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Ola Electric recalls 1,441 e-scooters

Ola Electric will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in a specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 e-scooters.

India’s top 10 electric two-wheeler manufacturers in April

Mobility unicorn and e-scooter manufacturer Ola has decided to recall around 1,441 two-wheelers manufactured by it after the Central government warned of pre-emptive actions against companies failing to keep up with safety standards.

The high-profile EV maker has had several issues with its two-wheelers that were recently launched in the market under two variations — Ola S1, and Ola S1 Pro. Last month, a brand new Ola S1 Pro electric scooter caught fire in Pune (Maharashtra). Following this, the government had in March ordered a probe into the incident of the Ola Electric vehicle catching fire. However, in recent times, several such instances have been reported, which included the electric scooters from Pure EV, and Okinawa.

“Our internal investigation into the March 26 vehicle fire incident in Pune is ongoing and the preliminary assessment reveals that the thermal incident was likely an isolated one. As a pre-emptive measure, we will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles,” Ola said in a statement.

Ola added that the recalled scooters will be inspected by the company’s service engineers and will go through “thorough diagnostics” across all battery systems, thermal systems as well as safety systems. Currently, Ola’s battery pack claims to comply with AIS 156 standard rating, which is considered the latest proposed standard for India, in addition to being compliant with the European standard ECE 136.

Apart from Ola, Okinawa Autotech and Pure EV have recalled their 3,000 and 2,000 units of electric two-wheelers, respectively. The recalls were carried out after road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari last week constituted an expert committee to inquire into EV explosion incidents.

In a series of tweets, he said: “Several mishaps involving electric two-wheelers have come to light in last two months. It is most unfortunate that some people have lost their lives and several have been injured in these incidents. 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.”

“Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies. We will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles,” he added.

Ola Electric, a subsidiary of ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd (Ola’s parent entity), entered the EV manufacturing business in May 2020 after it acquired Amsterdam-based e-scooter brand Etergo BV. Founded in 2014, Etergo BV is an electric scooter OEM that developed the AppScooter first unveiled in 2018. However, Etergo’s branding was not retained after Ola’s buyout, and the company’s original co-founders Bart Jacobsz Rosier and Marijn Flipse have stepped down post the acquisition.

Following the acquisition, Ola Electric went on to raise multi-million dollar funding rounds and also appointed prominent persons such as former General Motors executive Jaime Ardila, auto industry veteran BVR Subbu, and former CEO of Vodafone Group Arun Sarin, as board members. In 2019, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric as part of a Series A round of funding. Tata is also an early investor in Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies.

In January 2022, Ola had announced a $200-million fundraising from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss and others. The latest round has seen the company’s valuation going up to $5 billion. In September 2021, Ola Electric had raised over $200 million led by Falcon Edge, SoftBank and others at a valuation of $3 billion.

In July 2021, Ola Electric and Bank of Baroda signed a 10-year debt of $100 million towards the funding and financial closure of the phase 1 of the Ola Futurefactory. Over the last two years, Ola Electric has built the Futurefactory, the world’s largest electric two-wheeler manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu.

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