EV Fire Incidents: Lack of 'basic safety systems' behind EV fires, says probe panel


Electric two-wheelers involved in recent fire incidents did not even have ‘basic safety systems’, an expert panel formed to investigate the accidents has found, prompting the government to seek corrective mechanisms from and warn of legal action against their manufacturers.

The expert committee found there was no ‘venting mechanism’ for overheated cells to release energy and that the ‘battery management system’ was seriously deficient, an official privy to the findings of the panel told ET.

The panel is said to have pointed out that several of the electric two-wheelers came with only ‘minimum functionality’ and ‘shortcuts’ were taken instead of prioritising vehicle safety, ET gathers.

The final report of the expert panel is expected within a week but its recommendations on safety have already been shared with EV manufacturers.

“Companies have already been told that many of the EV two-wheeler manufacturers have taken shortcuts. Their cells have failed the tests. In several cases, the venting mechanism is not there. They are bursting and catching fire. They are mainly poor-quality cells,” the official said.

Battery Management System Flaws

The panel has pointed out that there was no mechanism to identify failure or overheating of cells and to isolate failed battery cells.

A vented cell battery allows for release of gaseous pressure while running, thereby preventing rupture of the cell case.

“Secondly, the battery management system is not even basic. A particular battery, when it’s getting overheated, must be identified and cut off. This is, in fact, what even a minimum functional BMS will do. These vehicles didn’t even have that basic identification system for failed cells,” the official added.


An intelligent battery management system in an EV monitors and regulates current supply to avoid overcharging and overheating.

Battery packs typically need to adhere to safety standards set by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). It is unclear how these vehicles passed muster without such basic safety features.

The government has shared the expert panel’s recommendations with the relevant companies for corrective action and has sought to know why it should not proceed against them legally, according to the official.

Meanwhile, several manufacturers have already begun recalling EVs from the market.


Source link