Li-ion batteries use raises questions about safety

Overcharging of the battery beyond the required charging time of four-five hours can cause overheating

HYDERABAD: In light of the recent fire catastrophe that claimed the lives of eight people on Monday, the lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries used in electric vehicles have once again raised questions about the safety of operating these vehicles and the risks associated with it.

Although the exact cause of the battery explosion of E-vehicles catching fire is yet to be ascertained, voltage fluctuations and overheating may have contributed to the battery explosion that caused the fires in the e-vehicles, even if the exact cause has not yet been discovered.

According to Omar, a battery vendor from Ranigunj, “The lithium batteries are charged using a 220-volt household power source. Overcharging of the battery beyond the required charging time of four-five hours can cause overheating. If the temperature goes beyond 100 degree Celsius, the battery will explode.” Voltage changes can potentially damage the Liion battery. Short-circuits, as well as other causes such inconsistent charging or total discharge of the battery are among the other contributing factors. The Li-ion batteries used in the E-vehicles are manufactured in Korea.

“The batteries can be stored at normal room temperature without special arrangements. The battery produces a smell when it is damaged, indicating that it needs replacement. In such instances, the user should inform the dealer or get the battery replaced,” informed a battery dealer K.Giri, who has an electric vehicles battery supply unit in Toopran.

Li-ion batteries can age, begin to lose their capacity and commonly fail after a predetermined number of charging cycles based on the manufacturer's specifications. The EV's batteries typically have a three-year warranty period after which replacement of the battery is mandatory and a good practice.

Although the Telangana government has been encouraging use of Evehicles, the state has no policy yet to regulate them and no clear guidelines pertaining to safety and maintaining the vehicles. At least 10 instances of E-bikes exploding have been documented so far in the state. After an electric bus of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) caught fire at cantonment depot, while it was in charge mode, the fire department decided to conduct a study on the E-vehicles, but it did not take off.

Next Story