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NEW DELHI : Union ministry for transport and highways has served notices to CEOs and MDs of two wheeler electric scooter manufacturers whose scooters have caught fire, and further action would be taken after their replies are received, said union minister Nitin Gadkari.

Mint had on 4 July reported that the government has sent show-cause notices asking why they should not be penalized for the fire incidents caused due to faulty batteries.

In response to a question in Lok Sabha, Gadkari said that the ministry has constituted a committee of experts to suggest formulation of safety standards for the battery and its components, BMS and related systems in electric vehicles, in the wake of recent incidents of fire in electric two wheelers.

“The ministry has issued a show-cause notice to the CEOs and MDs of the concerned two wheeler electric scooter manufacturers, to explain the reasons as to why the relevant Sections of the Motor Vehicles Act should not be invoked against them. Further processing will be done on receipt of their replies," Gadkari told the parliament.

The government  sprang to action after several EV scooters caught fire, leading to several injuries and even deaths in some cases.

In April, Gadkari had announced on 21 April that the government would issue quality-centric guidelines for EVs. “If any company is found negligent in their processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered," he said in a series of posts on Twitter.

In the wake of the incidents, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has already issued performance standards for lithium-ion traction batteries, “IS 17855: 2022".

These incidents have come as a threat to India’s EV dreams. In the past few years, government has come up with several policy initiatives to boost the production and adoption of EVs in the country.

The country currently has over 13.34 lakh electric vehicles, according to data from the e-vahan portal, which comes under the transport and highway ministry.

Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra are the leaders in terms of EV adoption with 3.37 lakh, 1.56 lakh and 1.16 lakh EVs plying on their streets.

On 19 July, the union ministry of heavy industries, citing data from the e-vahan portal, said that there is no downtrend in the sale of EVs. It also noted that Okinawa recalled 3,215 units of vehicles on 16 April, Pure EV has recalled 2,000 units of vehicles on 21 April and Ola Electric recalled 1,441 units as on 23 April.

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