One of the more popular domestic EVs in India is the Tata Nexon EV, the electric version of the very popular crossover. However, its image may suffer somewhat after a video surfaced showing its battery pack ablaze and fire crews desperately scrambling to have it put out with what looked like way too little water.
To us who have been following the EV fires phenomenon carefully, this looks like a very typical electric car fire. It’s clearly visible that the flames are coming from underneath the electric Nexon, strongly suggesting that it’s the lithium ion battery pack (which comes with 30.2 kWh or 40.5 kWh capacities depending on when the vehicle was built) that is the source of the fire.
According to local news sources, the vehicle’s owner had plugged the vehicle in to charge (most likely not into a fast charger) at his office and it was left to top up throughout the day. He then finished work, got into the vehicle, and after around 5 km (3 miles) of driving, he immediately stopped upon hearing a clicking noise coming from the vehicle and soon after noticing smoke coming from under the vehicle.
He got out in time and was unharmed, but the vehicle was severely burned and most likely declared a write-off. Tata issued a statement soon after learning about the incident, pointing to the fact that this is not a common occurrence for the Nexon EV. The manufacturer said 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. We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users. This is a first incident after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 1 million km across the country in nearly 4 years.
What makes the situation worse for Tata is the fact that this comes after a slew of highly publicized e-scooter fires that prompted an investigation from the Indian government. They discovered that faulty cells were to blame for the fires and it’s not out of the question that this is the reason for this vehocle catching fire too; faulty cells are one of the most common sources of EV fires around the world.