Poor EV Battery Safety Threatens Indian Market’s Growth

Poor battery safety issues are threatening the uptake of what many expect to be a burgeoning EV market in India.

That’s the view of analysts at GlobalData who point to the widely publicized outbreaks of electric scooter battery fires, faulty battery packs, the absence of promised features, range anxiety and multiple other manufacturing defects currently creating havoc in the Indian EV market. The organization recommends that EV manufacturers need make products safer while the government must come up with a comprehensive action plan to drive EV adoption in the country, without hurting customers’ interests.

It points to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) of India witnessing a threefold growth in EV sales from 1,34,821 in 2020-21 to 4,29,217 units in 2021-22, signifying an unstoppable ascent in coming years. Mahindra Electric Mobility reported a more than three-fold jump in its electric three-wheeler sales in 2021-22. Meanwhile, even as Tata Motor’s overall revenue fell by 11.5% in the March 2022 quarter, its EV segment registered sales of 72,468 units in April 2022, 74% higher than the previous year.

Snigdha Parida, senior analyst in thematic intelligence team at GlobalData said: “Fierce competition among Indian automakers is forcing them to make excessive vehicle enhancements of substandard quality, hampering market sentiment. This might delay India’s electric mobility prospects.”

Reports of EV two-wheelers catching fire over the past three months has led to the recall of 7,000 vehicles. At the same time, the government has asked EV players to halt any new model launches until the investigation is finished.

Parida concludes: “Despite the industry’s medium-term promise, these incidents have dampened the enthusiasm for Indian government’s projects such as FAME I and FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles). As a result, the goal for green mobility might be delayed amid the negative market sentiments. To win in this promising market, EV players need a state-of-the-art manufacturing process and robust ecosystem to improve R&D, the performance of batteries, the quality of the equipment used in EVs, last-mile recharge and the overall customer experience.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *