40 Electric Scooters Catch Fire While Being Loaded Into Truck; No One Is Hurt, But This Is Alarming & Dangerous
40 electric scooters from Jitendra Electric Vehicles caught fire on April 11 after being loaded in a transport container in Nashik.
This happened next to the Jitendra EV factory.
The scooters were being transported to Bengaluru.
No one has been reported injured.
The company said that it will be investigating the incident.
Ola And Okinawa Summoned
On April 7, the government asked Ola Electric and Okinawa Scooters to explain the recent incidents of their electric two-wheelers catching fire.
An Ola S1 pro electric scooter was on fire in Lohegaon, Pune.
The scooter was parked on the roadside of a busy commercial area and was engulfed in flames.
Technical teams of both companies will be summoned after an independent expert probe is finished.
Thermal Runaway Main Cause?
The cause is not officially confirmed but is speculated to be a thermal runaway where an exothermic reaction occurs inside a lithium-ion battery when it is damaged or short-circuited.
Due to overheating, the internal temperature and pressure of the battery rises at a quicker rate than can be dissipated.
Just one battery cell going into thermal runaway can produce enough heat to cause the other cells to get affected.
The scooters run on lithium ion batteries which can catch fire if improperly manufactured, damaged or if the software that designed the battery has not properly made it.
A lithium-ion battery on fire cannot be doused by water since it immediately produces hydrogen gas and lithium-hydroxide.
Hydrogen gas is a major hindrance due to its extreme flammability.
Heatwave To Blame?
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari speculated that the cause behind the fires may be the higher temperatures of the ongoing heatwave in the country.
These incidents have brought into question electric vehicles’ ability to withstand high temperatures of the Indian summer.
Many of them have no cooling system for their batteries.
Ather CEO Tarun Mehta opined that battery packs of these electric scooters are imported and not designed for Indian weather conditions.
Gadkari said that the government has ordered a forensic investigation into each individual event and will take appropriate action after the exact technical reason is known.
It has also called upon Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) to carry out investigations.
They are expected to develop a set of SOPs around handling EV fires.