If you thought electric vehicle (EV) fires were inevitable, consider agn.
Electric vehicle fires could be prevented if data collected by original equipment manufacturers and battery manufacturers is leveraged enough, analysts and industry insiders say DH.
Although collecting data using internet-enabled devices embedded in vehicles is not precisely a new practice, Internet of Things (IoT) applications have made data more critical in electric vehicles, a said Karan Makhija, founder and COO of IoT solutions provider Intellicar, which counts TVS and SUN Mobility among its customers.
“Data on the voltage and temperature of each cell inside a battery can help OEMs and battery manufacturers understand the health of a battery at the cell level and prevent fires,” said Makhija.
These IoT devices can transmit a range of data points, including the location of the vehicle and the performance and health of its components in real time – also known as telematics.
Fire accidents caused by manufacturing issues could be avoided as symptoms of likely intrinsic failure could be reported via telematics as early as three months before such events occur, explained Ganesh Moorthi, CTO, Renon India – a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries and a developer of telematics systems.
Data collected from the battery could also help improve the design of electric vehicles.
“The multiple sensors attached to a battery can help detect accumulated gas in a battery and can help us improve product design to correct the fault,” Moorthi said.
The many data points collected by various stakeholders could then be fed back into their systems to train the machine and cause the artificial intelligence to take calculated action to prevent an adverse event from occurring in the future. Sensors installed in electric vehicles by another IoT service provider, Intangles Lab, collect data points such as battery temperature, active current flow and battery discharge rates.
“These models can track and alert against abnormalities in battery management systems in near real time. analyst and co-founder of Intangles Lab.
So why haven’t OEMs been able to prevent electric vehicle fires until now?
While battery health data could indeed help maintain the vehicle and batteries, there was little an IoT device could do once a battery caught fire.
“Two critical prerequisites that should not be ignored: good engineering in battery design is the first and second is integrating the battery well into vehicle systems,” said Ranjita Ravi, co-founder of Orxa Energies, a high-performance e-bike manufacturer. “If these two conditions are met, situations like thermal runaway (battery catching fire) can be significantly reduced.”
Deloitte India Director Jairaj also pointed out that data alone cannot prevent accidents.
“The quantum of data (both size and number of data points) that can be shared/collected via telematics is limited due to technology and would require a significant upgrade,” he said. . Additionally, some stakeholders are skeptical about sharing individual user data publicly for fear of losing their competitive edge.
OEMs currently have no incentive to open their data to customers or other stakeholders, Intellicar’s Makhija said.
“This can expose OEMs to massive liability,” he said.
That said, there are ways to anonymize, aggregate and share data, especially security-related, to help the industry, Makhija said.
Aggregated data could be leveraged to predict failures more accurately.
“The usage pattern as well as the ambient conditions help understand the components of the extremities,” said Jairaj of Deloitte.
This data could also help automakers put relevant preventive measures in place when designing the vehicle, he added. Some manufacturers have agreed that data collected from their electric vehicles could help improve products and better predict vehicle component failures in order to take preventative action.
Ola Electric, which makes electric scooters, said it typically collects data on metrics such as battery usage, torque and braking activities, helping them track battery status and provide the best customer experience.
Fleet management companies have also used telematics to monitor their assets and give advance warnings to drivers in the event of a breakdown.
“In-vehicle devices allow almost a digital replica of the vehicle to be created in our systems, which in turn can be closely monitored, adding to driver safety, vehicle security and maintenance,” said Yogender Verma, technical director. of Carzonrent, which offers a VTC service with driver.
Others said they used battery health data to prevent fires in their fleet.
“We can also alert the driver if the battery temperature exceeds a threshold or if the charge is faulty. This will prevent most electric vehicle accidents,” said Kaaman Agarwal, CTO, MetroRide.
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