There could be a whole new shift around battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs) in the near future, as cases of fires involving EVs have increased over the past few days, across the country.
EV makers and various government departments/policymakers are expected to meet multiple times in the coming days to discuss solutions and a roadmap, sources said.
“Manufacturers, specialists and certification agencies are meeting with different ministries (Department of Heavy Industries and Department of Science and Technology) to jointly understand what measures can be taken… Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) will also be part of the meetings,” said a source familiar with the development. Activity area.
Some of the immediate changes include an alarm system to be installed in vehicles that can alert owners when the battery is overheating so life can be properly saved, he said.
“There are small thermal sensors available, which can be glued on the battery boxes and which can detect the temperature, and when the temperature becomes high (above a certain limit), it automatically activates the alarm button of panic, thereby warning the customer,” he said.
The temperature limit can be calibrated by the manufacturers, according to the regulations set by the government. Some of the manufacturers were offered the alarm systems, but denied claiming their batteries were safe, he added.
According to industry experts, two chemicals are involved – phosphate and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide (known as NMC) in the battery technology available today.
“Phosphate is safer – it’s not that fires don’t happen there, but it doesn’t spread…it continues to smolder indoors. In NMC’s case, it’s very volatile and the fire does not stop, it keeps increasing. But, it is lighter and compact. Tesla used it, but for Asian countries, he uses the phosphate ones (which are bulky, but less expensive),” said Sohinder Gill, chief executive of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV). Activity area.
In the case of two-wheelers, it’s really up to the manufacturers to decide which ones they use.
“Everyone imports cells. There are categories – A, B and C and if you buy the cheapest cells, it’s risky. People blindly buy the cells and make the batteries here. They will then end up with such incidents. You should go to the factory, check their manufacturing, learn about the safety measures they use, and then you can buy the safest chemistry,” Gill warned.
Gill also said that there are over 1.50 lakh electric two-wheelers circulating on Indian roads today and around 40,000 or more are to be fitted with such batteries which is worth remembering. Some of the manufacturers such as Okinawa, Ola Electric and Pure EV have already announced the recalls after the fires involving their vehicles.
The government also said it would take action after expert groups set up to investigate the fires submitted their reports. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, also said that the government will also soon issue quality-focused guidelines for electric vehicles and that if a company is found to be negligent in its processes, a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will be carried out. order.
There have been several incidents of battery explosions with electric vehicles since December and the loss of seven lives in such accidents.
April 24, 2022