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Network18 Exclusive | Consumer affairs ministry to soon set standards for EV batteries: Sources

NITI Aayog has asked for BIS to issue standards for EV batteries, and these are also to be included in the battery swapping policy

May 31, 2022 / 01:33 PM IST
The development comes after the government “took note of recent EV fires” and the fact that poor quality cells were likely to have caused the fires, sources added. (Representative Image)

The development comes after the government “took note of recent EV fires” and the fact that poor quality cells were likely to have caused the fires, sources added. (Representative Image)

The Consumer Affairs Ministry will soon set standards for electric vehicles (EVs) batteries, sources told CNBC-TV18 on May 31.

Sources told the channel that NITI Aayog has asked for the involvement of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the first step. The BIS standards are intended to be used while finalising the battery swapping policy.

The BIS standards will include specifications on size, connectors and capacity of the battery in use and requirements for EV two-wheelers is expected to be rolled out first, they added.

Auto Sector | Electric is the way forward. Battery concerns are a speed bump

Notably, BIS is responsible for standardisation, marking and quality certifications of goods in the country. The consumer affairs ministry is the nodal ministry for the department.

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The development comes after the government “took note of recent EV fires” and the fact that poor quality cells were likely to have caused the fires, sources added.

The Centre is revisiting testing and certification norms for EVS in light of recent fires and will come up with stringent quality control norms for battery and cell testing, CNBC-TV18 added.

Government measures

In light of the recent spate of battery-related fires occurring inside electric two-wheelers across the country, the Union government in late April 2022 asked all e2W (electric two-wheeler) brands to refrain from launching any new products in the market. Further, while e2W makers are free to sell current models, several have issued recalls to further investigate the cause of these fires.

After this, Okinawa issued the biggest recall with 3,215 scooters going back to base, Pure EV, which has been mired in fire-related incidents since last year, also forms a major portion of the number of recalled scooters with Ola Electric having recalled 1,441 scooters.

The road transport and highways ministry also held a meeting to discuss the rise in battery-related fires that have become something of a public health concern. And, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari threatened brands with penalties if they failed to recall the scooters in time.

Also Read | Government asks EV makers to suspend two-wheeler launches

The move has been made to provide the government more time to set up the right body of authority and take a closer look at the cause behind these incidents, while it does prevent brands from launching faster, bigger and potentially more dangerous versions of these scooters, it also prevents brands from launching improved versions of lacklustre products.

States policy eager?

The Centre has set up a panel to investigate the fires, and come up with detailed guidelines for quality testing for batteries. At the same time, state governments are going all out to support EV adoption with policy announcements, infrastructure development, and financial incentives.

Also Read | Will battery swapping spark the EV revolution in India? (MC Pro)

Currently 17 states have dedicated EV policies in various stages of approval/ notification/ formulation. Notably, the action is largely towards public transport, mainly e-buses and auto-rickshaws.
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first published: May 31, 2022 01:33 pm
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