In the last 10-15 years, there has been a revolution in the automobile industry. The entry of electric vehicles (EV) has been a gamechanger for not just the industry, but also for the world. At a time when there have been growing concerns about the impact of pollution created from burning of fossil fuel and how to reduce it, EVs are looked at as the saviour.
However, there have been instance of EVs, both four-wheelers and two-wheelers catching fires, and totally damaging the vehicle. Let’s learn why such an incident can take place and the precautions you can take as an EV owner, such purchasing electric vehicle insurance.
Why Do Electric Vehicles Catch Fire?
Under the electric vehicle policy of India, which was launched by the Indian government back in 2013, the main objective is to promote and push for the sale of EVs. In order to attain the goal of reducing the number of petrol and diesel vehicles in India, the government is offering incentives in the form of subsidies to manufacturers and suppliers. For buyers, incentives such as no road tax and reduced pricing are also a driving point.
However, as even EVs are manmade machines, there is a certain degree of error in them. Recently, there have been incidents where an EV has caught fire out of the blue, damaging not just the vehicle, but also risking the life of the driver. These incidents have been taking place globally. This is one of the challenges for electric vehicles in India, which makes many buyers reconsider their decision of purchasing the vehicle.
Let us understand why this happens with EVs. The main component of an EV is its battery. Generally, Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in Electric four-wheelers and two-wheelers. Li-ion batteries are quite common, as they are used in mobiles, computers, and various electronic appliances. Apart from the anode and cathode, there is a chemical solution in the battery, known as an electrolyte, which allows the flow of ions and helps in generating power.
However, due to the heat generated in the battery, solution tends to expand. This leads to the battery ballooning and eventually getting ruptured, which causes fires. Even though the battery management system does help in keeping a track of the battery health, and the cooling systems help in reducing the heat generated, there are chances that a battery might get damaged and lead to a fire.
Precautions You Can Take
While you might be able to predict when and how a battery might get damaged and cause a fire, you can also take certain precautions to avoid such a mishap:
1. Charge the battery as per the recommended range
Many EV owners tend to get confused about what is the ideal charging percentage for their batteries. Each battery manufacturer issues an ideal battery percentage range, which they vigorously test before sending it to the car manufacturer. At the time of purchase, do ask the seller about this range. It might benefit you to charge the battery within that range to get better performance while maintaining the shelf life of the battery.
2. Go for original products
In a bid to save money, people often go for duplicate chargers or connectors. While it might seem like a cheap alternative, using cheap or duplicate products for your EV might lead to a disaster. Always go for original products supplied by the manufacturer of your EV.
3. Invest in a good insurance policy*
When you purchase an EV, it is important for you to purchase an electric vehicle insurance
policy as well. Not only is it required under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, but it also provides you coverage from the fire damage that can be caused to your vehicle. If the fire in your vehicle is caused due to damage to any component of your vehicle, heating of your battery, or a malfunctioning of your battery, your policy will cover the cost of damage.
These are some of the precautions you can take when it comes to your EV. While purchasing the insurance policy, make sure you look at the inclusions and exclusions related to damages/loss caused due to fire. Opting for comprehensive insurance can provide coverage for own damages, especially due to the risk posed by fire.
Even though you may not be able to predict when and how a fire might take place and damage your electric vehicle, you can take precautions like the ones mentioned above. Since these incidents are isolated and not frequent, it should not deter you from enjoying the benefits of buying electric cars in India
. Buying an EV not only helps the environment, but it also provides you with a driving experience unlike any.
*Standard T&C apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.