As EV fires continue to make headlines in the country, a fire broke out at electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy’s experience centre in Chennai. The company said in a tweet that there has been a minor fire incident on its premises in Chennai.
“While some property and scooters got affected, thankfully all employees are safe and things are under control. The experience centre will be operational shortly," the EV company said late on Friday.
It, however, did not reveal what caused the fire incident. The company was awaiting a report from the local fire brigade officials. This was the first time Ather Energy came in news for a fire incident as several top EV players are facing government inquiry over battery explosions and fire incidents across the country.
A Hero Photon Electric scooter in Odisha caught fire this week while it was being charged. The incident left the scooter partially damaged.
“When contacted, the customer explained that he heard abnormal cracking sounds and discovered that fumes were coming from the electric switchboard of the home, adjacent to the e-scooter and sparks were continuously falling onto the floor and a can of paint lying nearby," the company said in a statement. “By the time he went on to switch off the mains and get back to try and put off the fire, it spread and burnt the rear part of the scooter and some household belongings," it added.
EV makers such as Ola Electric, Pure EV, Jitendra EV Tech, and Okinawa have been involved in earlier EV fire incidents. Meanwhile, a government panel probing EV fire incidents is set to submit its report next week. The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) which was tasked with investigating EV fire incidents by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry, has found serious defects in the batteries, including the designs of the battery packs and modules.
These defects occur because the electric two-wheeler manufacturers like Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles, Ola Electric, and Boom Motors may have used “lower-grade materials to cut costs". The Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) at the DRDO has submitted its fact-finding report to the Ministry.
Earlier this month, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which comes under the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, sent notices to Pure EV and Boom Motors after their e-scooters exploded in April. The consumer watchdog is also examining more cases of e-scooter fires and will serve similar notices to other EV makers too.