InvestorQ : How so you see the recent impact of the Tata Nexon fire incident on EV sales?
Archita Jajjoo made post

How so you see the recent impact of the Tata Nexon fire incident on EV sales?

Niti Shenoi answered.
2 months ago

When it comes to cars, the basic rule to remember is that it is safety above all else. After all, it is not worth risking your life for anything. Let me give you an illustration. Volvo (rated safest car in the world) invented the air bags, which have saved thousands of life in car accidents. However, Volvo made it a point to share the airbag technology with the other competitors in the industry since there could be no compromise on safety. The gist of the entire story is that there can never be will never be a debate on safety in auto industry.

With this background, let us look at the Tata Nexon case. If there is one car model that really dominates the four wheeler EV segment, it is the Tata Nexon. Known for Tata levels of conservatism, it became a big safety issue when the Tata Nexon recently caught fire, although there were no casualties. At the end of the day, it is fine to sit in your drawing room and talk about low probabilities of fire in EVs. However, that would make little sense to the person who is actually driving that EV.

While there have been several scooter EV fires till date, the Tata Nexon is the first instance of a battery fire and the company is still locating the problem. However, there are some points to remember. In India, EVs use lithium-ion batteries, and fire can be triggered by 2 reasons. Firstly, a manufacturing defect in the battery can cause the fire. Secondly, excess vibration in the battery can also cause fires and short circuits. The lithium ion batteries have a limit to their vibration handling capacity. These have to be kept in mind and addressed.

The million dollar question is whether such fires can be prevented. The answer is yes. People driving such battery operated cars can take some of these basic precautions. Firstly, EV battery should never be charged immediately after the EV stops running. At that time, the batter is very hot and one must always wait for the battery to cool down and only then charge the battery. Secondly, there is often a tendence to use local made cheaper products. Ideally, it is advisable to use the battery and charging cable designated for the battery.

You must also remember that these lithium ion batterie are vulnerable to exposure to high levels to heat. As a result, it is best to ensure that batteries are shielded from direct sunlight or extreme heat. It is always best not to keep it near a very object. Ideally, these batteries should be kept in dry places but with adequate ventilation. One more important point to remember is that once the battery is fully charged, it should be immediately removed from the charger. To top it up, regular inspections can give you a much safer ride.