Andhra Pradesh: Electric bike battery explosion kills 1, another critical
A 40-year-old man died in the Vijayawada city of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday after the battery of his new electric bike exploded, causing a fire in his bedroom. According to the police, the wife of the deceased also suffered burns and was in critical condition at a hospital. The police added that the condition of their two children, who suffered from asphyxiation, was stable.
- In India, this is the latest incident of an electric vehicle catching fire and comes two days after a similar EV battery explosion claimed one life in Telangana.
- Fire incidents involving electric vehicles have raised serious questions about their safety.
- On Thursday, the Centre asked EV manufacturers to recall their faulty vehicles voluntarily. Automakers like Okinawa and Pure EV have already recalled their scooters.
According to the police, the victim K Siva Kumar, a self-employed DTP worker, bought the electric bike just a day before the incident. The vehicle's detachable battery was kept on charging in his bedroom on Friday night. However, it suddenly exploded in the early hours of Saturday when everyone was asleep, Suryaraopet Inspector of Police, V Janaki Ramaiah, told PTI.
Officials said Kumar's neighbors notices smoke coming out of their house and forced the doors open to rescue the trapped family. Kumar died in an ambulance while being taken to the hospital, according to officials. However, his wife was shifted to a private hospital for treatment and has been kept under 48-hour observation, PTI quoted the police as saying.
Meanwhile, Ramaiah stated the exact cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. Firefighters earlier visited the spot to determine the reason. "We have also spoken to the EV company to check whether [an] electric short circuit could be the reason for the battery explosion," said Ramaiah. He added that a case had been filed and the investigation was ongoing.
There have been multiple instances of EVs catching fire in recent weeks. In Telangana, a Pure EV scooter's battery explosion killed one person and injured four others. Similarly, a father-daughter duo was suffocated to death in Tamil Nadu as a result of an EV fire. There have also been reports of similar incidents with Ola Electric, Okinawa, and Jitendra EV two-wheelers.
Meanwhile, an expert committee was appointed by the Centre to probe EV fire incidents and come up with remedial measures. "Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for Electric Vehicles," Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari earlier said. The government plans to impose hefty penalties on companies that are found in default.