Is Driving Electric Vehicle Safe??
Electric Vehicle Fire Statistics
As per Electric Vehicle News India
AutoinsuranceEZ.com conducted a recent study to find answers on which type of vehicle is more likely to catch fire. The study collected and analyzed data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and Recalls.gov.
This is what the data on car fire statistics as well as data on sales threw up.
- For every 100K sales of gas vehicles, 1,529 fires were reported.
- For every 100K sales of hybrid vehicles, 3,474 fires were reported.
- For every 100K sales of electric vehicles, 25 fires were reported.
Reasons for Fire Incidents at Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are the way forward if we want cleaner and greener earth. However, electric vehicle technology is still new. There still exists a massive space for improvement. There is also the issue of electric vehicle fires that should be addressed before electric vehicles can be labeled as 100% safe.
We have witnessed a few Electric Vehicle Fire incidents in recent times. Though the reason is unknown the investigation is going on. But normally problems in the following mentioned factors can be the cause.
- Battery management system
- Battery Manufacturing
- Internal wiring
- Improper handling of Vehicles
- Unexpected rise in temperature, and more
The above-mentioned problems cause because by the lack of awareness and required competency & skills.
The crucial question, however, is “who is responsible for the safety of the consumers?” Manufacturer (Assembler), OEM, Distributors & Dealers, Charging Station, or a consumer himself?
It is up to the EV and battery makers to make sure that the safety of the consumers is not compromised.
Before assembling the final product, the manufacturer should have sufficient knowledge about its chemistry and physics of it and interrogate each object thoroughly before assembling ensuring the safety of the consumer.
Some people are in a hurry for market share. OEMs need to understand that EVs are a long-term business and not an e-commerce push. We need to understand to not be in a hurry to have a unit placement or market share. Instead of going for the numbers game, we need to focus on the safety and long-term viability of the product. OEMs should study the climate, infrastructure (road conditions), and other safe operating conditions to make EVs safe to drive.
While the EV brands are in a hurry to sell, they are not taking out time to explain the essentials of safe battery charging and battery maintenance to the end consumer.
As you probably are aware, run on lithium-ion batteries. And batteries catch fire for two primary reasons –
- Due to overcharging or overheating
- Due to high temperatures.
While battery fires are substantially much lower, once an electric vehicle catches fire, it can burn for much longer periods, and putting them out can be more challenging.
Battery OEMs should take into consideration that Lithium battery cells get disturbed on uneven roads. Irregular charging and temperature fluctuations also disturb these cells w.r.t Indian road conditions and climate conditions.
Distributors & Dealers
With the huge Indian population, increasing EV consumers and low literacy rate, EV brands should focus more on educating distributors and dealers about EV and Battery maintenance so that they can share that information with the end customer and EV Brands should make sure their customers are getting rightly informed.
Consumers should read the OEM guidelines and rules to get aware of the Dos and Don’ts of using EVs. There could be a need to teach users how to treat such products safely and effectively
As no one will take the accountability and will play a blame game. We feel there should be a neutral third-party certification or testing done. The focus should be on finding out if the incident was with an isolated product or if the problem is in the whole line-up. There could be multiple reasons. Hiring a consultant after the incident has occurred makes no point.