The expansion of the EV segment in India is a promising scenario. However, like many other industries, it has its own challenges and teething issues. One such issue, which is also fatal, is the danger of fire. We are no strangers to fires in electric vehicles. However, two recent developments have focused on the less glamorous side of the EV revolution, safety.
In an incident, Ola Electric’s Ola S1 electric scooter caught fire while it was parked on the roadside. The video of the fire went viral, prompting the company’s investigation. In another incident, a father and daughter lost their lives due to a fire in an Okinawa Autotech EV or charging equipment. The investigation of this matter is still on.
Competition in the EV segment is increasing, especially in the two-wheeler category. Electric scooters are growing in popularity due to rising fuel prices and even government subsidies at both the state and central levels. The fight for pole position is leading to an almost unrealistic delivery timeline. Manufacturers are trying to cut down on the competition by offering “segment-first” features. These factors affect other important aspects of a vehicle such as quality and safety.
Another aspect that has been highlighted is the unique climate and use case of EVs in India as compared to other markets. The rising heat in the subcontinent will be a testing period for some of the new EV makers in India.
What some players from the EV industry in India think about the latest fire incidents:
Maxson Lewis, MD and CEO of Magenta said, “Electric vehicles are completely safe technology. Laptops and mobile phones etc… for lack of a better word, there are non-wheeled versions of the same technology and millions of them use However, you cannot copy-paste international solutions in India for 4 major reasons: Heat, Humidity, Harmonics and Human.
Giving his opinion on the incidents, Lewis said, “There are two possible technical reasons for the recent accidents and a socio-economic reason 1. In full testing on the battery side 2. Incorrect charging equipment 3. Overall, this ‘reaching the market’ The ‘get to market fast and cheap’ attitude is why companies are taking shortcuts on safety and field testing.”
Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors, said, “EVs are, in short, safer than ICEs. We are witnessing massive growth, any and all accidents are under the lens for EVs. That being said, safety is paramount. and should be the first and foremost priority. I think there is a lot of room for improvement in technology. Most of these cases will be the result of problems with the battery, either their thermal management or the choice of cell among other issues. The technology needs to be designed and further improved to deal with the Indian weather and usage conditions.”
Companies try to take some measures to avoid such scary situations. Magenta EV claims that safety is its topmost priority as it is backed by HPCL. Crayon Motors claims that they are working with some Indian battery makers to tackle this problem. They have also started customer education campaign for better battery care and better battery life.
post Is it really safe to buy an electric scooter? Appeared first on BGR India.