Press "Enter" to skip to content

Chennai electric vehicle store gutted after major fire – The News Minute

The incident took place at a dealership of Okinawa Autotech, which recently recalled 3,215 units of its ‘Praise Pro’ scooters on April 16 in the wake of incidents where the vehicles caught fire.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the IANS report stated that the fire broke out as the battery of one of the e-vehicles exploded. The copy has since been changed to reflect that the fire was the result of a short circuit at the store

An Okinawa dealership burnt down to ashes in Chennai on Saturday, April 16, owing to an electric short-circuit in the building. No casualties were reported and the fire was put out with the help of locals but the entire showroom on the main road in Kunrathur was gutted. Okinawa, which recalled 3,215 units of its ‘Praise Pro’ scooters on April 16, just before the dealership was engulfed in flames in Tamil Nadu, said in a statement shared with IANS that no EV scooter or battery fire started the incident, as was reported earlier.

“The fire was due to an electric short-circuit in the panel wiring in the building. The dealership has also confirmed the same,” the company said. Five new e-bikes, and a total of 17 bikes were damaged, including 12 bikes that came in for service. Items in the showroom also caught fire and were damaged.  Police have registered a case and are investigating. The fire caused a stir in the area for some time. This was the sixth EV fire incident since the onset of summer this year.

Electric two-wheeler manufacturer Okinawa had recalled 3,215 units of its ‘Praise Pro’ scooters on April 16, just before the dealership was engulfed in flames in Chennai.

While recalling ‘Praise Pro’ e-scooters, Okinawa Autotech had said that this voluntary campaign is “in the wake of the recent thermal incident and in line with the company’s long-standing commitment to customer safety”. According to the company, the recall has been initiated to fix “any issue” related to batteries. “The batteries will be checked for loose connectors or any damage and be repaired free of charge at any of the Okinawa authorised dealerships pan India,” the company said.

Recent incidents of battery-powered e-bikes catching fire have caused panic among customers. On March 26, a father-daughter duo died due to a blast in the battery of their Okinawa scooter which was being charged at their home. Late last month, a blue-coloured Ola S1 Pro e-scooter that was parked on the side of the road in Pune caught fire. The scooter burst into flames which soon engulfed the entire vehicle.

As more and more electric two-wheelers catch fire in the country, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant last week asked EV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to voluntarily recall batches involved in the EV fire incidents.

Several electric two-wheelers belonging to Jitendra Electric Vehicles caught fire in Nashik on April 9.

The government has called technical teams of Ola Electric and Okinawa Scooter for an explanation on recent fires in their EVs.