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Opinion: Many classes stay on EV fires | Autocar India

Written by Ravi Kapoor

The Ather scooter that just lately caught fireplace at a dealership had met with an accident earlier than.

It goes with out saying that an EV ought to by no means catch fireplace, regardless of the reasoning, and the latest Ather fireplace incident serves as a strong blow to already wavering buyer confidence.

That being stated, Ather Vitality’s immediacy, transparency and lack of finger pointing helps reinforce religion within the firm. A preliminary assertion was instantly launched stating that the incident had occurred and that extra info can be shared as quickly as doable. Lower than 24 hours later, Ather revealed an in depth account of how and why the fireplace occurred. In the meantime, it has been 64 days since an Ola scooter caught fireplace (as of penning this) and we’re but to listen to from the corporate why it occurred. 

Above all else, this Ather fireplace serves as a actuality test that we now have so much to be taught on the subject of EV security. In keeping with the corporate, the scooter concerned had been in an accident and was taken to the dealership. Right here, it was stress washed to get the filth off earlier than being inspected for harm. Whereas eradicating the physique panels they seen that the aluminum battery pack was cracked and that water had already labored its method inside. The scooter was instantly remoted and, as anticipated, the cells inside quickly quick circuited resulting in the fireplace. 

Clearly, battery packs, notably Li-ion ones, want a complete, effectively thought out set of security protocols. In case of an ICE car accident, the car is usually secure to move as soon as it’s established that there are not any gas leaks, the engine has cooled down and the car is absolutely turned off. With EVs, there may be hidden risks lurking underneath the floor.

First, prospects must be educated, and in case of an accident it’s finest to ship the car straight to the showroom to be inspected, even whether it is seemingly rideable. Second, these merchandise are actually superior sufficient that they need to be capable of inform in the event that they’ve had a huge impact and, subsequently, alert the corporate. Ather’s built-in inertial measurement unit, together with its full time web, ought to be capable of facilitate this. If we now have no selection however to trip ‘good and linked’ automobiles, we might as effectively reap these advantages.  

Ather’s assertion additionally talked about that the scooter had some non-standard screws put in in areas close to the battery pack and this might have performed a job as effectively. EVs have left little or no for dealerships to do by way of service, so maybe it might be sensible to have bi-annual necessary ‘service check-ups’ at an affordable price. These may be tied in with the guarantee and they’re going to maintain issues safer for the shopper whereas producing a little bit of income for the vendor as effectively.

The engineering efforts behind the Ather are extensively praised and the corporate says that that is the primary such incident within the 150 million kilometres that each one its scooters have collectively collected. However it exhibits that freak accidents can occur, and they’re going to solely improve as EV adoption grows. 

After all, there are way more superior battery chemistries being developed at breakneck speeds and most will probably be way more secure. However at the moment’s Li-ion tech will probably be mainstream for fairly a number of years to return, so we finest discover ways to handle these batteries as safely as doable, as quickly as doable.  

About the author

Ravi Kapoor