Centre, Tata Motors order separate enquiries after Nexon EV fire incident

Tata Nexon EV fire
A screengrab of the viral video of Tata Nexon EV on fire. Source: Twitter

The government has ordered an independent enquiry into a Nexon electric vehicle catching fire in Mumbai, a senior Road Transport and Highways ministry official said on Thursday.

“We have ordered an independent enquiry to investigate the Nexon EV fire incident,” the official told PTI.

The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam have been asked to probe the circumstances that led to the incident and also suggest remedial measures, the official added.

The Centre’s report is expected in a month’s time.

Tata Motors said it is also investigating the incident of its Nexon EV catching fire in Mumbai.

Responding to the incident that has been widely shared on social media, Tata Motors in a statement on Thursday said, “A detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of the recent isolated thermal incident that is doing the rounds on social media.”

Also read: Rajiv Bajaj slams EV start-ups, blames them for recent fire incidents

Further, it said, “We will share a detailed response after our complete investigation. We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users.”

The company asserted, “This is a first incident after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 100 million km across the country in nearly 4 years.”

In the electric two-wheeler segment there have been many incidents of vehicles catching fire in the recent past. Electric two-wheeler makers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV had recalled their scooters in the wake of separate fire incidents.

The fire incidents had prompted the government to form a panel to examine and had warned companies of penalties if they were found to be negligent.

The government-appointed panel is expected to submit its report on electric two-wheeler fire incidents this month, according to a road ministry official.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been aggressively promoting EVs and has put it right on the top of his priority list when it comes to setting the agenda for climate change fight. The government is also promoting electric vehicles as a way to reduce its oil imports and save expenses.

Also read: Auto sales zoom in May, but e-bike sales wobble due to fires

As per the Government of India plans, electric vehicles will make up 30% of total passenger car sales in the country by 2030, a significant jump from about 1% today. Also, e-scooters and e-bikes will account for 80% of total two-wheeler sales, which is just 2% now.

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