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Scooter fires are rare, but may happen, says Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal



There may be more fires in electric scooters in the future. Still, such accidents are very unusual, according to India’s Ola Electric CEO, who spoke at a private corporate event after a fire in one of the firm’s scooters in March heightened safety worries.

Ola’s e-scooter fire was one of many recent occurrences that sparked outrage on social media and prompted the Indian government to launch an inquiry.

The business, financed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, has recalled over 1,400 e-scooters and hired outside specialists to look into the problem.

When questioned about the fires at a private function on Sunday, chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal answered, “Will there be incidences in the future, there may be.”

“However, our pledge is that we will ensure that we analyze every problem and that if there are any adjustments that need to be made, we will do them,” he added, according to a tape of the event obtained by Reuters.

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In a tape from the event, where the business unveiled a new operating system for its e-scooters, he characterized the fires as “extremely unusual and isolated.”

According to Aggarwal, fire safety in the automotive sector was more significant than electric cars (EVs). Quality control requirements were more critical for gasoline-fueled vehicles than for EVs.

More gasoline-based scooters have caught fire compared with electric ones. This concern extends to the two-wheeler sector, Ola Group’s chief financial officer Arun Kumar told Reuters.

According to Reuters last week, preliminary results of the government inquiry into the e-scooter fires found a problem with Ola’s battery cells and battery management system. At the same time, the company said its battery management system was not at fault.

Fires affecting e-scooters manufactur by Indian start-ups Okinawa and PureEV are also probe.

“There will be some tiny deficiencies in, maybe the cell, maybe something else, which would create some internal short circuit,” Aggarwal said, adding that Ola’s 50,000 e-scooters on the road experienced just one incident.

Ola gets its cells from LG Energy Solution in South Korea. Kumar said that all businesses should purchase components properly, rather than from “unqualified Chinese vendors,” for example.

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