Ather electric scooter fire incident is attributed to vehicle that was brought in for servicing following an accident – fact finding points to crack on battery pack casing
Recent electric scooter fires are a bane. But, hopefully one that strengthens the path for e2Ws. The current focus on electric scooter fires seem odd especially since ICE vehicle fires to date have never been scrutinized this closely. This of course is owing to multiple reasons.
One of them being the fact that social media as a platform didn’t perform quite as well when it comes to amplifying matters. And one couldn’t quite so easily interact with authorities and/or manufacturers. The world today is open to more transparent and prompt communication. At the same time, online grievances and opinions are manifold. So, are trolls.
So, while the concern is legit, and warrants meaningful discussion, not all online chatter is meaningful. Company statements are tricky to dissect accurately, and most times, they are all that is available. Following the recent spate of electric scooter fires, multiple manufacturers have gone on record to discuss specified fire incidents in brief.
Ather Electric Scooter Fire
This past week, there’s been a report of a Hero Photon electric scooter. The manufacturer was quick to point out that that the fire is the outcome of a short circuit at the socket. The scooter was being charged overnight. The other fire in focus was an incident in Chennai at Ather’s dealership in Chennai. A detailed statement a day later elaborates on what unfolded.
The company says, the fire erupted in a vehicle that had been brought to the service centre following an accident. Once dust was washed off the vehicle, the team realized there was a crack in the battery pack top casing when removing body panels. This crack is likely an outcome of the accident. Because of the wash, water entered the battery pack. The company also noticed a few screws around the battery had been replaced. Their varying lengths could have heightened stress on the battery top panel.
A report earlier in the week, which puts blame on cheap materials that don’t meet quality criteria. The probe result was furnished by CFEES of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Electric scooter fire incidents led to notices being sent to multiple manufacturers. Incident explanations are sought from Boom Motors, Pure EV, Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech, and Jitendra EV. With the scooter fire reports from this week, due diligence and audits for the same are expected.
Audits and due diligence
While the e2W industry is seeing growth across segments, in terms of sales volume, it still is a small segment. One that sees improved interest. With EVs touted to be the next big arena of mobility, it’s essential that the groundwork is strong. So, while outcomes of national probes of ICE vehicles have hardly been a matter of public discussion, for EVs the rules have changed.
Honest and open discussions will help keep the faith in the growing EV industry. Detailed scrutiny will help correct faultlines. This is more than essential if the country is to reach its EV transition goals by 2030.