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EXCLUSIVE: E-vehicle makers may get more time for safer battery norms

EXCLUSIVE: E-vehicle makers may get more time for safer battery norms

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways officials and electric vehicle manufacturers are meeting today on the proposed safety regulations that are to be implemented from October 1.

In fact, this will further build customers' confidence in electric vehicle technology and contribute to rapid electrification of India’s EV sector. In fact, this will further build customers' confidence in electric vehicle technology and contribute to rapid electrification of India’s EV sector.

Electric vehicle makers may get some more time to implement the proposed safety regulations for batteries, government sources have indicated to Business Today TV. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and electric vehicle manufacturers are meeting today on the crucial safety regulations that are to be implemented from October 1, the source added.

“Industry has requested an extension of the timeline. We may favorably consider their request and grant additional time for implementing some regulations”, the source said.

India's automobile industry has welcomed government's safety norms for electric vehicles and has started work towards it, but will not be able to complete the shift by October 1, an industry executive says.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and CEO, Kinetic Green and Chairperson of FICCI's EV Committee and IFGE EV committee told Business Today TV that the EV industry welcomes higher safety standards for EV batteries. In fact, this will further build customers' confidence in electric vehicle technology and contribute to rapid electrification of India’s EV sector. However, The changes proposed under the new amendment to AIS 156 (by way of Rev 2) are extensive and wide in scope. To achieve these changes will require re-design, re-engineering, re-validation and re-homologation of battery packs. Further, battery makers will have to design and procure tooling and new capital equipment which will require a minimum of six months. 

On September 1, MoRTH decided to implement mandatory standards for battery components and their testing, including cells of electric vehicles from October 1, 2022. 

The amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, battery management system, on-board charger, the design of battery pack and thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to fire. 

The norms will be valid for electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, quadricycles and cars.

"While the majority of the required parameters are easily met, some new requirements have been added in the new amendment that necessitates battery design changes. The design and development and rigorous testing of these changes are required to ensure effective implementation. Hence, it is imperative to have some bandwidth in terms of timelines to execute the changes. Therefore, the EV industry seeks a humble extension from the government to allow us to execute the changes. A phased implementation timeframe can be looked at jointly with the testing agencies and the ministry too" Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), and CEO, Hero Electric told Business Today TV.

The ministry in its September 1 notification had also invited comments from stakeholders on mandating conformity of production for traction batteries used in electric vehicles. 

This will involve random sampling of finished batteries from factories for tests to find whether the companies are complying with the standards while undertaking mass production of EV models. Currently, there is no such provision.

Akshay Singhal, Founder & CEO at Log9 Materials said, "The last six months have proven why we need to perfect our products and technologies specific to local operating conditions before they reach our customers. From rethinking our choice of cell chemistries to revamping BMS and battery architecture, the industry needs time to create a fail-proof system so that we never have to confront the issue of EV safety again. A haste in this matter will again create long term issues"

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Also read: EV players laud new battery safety norms, say will aid India’s electric vehicle adoption