Tata Motors begins probe after EV car catches fire in Mumbai

Accidents associated with EVs have been common over years and their safety has been a pivotal point of debate for a long time.

Tata Nexon EV fire
A screengrab of the viral video of Tata Nexon EV on fire. Source: Twitter

India has witnessed several incidents of electric scooters catching fire. Now, for the first time in the country, an electric car has caught fire. It was reported from Mumbai, according to a video shared on social media.

A video of Tata Nexon EV on fire was shared on Twitter. The incident happened in Vasai West (near Panchvati hotel) in Mumbai on Wednesday (June 22).

Also read: Why electric scooters could catch fire, and how you can avoid that

Tata Motors responded to the video of the accident going viral on social media, and called it an “isolated thermal incident”.

It said in a statement, “A detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of the recent isolated thermal incident that is doing the rounds on social media. We will share a detailed response after our complete investigation.”

The company also assured the customers of the commitment it has toward their safety. In a reassuring tweet, the company said that it remains committed to the safety of the vehicles and users.

It also said that it is the first incident that has been reported after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 100 million km across the country in nearly four years.

Tata Nexon EV is a five-seater SUV powered by Ziptron technology.

In response to the Tata Nexon EV fire accident, Ola founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal tweeted, “EV fires will happen. Happens in all global products too. EV fires are much less frequent than ICE fires.”

Also read: EV accidents prompt Ola to recall 1,441 electric scooters

Accidents associated with EVs have been common over years and their safety has been a pivotal point of debate for a long time.

On March 25, an electric two-wheeler caught fire in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore, claiming the lives of a man and his daughter. The incident was followed by a series of similar accidents in the country.

Also read: EV fire: Govt to revise testing norms for batteries, battery management & cells

In Pune, an Ola electric two-wheeler S1 Pro caught fire. Another similar incident was also reported from Guwahati which resulted in the rider being hospitalised.

In response to the mishaps, Ola said that it had commissioned world-class agencies on finding the root cause of these accidents. The company had also recalled more than 1,400 scooters.

Also read: Massive fire at EV parking in Delhi, hundreds of vehicles gutted

EVs are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are considered to be safer and lighter than their counterparts. However, an element of risk is associated with them if they are not manufactured or handled properly.

In some of the media reports, experts have explained that there is no one reason for the cause of fire in EVs. As per experts, they can also catch fire if the software that operates the battery is not designed correctly or the reason could be as simple as overheating.

Also read: An ordeal by fire for new electric vehicle makers and users

In April, after several incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire, the Government of India (GoI) constituted an expert committee to probe the accidents and said if any company is found “negligent”, heavy fines will be imposed.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari took to Twitter to announce the government’s measures to investigate the mishaps involving electric vehicles. He called the EV fire mishaps “most unfortunate”.

Also read: Prices of EVs to match those of petrol vehicles in 2 years, says Gadkari

Also read: Expert panel to probe EV fires; heavy penalty on erring companies: Gadkari

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