial steps. Okinawa recalled 3,215 vehicles this month. Ola said that they will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles. India wants electric scooters and motorbikes to make up 80% of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, compared with about 2%, and Modi’s administration is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to make EVs locally.
Ola said that it supported an EV safety policy, and a preliminary assessment of one of its vehicles catching fire revealed the incident was an isolated one, and added that the recalls were a pre-emptive measure.