Several manufacturers including Ola Electric, Okinawa, and Pure EV announced a recall of the electric two-wheelers. However, according to a report in ET, it seems like the customers will not get a new battery pack after the recall. The service centre will only tweak the wiring and connectors of the affected scooters.
Since the battery packs are sealed and cannot be opened or tampered with, it is technically impossible to check the battery cells. The battery cells are inside the battery pack. Replacing the whole battery pack unit will be a very expensive job and manufacturers will definitely take that route.
Sohinder Gill, chief executive of Hero Electric, and president of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) said that the manufacturers will not be able to break open the battery packs.
The only thing that the manufacturers will check will include loose connectors, wiring outside the battery, input and output to the battery and charger set-up. After checking these parts, the vehicles will be handed back to the customers.
ET also says that it is not clear how the manufacturers are diagnosing the problems and resolving any battery-related issues. Government agencies like the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) are working on a more stringent certification process for batteries. The new guidelines will be announced in the next two months according to Gill.
Ola is yet to recall the scooters
Even though Ola recalled the scooters, the sources of ET said confirmed that Ola Electric is yet to recall a single vehicle. The start-up, which sells most electric scooters in the Indian market at the moment is yet to figure out how to handle the recall. Ola Electric does not have a distribution network like other OEMs in India.
The government of India stepped in
As an immediate measure, the Ministry has formed an expert committee, which will probe the causes of the incidents, and if the manufacturers are found guilty or negligent, heavy fines will be imposed on them. In addition to it, the Ministry will also take some other measures, including issuing a recall of all defective vehicles, even if the manufacturer hasn’t issued any such recall on its part.
According to Nitin Gadkari, the Ministry has already issued the required orders for the probe for all the electric two-wheeler manufacturers, the vehicles which have reported such incidents. To ensure that no such incident happens in future, the Ministry will also introduce new quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles, which will assure a better quality of engineering in them.