Semiconductor Company NXP CTO Warns of Fire Hazard in Indian EVs with Cheap Chips

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Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Caution against using low-cost laptop chips in EVs.
  • Indian EV industry progresses despite safety concerns.
  • Government allocates funds; partnership expands EV infrastructure.

Introduction NXP

NXP Semiconductors is a leading global provider of smart mobility solutions and security technologies. The company is headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and offers a range of products and services for the automotive, industrial, retail, and healthcare markets. NXP’s expertise lies in the design and development of semiconductor chips and systems that enable modern technological advancements in various applications. The company has a strong focus on innovation and research, and its products are highly respected for their high reliability, robustness, and performance.

NXP CTO's Concerns About EV Fires

Lars Reger, the chief technology officer (CTO) at NXP, a Dutch semiconductor design company, has pointed fingers at the utilization of inexpensive laptop chips in battery management systems (BMS) as a culprit behind electric vehicle (EV) fires in India.

During an interview with Moneycontrol, Reger expressed his concern, emphasizing how the adoption of low-cost solutions by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) within complex systems results in recurrent failures.

Impact on the EV Industry and Safety Concerns

According to Reger, the critical mistake lies in the incorporation of consumer-grade electronics, originally designed for laptops, into sophisticated battery management systems. He advises against such practices, urging for the exclusion of consumer electronics from BMS setups.

He explained that the reason for using temporary solutions like bandaids in the Indian EV industry is due to the very narrow profit margins. He further mentioned that in such a competitive environment, it is challenging to invest in slightly more expensive battery management chips.

“They opted for the most budget-friendly options, resulting in recurring failures. The Indian market demands exceptionally low costs, leaving no room for slightly pricier battery management chips. Many fell into the trap of choosing inexpensive consumer solutions,” Reger remarked.

This observation coincides with the onset of summer, a time notorious for a surge in EV fire incidents. In recent times, several such incidents have garnered negative attention nationwide, implicating various EV companies such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech, and Pure EV, alongside established brands like Tata.”

Last year, concerns were voiced by users regarding the safety of these vehicles. According to reports, a panel established by the government discovered that the EVs in question suffered from significant deficiencies in their Battery Management Systems (BMS) and were lacking essential safety features.

Advancements in Indian EV Landscape

Nevertheless, the Indian electric vehicle (EV) landscape keeps advancing remarkably. In February 2024, sales of EV two-wheelers surged to 81,963 units, marking a 24% increase from the 66,094 units sold during the same period last year.

Partnership for EV Charger Deployment

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) set aside INR 500 crore for the fresh Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024, aiming to enhance electric vehicle (EV) sales in the nation until July 2024. And just this week, Zetwerk, a prominent B2B contract manufacturing unicorn, clinched a deal with Indian Oil to deploy more than 1,400 EV chargers at petrol stations across India.

Lars Reger, CTO at NXP, highlights the peril of employing low-cost laptop chips in Battery Management Systems (BMS), attributing them to electric vehicle (EV) fires in India. The incorporation of consumer-grade electronics and narrow profit margins exacerbates these recurrent failures. This concern coincides with a surge in EV fire incidents during the summer, prompting nationwide safety worries. However, the Indian EV industry continues to advance, evidenced by the notable surge in EV two-wheeler sales and the government’s INR 500 crore allocation for the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024. Additionally, a strategic partnership aims to deploy over 1,400 EV chargers at Indian Oil petrol stations, signifying the nation’s commitment to advancing its electric vehicle infrastructure.Top of Form

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