The Ministry of Road Transport has already sent the draft of the standards to industry stakeholders for consultations
The government’s move comes after multiple instances of EVs catching fire
Earlier, multiple expert reports, including one from DRDO, blamed poor cell quality and management systems for EV fires
Following fire incidents involving electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, the Centre is now reportedly set to come out with new standards for EV batteries within a month.
The Ministry of Road Transport has already sent the draft of the standards to industry stakeholders for consultations, Mint reported.
The report added that the draft report also includes the recommendations of a committee formed by the ministry following multiple instances of electric vehicles catching fire over the last few months.
The BIS will also play a role in formulating the standards and testing the lithium-ion batteries. The testing agency will check for key parameters such as energy consumption, net power and other metrics in electric two- and three-wheelers.
After the instances of EV fire made headlines, the government decided to enforce BIS standards for lithium-ion batteries. While that caused uncertainty in the industry because of the apparent rigidness of the norms, the government insisted that the battery standards would be flexible enough for innovation to foster.
In the three-month period from March to May, escooters and ebikes from companies such as Ola Electric, Hero Electric, Ather Energy, Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra EV and Boom Motors saw more than 30 fire incidents.
Last month, the government issued show-cause notices to Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, and others to detail the reasons for their EVs catching fire. The government is also planning to fine these companies.
The NITI Aayog and the Road Transport Ministry also asked the OEMs to voluntarily recall the batches of the EVs that caught fire. According to the government, 6,656 EVs have been recalled by three companies.
A report from the Defence and Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) put the blame squarely on batteries for the fires.
There were more questions raised on EV batteries after an expert panel noted that in all the EV fire incidents, the battery cells were of poor quality, there was no venting present to avoid a thermal runaway and a battery management system (BMS) was absent.
While the fire incidents raised concerns around the safety of EVs, they failed to have a major impact on the demand for EVs.
The government announced the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for advanced cell chemistry manufacturing, which saw three companies – Ola Electric, Reliance New Energy Limited and Rajesh Exports – sign MoUs with the government to manufacture 95 GWh worth of battery storage capacity.
Meanwhile, the two-wheeler EV registrations in India also rose 5% in July 2022 to 44,428 units.