‘Rare’ structural breakdown in the scooter’s battery pack is the cause of the fire: Ather Energy

‘Rare’ structural breakdown in the scooter’s battery pack is the cause of the fire: Ather Energy


Energizing India News 31 May ’22

Ather electric scooter fire is ascribed to the vehicle brought in for service following an accident – fact-finding leads to cracks on the battery pack casing. 

Ather Energy, the maker of India’s coolest electric scooters, has pinned a fire at its experience centre in Chennai on an “extremely uncommon” phenomena, claiming that a structural weakness enabled water to enter the scooter’s battery pack, triggering a thermal runaway event that resulted in smoke and flames. 

The EV manufacturer stated that the scooter in issue was taken to the Nungambakkam facility for servicing following a road accident. The repair personnel presumably used a high-pressure wash to remove dust and dirt that had collected on the Ather 450 electric scooter over time. The crew later “discovered a crack on the top casing of the battery pack”, which, the company believes, was due to the accident of the scooter. 

“A structural break enabled water to enter the scooter’s battery pack, triggering a thermal runaway incident,” the business stated. As per the EV scooter manufacturer, such an occurrence has never occurred with any of its test cars or scooters sold to date. 

“The breach in the shell enabled water into the battery pack – which is both IP67-rated and AIS 156-compliant – that made its way to the 224 cells in the pack,” the business stated, adding that rescuing the battery pack was an “impossible to solve” scenario. 

The EV scooter manufacturer also stated that the scooter in issue had a lot of ‘non-standard parts’ in place of the stock screws around the battery pack, and that it is enhancing pre-checks for accident situations in order to avoid such mishaps in the future. 

The company had previously stated in a tweet that there had been a minor fire incident on its Chennai facilities. “While some property and scooters were damaged, all staff are safe, and the situation is under control. The experience center will be up and running soon ” per the EV company. 

The current focus on electric scooter fires appears improbable, especially given that ICE vehicle fires have never received as much attention. This was the first time Ather Energy was in the news for a fire, while the government is investigating several major EV companies for battery explosions and fires around the country. EV manufacturers including Ola Electric, Pure EV, Jitendra EV Tech, Okinawa, and now Hero have been implicated in EV fire accidents. A government panel probing EV fires is also set to release its findings next week. 

“As an additional safety precaution, we at Ather are raising the number of pre-checks for accident cases to avoid similar occurrences in the future,” confirming its goal to increase safety processes to eliminate the chance of even these rare accidents. Investigating the entire event in honest and forthright discussions will help to maintain trust in the EV industry’s progress. A thorough evaluation will help to fix fault lines. This is important if the government is to fulfill its 2030 EV transition objectives. 

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