The morning of September 2 witnessed yet another electric vehicle (EV) fire incident, which compromised the life of a 7-year-old. The incident took place in the Vasai area of Palghar district in Maharashtra.
As per initial reports, the battery of an electric scooter exploded while being charged while further details are still awaited. A case has been registered at Manikpur police station. The boy was seriously injured and he succumbed to injuries in a nearby hospital.
This is among the latest incidents when electric vehicles, especially scooters have seen thermal runaways in different conditions. While on one hand, the government has been aggressively pushing electrification, the lack of uniformity and battery safety standards has been a case of concern.
This case has further jeopardised the already questionable li-ion battery packs used in electric vehicles in India. At a time when Li-ion batteries have become the backbone of every industry that needs battery support, EV’s exploding comes as a downside to an otherwise smooth sailing sector.
The lithium-ion batteries have a wide acceptance because of the high energy density and efficiency that the technology offers, however, at the same time, the safety factor and manufacturing of these batteries essentially need a careful check so that no anomaly is missed.
The infamous important piece of information about lithium-ion batteries is perhaps its very nature to self-sustain fires even in cases when there’s no external source triggering the same.
While there can be several conditions that lead to batteries exploding or thermal runaways, one such reason pointed out by Prathmesh Chaudhari, Senior Manager, Automotive Practice, ADL India is the need to build cell technology, and batteries, indigenously.
He added, “Now’s the time to make ties with the global companies and get access to the know-how technology for cell manufacturing. There is also a need for some R&D investments into cells that will help India renew configurations and try new chemistries which are more suitable for Indian conditions.”