Highlights

  • Recent accidents have all been reported from cities where temp have been rising
  • After Okinawa & Pure EV, Ola recalls its 1,144 electric scooters

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Explained: EV fires, the burning issue and if recalls are enough

The big question is if the Centre can douse EV fires with a battery policy

India's EV industry is facing the heat after a number of electric two-wheeler vehicles went up in flames.

Editorji highlights the burning issue of battery overheating and if recalls are enough to ensure safety in the future.

"Recall pe recall"

After Okinawa and Pure EV, Ola is recalling 1,400 electric scooters of a single batch to check for any disconfiguration after a spate of fire involving multiple manufacturers and brands.

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Govt steps in

These 'voluntary' recalls were announced just as the Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari asked EV makers to take “advance action” immediately. Gadkari said the companies found negligent will be penalised. There is also a buzz that the govt is looking to douse the problem by coming out with a battery policy which will cover performance testing and manufacturing standards, along with heat resistance of these batteries.

Is the Indian summer causing EV fires?

The speculation around rising temperatures and batteries exploding have been rife. While it’s easy to attribute the EV fires to rising temperatures, experts suggest looking at how a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is packed and designed. EVs are powered by Li-ion batteries, which are generally considered to be lightweight and efficient. However, they also pose a fire risk.

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What's this about a thermal runway?

Some experts believe that the reason for EV scooters catching fire is a thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a chain reaction within a battery cell that can be very difficult to stop once it has started. It occurs when the temperature inside a battery reaches the point that causes a chemical reaction to occur inside the battery. This chemical reaction produces even more heat, which drives the temperature higher, causing further chemical reactions that create more heat. Sudden acceleration or prolonged charging/fast charging of the vehicles can aggravate the issue.

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