Recalling EVs may mean changing the cables, not a battery change

Bangalore: Electric vehicle Electric vehicle manufacturers, facing a problem of faulty models after more than two dozen electric two-wheelers caught fire recently, are not replacing the batteries but just tweaking the wiring and connectors, experts said. .

Electric Ola, Okinawa Other pure EV they recalled the two electric wheels to solve battery problems, but because the battery is a sealed unit, it cannot be opened or tampered with.

“It is technically impossible to break the battery seal. The faulty battery needs to be replaced, which I doubt any manufacturer will do, ”said Sohinder Gill, managing director of Hero Electric and president of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).

The loose connectors, the wiring outside the battery, the input and output to the battery, and the configuration of the charger – all of these are being checked, after which the EV is returned to the customer, Gil said.

It’s unclear how the manufacturers are diagnosing the problem and fixing the battery-related issues, the sources said.

Government testing agencies Automotive Research Association of India and the International Center for Automotive Technology are working on a more stringent certification process for batteries that will likely be announced in the next couple of months, Gil added.

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To assume customer concerns about their electric two-wheelers after the fires, SMEV and its dealers have initiated standard operating procedures to educate potential customers about charging and other battery design issues, he said.

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently urged manufacturers to voluntarily recall affected vehicles and announced the same. However, there are indications that the process may not be a success unless there is clarity as to whether these companies are willing to replace the battery itself.

Electric Ola and Okinawa did not answer ET’s specific questions about the take-back process and how the companies were planning to replace the battery. Pure EV did not answer questions.

Several sources told ET that Ola Electric had yet to recall a single vehicle and that the company was still trying to understand the process as it does not have a distribution and service network like other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The company said the recall process was “ongoing” but did not disclose how many vehicles it had recalled so far.

“As you know, Ola has announced a voluntary recall to conduct preventative diagnoses and health checks on 1,441 scooters. This is ongoing, “a spokesperson for Ola said.” These scooters will be inspected by our service technicians and undergo thorough diagnostics of all battery systems, thermal systems and safety systems. ”

Ola said the company supports the adoption of an electric vehicle safety policy and architecture of standards in India “to ensure high quality products that increase customer confidence and grow the nascent electric vehicle industry.” .

“Our battery pack is already compliant and tested for AIS 156, the latest proposed standard for India, as well as complying with the European standard ECE 136,” added its spokesperson.

Okinawa, which recalled 3m215 Praise Pro scooters, has received and overhauled 2,631 scooters so far. “We are conducting proper vehicle and battery pack checks through numerous ‘Power Pack Check-up Camps’ across the country at our authorized dealers,” said a company spokesperson.

“The recalled vehicles are being recalled as part of our Power Pack campaign, which is managed by the company’s technical engineers through Okinawa’s Authorized Dealers. These engineers are well trained and experienced with complete vehicle know-how and thoroughly check the vehicle and battery for all technical quality check points. If repairs or replacements are needed, we are doing it at no cost to the customer, ”the spokesperson added.

Pure EV, which also suffered several fires involving its electric scooters, is recalling 2,000 units of its ETrance + and EPluto 7G models.

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