Poor testing by OEMs primary cause of fire in electric vehicles

Just days after Ola Electric and Okinawa scooters caught fire, video of a Pure EPluto 7G emitting smoke while on fire in Chennai went viral on Wednesday.

Published: 31st March 2022 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2022 08:36 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Just days after Ola Electric and Okinawa scooters caught fire, video of a Pure EPluto 7G emitting smoke while on fire in Chennai went viral on Wednesday. According to top industry leaders, inadequate testing, especially of the batteries in domestic conditions, and a rush among new-age players to launch products in quick time are major reasons behind these incidents. 

Suhas RajKumar, CEO & Founder, Simple Energy told TNIE that designing a functioning EV is just half the game, testing it further to improve efficiencies and ensuring that it continues to function in extreme conditions is what OEMs should really spend more time on. The Battery Management System (BMS) should be smart enough to not let temperatures rise beyond a certain extent and robust enough to bear anything in the worst-case scenario, he added. 

According to Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) must ensure safety of their products as their business and brand name is at stake. He also called out OEMs’ which are rolling out products without testing them enough in real life conditions.

He told TNIE, “There are a large number of start-ups whose development and reliability checking time of the vehicle and battery is very short.The battery is supposed to last for 6-7 years. While they cannot test the battery for this many years, there are simulation techniques that reduce the time to 2-3 years, which should be the bare minimum...If they continue to launch a half cooked product, these incidents will occur in future.”

Gill said that these incidents will impact capacity expansion of OEMs in the first half of FY23 as they are now taking corrective action to bring in the next level of safety.  He estimates e-2wheelr sales in FY2023 to be upward of 1 million units but the numbers will be lower in the first half (H1FY23) when compared to the second half (H2FY23). Rajkumar said, “In the short run, these incidents will affect the aspects that consumers consider before buying an EV by asking the more important quality-centric questions.” 


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