Why EVs Catch Fire?

Incidences of electric vehicles (EVs) catching fire have raised doubts about their future potential

Aiming to control climate change, an electric revolution is currently underway across the globe. While there is ample consumer interest and things appear to be working in most parts, recent cases of electric vehicle catching fire has raised concerns. Some of the leading auto brands including Tesla, Hyundai and General Motors have been facing issues related to their EVs catching fire. Electric two-wheelers have also been seen to go up in flames. Such incidents may prompt customers to rethink their decision to switch to electric.

It also makes us wonder why electric vehicles (EVs) are so prone to fires. Is it safe to use electric vehicles? And how users can prevent electric vehicle fires? To answer such questions, here’s a look at some key reasons why electric vehicles (EVs) catch fire.

  1. Defective battery cell – A battery pack used in an EV comprises of battery cells. Even if one of these is defective, it can lead to overheating and subsequent fire.
  2. Short circuit – If there is damage in the wires or battery cells, it can result in overheating and fire.
  3. Faulty charger – Not using original charger or using the charger in an improper manner can lead to fires.
  4. Software glitch – Charge and discharge of battery is controlled by the battery management system (BMS). This ensures that the battery pack is not heated beyond a certain limit. In case there is a software glitch, it can lead to battery overheating and fire.

Are electric vehicles (EVs) safe?

Electric vehicles catching fire is a matter of concern, but such cases are rare. One needs to understand that even fossil fuel powered vehicles have gone up in flames several times in the past. Moreover, there are specific precautions that one can take to reduce the risk of EVs catching fire.

  • Read the instruction manual properly and follow it in the described manner. Make sure you clear all your doubts before you start using the EV.
  • Avoid using third-party accessories; always use company certified charger and other equipment
  • Avoid parking the EV in sunlight, as it can lead to overheating issues
  • Do not overcharge the EV by leaving it on overnight
  • Avoid charging the battery immediately after a ride; allow some cooling period before charging the battery
  • Monitor battery health and performance and ensure the EV is serviced regularly

While cases of electric vehicles catching fire are rare, it is imperative that auto companies work to improve safety standards. Such incidents can adversely impact consumer confidence, which could work to undermine large scale migration to electric vehicles. We hope that EVs of the future will be a lot safer and things like EVs catching fire will be relegated to history books.

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