By: Darshan Rana, Chairman & Managing Director, Erisha E Mobility
The electric vehicle market is booming like never before with almost a new product launching every week. Even though electric vehicles are much safer and more cost-effective than ICE cars, vehicles catching fire are a topic of concern, and need to analyse the root causes for it.
Apart from technical faults and manufacturing defects of batteries, most of the cases can be due to personal negligence and not taking proper precautions. Most EV battery fires occur when the battery is damaged or punctured.
The daily 3 steps checkup can help prevent EV batteries from catching fire:
Monitor – Check – Fix
One should monitor the battery on daily basis to check for any signs of damage or deterioration, especially to understand the Warning Signs of a Battery and immediately fix the issues, if any. One should make sure that the Electric Vehicle is properly ventilated to avoid overheating, which is the major cause of fire in batteries. Also, one needs to be sure to never leave the EV unattended while charging.
There are five major checkpoints you can do to prevent your EV battery from catching fire:
1. Use the right quality or apt batteries for your Electric Vehicles
As the battery is the heart of the electric vehicle, so it’s most important not to compromise with the quality and standard. It’s better if you use a Lithium Ion Phosphate (LFP) that can be charged and discharged at relatively higher speeds than other types of batteries.
2. Avoid driving over sharp objects
While you cannot control the road situation but one should always take precautions while driving, be its gasoline vehicles or Electric vehicles. Especially with Electric Vehicles, If you hit a curb or pothole, you could damage the battery. If you see any damage, take your EV to a qualified electrician to have the battery checked or repaired, if needed. Driving through sharp objects may hit hard on batteries.
3. Store the Electric Vehicle in a cool, dry place
Avoid parking in direct sunlight or leaving your EV in hot surroundings. If the EV is not in use then park it in a garage or other cool and dry area. It’s equally important to use a battery cooling system to keep intact the life of the battery. One should also Keep account of the cleanliness of batteries, and always check that battery should be free of dust and dirt.
4. Prefer an EV charging station to charge batteries
When charging the Electric Vehicle, always use a Level 2 charging station as Level 1 chargers (i.e. standard wall outlets) can take longer to charge the EV and can generate heat, which can contribute to battery fires. So make sure you’re using a charger that is specifically designed for your EV model. When charging the batteries, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid overcharging or damaging batteries.
5. Know the signs of the battery
Keep an eye on your battery level. Don’t let your battery get too low or too high – this can increase the risk of a fire. It’s important to keep track of the physical health (or mental health) of the battery on daily basis. If you see any sparks or smoke coming from your Electric Vehicle battery, it’s likely a fire is already underway. The reason can be overcharging or over-draining of the battery, so it’s important to be sure of unplugging the Electric Vehicle once it’s fully charged.
One should avoid using damaged batteries, If a battery is damaged, it could catch fire after a few weeks, so one should use batteries that are in good condition and from reliable sources or brands.
One should also be ready for the emergency plan and post-fire solutions to avoid the macro effect. One should know the working module of a fire extinguisher and keep the plan in place so one knows how to safely extinguish the fire in the proper time frame and protect yourself from harm. It’s better to keep a fire extinguisher with your EV always, especially in passenger and cargo vehicles where you may have passengers or significant loads on your vehicle at the time of the fire. Like gasoline Vehicles, Electric Vehicles also need servicing at regular intervals. Always service vehicles through qualified and certified mechanics in the vehicle showroom or major dealer outlets.
By following these simple tips and prevention steps, one can keep EV batteries safe and can prevent them from catching fire.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.