In order to ensure that electric Vehicles manufacturers get some additional months to adopt stricter standards that make batteries safer, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) on September 27 has given some has extended the timelines for the implementation of testing norms for Electric Vehicles (EVs). It had earlier mandated new EV testing norms from October 1, 2022.
Under the new timelines, phase one of new EV testing norms will be implemented from December 1, 2022, and phase 2 will be implemented from March 31, 2023.
The amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, battery pack design, Battery Management System (BMS), on-board charger, as well as thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to fire.
The ministry, in a notification said, “To strengthen the safety parameters for the testing of the batteries used in Electric Vehicles, Amendment-2, which was effective from 01st October 2022, was issued to both the Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-156 and AIS-038 (Rev 2)." The ministry also stated that for the OEMs to be "better equipped to comply /implement the provisions" prescribed under the "standards AIS-156" and AIS 038 (Rev 2), MoRTH has decided to implement the Amendment 3 of the said AIS.
Concerned over cases of fire incidents observed in electric two-wheelers, the MoRTH on September 1 introduced additional safety provisions in the battery safety standards, which were to come into effect from October 1.
"The standards laid down by the government are very important and they will further enhance the safety quotient of the products. The proposed standards necessitate changes in battery design, hence, the extension of the timeline will allow manufacturers to work on new design and development and do rigorous testing to ensure effective implementation, " said Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), and CEO, Hero Electric.
Dr. Akshay Singhal, CEO & Founder at Log9 Materials stated, "The deferment in the implementation of the EV Battery Standards and the Government's latest decision to roll-out the regulations in phases is most welcome from the industry perspective. This move will ensure adequate diligence is done before the revived generation of batteries arrive to the Indian consumers."It may be recalled that during the months of April and May this year, cases of electric scooters sold by Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV catching fire were reported. Thenceforth, it prompted the government to form a probe panel. The expert panel eventually figured that that electric two-wheelers lacked even basic safety systems which further compelled the the government to take preventive measures.