Ola launches probe after electric scooter catches fire in India

Video posted on social media shows the Ola scooter bursting into flames

Stuti Mishra
Sunday 27 March 2022 12:30 BST
Ola launches probe after electric scooters catches fire in India

Ola, one of India’s biggest cab aggregator companies, is investigating an incident of their electric scooter catching fire, after allegations of a manufacturing defect.

The Softbank backed group, which produces electric scooters under its subsidiary, Ola electrics, said on Saturday that it had launched an investigation to find out what caused one of its electric scooters to burst into flames.

A video posted on social media by a resident of the western city of Pune showed the Ola scooter up in flames.

The video, widely circulated online, triggered questions over the company’s safety standards.

Reacting to the incident, Ola’s co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal wrote: “Safety is top priority. We’re investigating this and will fix it.”

“We are aware of an incident in Pune that happened with one of our scooters and are investigating to understand the root cause and will share more updates in the next few days,” the company said in a statement.

The company said it is in touch with the customer adding that vehicle safety is of “paramount importance” for the company.

“We take this incident seriously and will take appropriate action and share more in the coming days,” it added.

Lithium-ion batteries, whether used in electric vehicles or electronic devices, can catch fire if they have been improperly manufactured or damaged, or if the software that operates the battery is not designed correctly.

Ola company officials have said previously that the company imports its battery cells from South Korea but plans to start manufacturing them locally.

While this is the first time an issue with battery has occurred, Ola has faced flak in the past for delivery related delays. Ola Electric was established in 2017 with the aim to reduce emissions and fuel dependency of Ola’s cabs.

Additional reporting by agencies

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