Ather taunts other EV manufacturers as it hasn’t encountered a manufacturing flaw yet resulting in EV fires
Personally, I don’t like trash talks. But when automotive manufacturers do it to one another, I’ll be sure to grab a bowl of popcorn and hop on the couch. We have seen something of this sort from Tata Motors often.
Time and again Tata Motors has taken a dig at rivals Maruti and Hyundai over safety rating. One of them was when Tata Altroz called Maruti Baleno and Hyundai i20 for a crash date on Valentine’s day. Crash date, get it? Because Altroz had an impressive 5-star safety rating and others didn’t. Hyundai i20 later scored a 3-star rating by GNCAP and Maruti Suzuki Baleno however, scored a 0 star safety in Latin NCAP.
Ather Follows Similar Formula
Ather seems to have followed the trend too as they just took a dig at other EV manufacturers for their fire hazards. In the video, we can see Shreyas Seethapathy, battery designer at Ather Energy, digging into his bowl of ice cream while sitting on an autoclave in which batteries designed by him, are baking.
Ather Energy further adds that the company has delivered consistent performance and range with its batteries and not making any tall claims. It also states that Ather’s batteries are designed for monsoons, winter, wind, sandstorms and also hot summers. According to Ather, the reason why Seethapathy is sitting on baking batteries is that he is confident about his battery designs not catching fire even after being baked for 3 hours.
In terms of EV batteries, Li-ion batteries or Li-Po batteries are used on premium electric scooters and Lead-acid batteries are used on cheaper electric scooters. But even though a bunch of scooters gets the same Li-ion batteries, they’re not designed the same. And India of all countries has a biodiversity that only a few countries have. We have every type of extreme temperature, extreme altitudes, extreme terrains and extreme road conditions (or the lack thereof) too.
Designing an EV for India is tricky and on top of it, most electric scooters we see here, are not designed for India in the first place. Take Ola for example, the banana-shaped battery pack was designed by its subsidiary company Etergo for Europe. Europe has a much lower temperature than India and has much superior road conditions too. Revolt motorcycles were designed for China. Most other small EV manufacturers source their EV components from China. This is where Ather Energy shines. The Bengaluru-based startup has designed its scooters completely from the scratch in India, for India; instead of outsourcing its parts from China.
Ather Electric Scooter Fire Incident
Recently, an Ather scooter caught fire at Ather’s Chennai experience centre. The company was quick to respond that the scooter in question was subjected to an accident and the battery was compromised. When the scooter was washed at the service center, it caught fire.
When EVs are subjected to accidents where batteries are compromised, they are prone to catch fire. We saw this when esteemed automotive journalist Richard Hammond crashed a Rimac Concept One when the car rolled down a Swiss mountain. Till now, Ather scooters hasn’t caught fire due to manufacturing defects like some others. Whatever Ather is doing, seems to be working for consumers in India.