Electric vehicles catch fire due to ‘crazy rush’ to get into business: Rajiv Bajaj

E-vehicles that catch fire show poor workmanship and India must avoid a “mad rush” for untested products, Rajiv Bajaj, chief executive of Bajaj Auto, said on Friday as he criticized “watered down standards”.

Electric scooter fires have been in the news this year, and last month a report by the state-run Defense Research and Development Organization caused faults in the batteries. Defects may have crept in because electric two-wheeler companies intentionally used inferior materials to cut costs, said The report.

“The problem is not the fire itself. It (such incidents) has also happened in vehicles with internal combustion engines. The problem is the underlying manufacturing process,” said Bajaj at the inauguration of the dedicated electrical branch of its subsidiary Chetak Technology Ltd. vehicle manufacturing plant at Akurdi near Pune.

“What concerns me the most is the environment that has fostered this mad rush. Why are people who have no business in the electric vehicle business trying to enter the business? It must be corrected. Perhaps, if I may say so, the relevant government authorities have watered down the standards for electric vehicles.” This (electric vehicles are flooding the market) may also be partly due to incentives,” he said, as quoted by PTI.

“Under the guise of low-speed vehicles, you can bring any piece of vehicles from anywhere and put it on the road. You won’t have those scooters catching fire? What are you waiting for,” he said according to the new agency.

The country aims to increase the share of electric scooters and motorcycles in total two-wheeler sales to 80% by 2030, from 2% currently. However, consumer confidence has been shaken by the nine reported incidents since last year of electric two-wheelers catching fire.

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