Image source: Ather official website

Two wheeler EV manufacturer Ather Energy has issued a statement via Twitter, following reports of a fire incident at the company’s experience centre in Chennai. The incident was reportedly caused due to a vehicle brought in for repair catching on fire, as was later confirmed by the company via a tweet.

But proactively confirming the incident reports was not the only thing Ather did. They also swiftly carried out an investigation around the accident, which occurred on Friday, 27th May. After the investigation was concluded, the company issued a statement via their Twitter handle. In the statement, Ather clarified that the vehicle in question had been brought into the facility for repair after it had been involved in an accident.

Explaining the procedure followed, and the fire accident caused thereof, the statement said “As there was a lot of dust and mud on the vehicle, a high pressure water wash was performed to ensure smooth service of the vehicle. However, while removing the body panels our teams discovered a crack at a particular location on the top casing of the battery pack, likely due to the accident. By now, unfortunately water had entered into the battery pack due to the high pressure wash around the crack itself.”

The company also said that it’s battery panels are IP-67 rated, and are tested to last 30 minutes completely submerged in water. But, due to the crack in the panel, which was likely caused during the accident, the problem became “impossible to solve”. Pointing out another issue with the vehicle, the company said “A note of caution – we also found that a few screws surrounding the battery were replaced with non standard parts of varying lengths, which could have possibly exacerbated the stresses on the battery top panel,” requesting customers to not make any modifications and use standard parts only, for repairs.

Ather assured that they have increased the list of pre-checks before repairs are carried out to avoid such incidents in the future.

Although they are the most recent addition to EV fire incidents, they’re certainly not the first. Multiple Indian EV manufacturing startups like Ola electric, Okinawa, Pure EV and others, had to call back massive batches of vehicles in response to central government minister Nitin Gadkari’s suggestion (A rather passive aggressive one). Ather however, which was among the first movers in India’s still nascent EV market, hadn’t reported a single incident of scooter fire, up until this one.