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EV fire: Imported cells 'may not be' suitable for Indian conditions, says Niti Aayog member

The accident took place when the e-scooters were being transported from the factory to an EV containerPremium
The accident took place when the e-scooters were being transported from the factory to an EV container

Battery cells imported for electric vehicles ‘may not be suitable’ for Indian conditions and we need locally manufactured cells for our EVs, Niti Aayog member V.K Saraswat said amid multiple incidents of electric vehicles catching fire across the country

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Battery cells imported for electric vehicles “may not be suitable" for Indian conditions and we need locally manufactured cells for our EVs, eminent scientist and Niti Aayog member V.K Saraswat said amid multiple incidents of electric vehicles catching fire across the country.

"What (battery) cells India is getting may not be suitable for Indian conditions... so what is important is when we import cells, we should do our own screening and rigorous testing system," Saraswat said.

Saraswat, also a former chief of DRDO, said the EV fires could have been due to poor quality of cells which are not designed for high temperature and tropical climates like India.

Earlier, a government-constituted probe panel on EV fires in his preliminary findings had too reported issues with imported cells in nearly all of the electric two-wheeler fire incidents in the country. The committee was constituted last month following multiple EV fire incidents and battery blasts in e-scooters across the country.

Saraswat's comments also come against the backdrop of authorities probing such incidents and Union minister Nitin Gadkari asserting that recall of all defective vehicles will be ordered after the expert panel submits its report.

"Battery technology is an evolving technology. India does not manufacture battery cells at the moment, Saraswat said.

"... we should set up our own cell manufacturing plants at the earliest. We should make sure that whatever cells we manufacture are suitable for Indian conditions of high temperature," news agency PTI quoted Saraswat.

Saraswat said there are certain countries that have developed battery cells that can operate at high temperatures.

Last month, the government ordered a probe after an e-scooter launched by Ola's electric mobility arm caught fire in Pune. After multiple EV fire incidents, the government ordered the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) to probe the incidents and also suggest remedial measures.

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