Additional EV Baterry Safety Standards to be enforced from Oct’22

Pure Ev Catches Fire

The Department for Road Transport and Highways issued a statement on Thursday (September 1) that additional safety requirements recommended in existing battery safety standards will come into force from October 1, 2022.

The ministry is ordering revised AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev.2 standards for various categories of electric vehicles (EVs) from next month and notification for the same is already underway, the statement said.

The government constituted an expert committee headed by Tata Narsingh Rao, Director, International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad. He was given the responsibility of recommending additional battery safety requirements within the existing safety standards, notified under the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) rules.

The committee was constituted of experts and scientists from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and other institutions.

Based on the recommendations of the expert committee, the Ministry then announced changes to AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev. on August 29.
Amendment 2 to AIS 156 concerns special requirements for L-category motor vehicles, vehicles with less than four wheels and quadricycles with electric powertrains.

Amendment 2 to AIS 038 Rev. 2 refers to the specific requirements for electric drive trains of motor vehicles of categories M and N, vehicles with at least four wheels used for the transport of passengers and vehicles with at least four wheels used for the transport of goods, but they can carry both people and goods.

“These modifications include additional safety requirements regarding battery cells, BMS (Battery Management System), on-board charger, battery pack design, heat spread due to internal short circuit of the cell leading to fire, etc.,” the ministry said in a statement.

Last month, there were reports that the central government might come up with new standards for EV batteries within a month.

Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Heavy Industries also informed the Lok Sabha about the formation of an expert committee with independent experts from DRDO, IISc, Bengaluru and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam to deal with the recent security-related issues.

According to the latest statement, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also issued a draft notification GSR 659 (E) dated 25 August 2022 amending sub-rule 4 of rule 124 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) 1989, for the Conformity of Production (COP) Regulation for Traction batteries used in electric vehicles. The proposed regulation will apply from 1 October 2022.

The Ministry requested comments and suggestions from all interested parties within thirty days.

Electric vehicle fires have been on the rise across India this summer, with electric two-wheeler manufacturers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech, Jitendra EV, and Pure EV, among others, whose names have been involved in these incidents being blamed for using low-quality batteries, lack of research and development according to Indian conditions.

The government’s immediate response was to ask these manufacturers to voluntarily recall their vehicles involved in such incidents.

According to government data, Ola Electric, Okinawa and Pure EV have recalled a total of 6,656 EVs. However, the total must exceed 7,000 as other manufacturers have joined the list.

To ensure battery safety, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) issued performance standards for EV batteries in India in June.

In July, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari confirmed that he was issuing show cause notices to electric car manufacturers involved in the fires. The latest report says that the government plans to impose monetary penalties for the use of dangerous batteries in vehicles.

Meanwhile, the demand for electric two-wheelers is growing. According to Vahan data, registrations in August exceeded 50,000 people for the first time since March of this year.

Electric two-wheeler sales in the country could jump to 78% of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, aided by government policies, infrastructure, technology and consumer adoption, a recent Redseer report said.

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