An accident recently involving a Volvo C40 Recharge electric SUV, which is estimated to have cost a substantial Rs 63 lakh, has rekindled interest in electric vehicles in India. An internet user-uploaded video of the incident has since gone viral.
The Volvo C40 reportedly caught flames while traveling along a Chhattisgarh highway. Fortunately, all of the occupants, including the proprietor, were able to flee the SUV unharmed prior to the electric vehicle being completely consumed by flames. The proprietor of the vehicle documented the entire incident, which has prompted inquiries regarding the dependability and security of electric vehicles in motion.
Furthermore, the exact origin of the fire is uncertain, and the organization has yet to release an official statement on the matter. However, investigations are expected to commence into the matter, given the concern that incidents of this nature generate among consumers and the automotive industry.
This incident serves to underscore the possible fire hazards linked to electric vehicles, predominantly attributable to the existence of lithium-ion batteries operating at high voltages. Although infrequent, fires originating from electric vehicles can be highly destructive and difficult to suppress on account of the distinctive characteristics of their batteries. Particularly on the Indian market, consumer apprehension regarding EV fires has been a significant impediment to the transition to green mobility, in addition to a dearth of charging infrastructure and other factors.
In September 2023, the Volvo C40 Recharge made it debut in India priced at Equipped with a sizable Rs 61.25 lakh (ex-showroom). Equipped with a substantial kWh battery and dual motors, one on each axle, the model is purportedly capable of covering 530km on a single charge according to the WLTP cycle and 683km per ICAT.
In what way do EVs ignite?
Although there is no definitive theory regarding EV fire incidents, the prevailing consensus attributes them to inadequate battery design, substandard cell quality, and a malfunctioning BMS (battery management system). Occasionally, third-party vendor accessories are added to electric vehicles, which can also spark flames. The precise cause of the Volvo C40 fire can, of course, only be ascertained following an exhaustive investigation. However, for the sake of caution, EV owners should only use accessories that are supplied by the manufacturer and adhere to the guidelines provided by the company.