Home/ Companies / Govt may defer EV incentive-linked tests

Electric vehicle makers are expecting a six-month relief to obtain mandatory certifications under the ministry of heavy industry’s (MHI) battery safety tests, industry people familiar with the matter said. The tests are linked to EV makers receiving subsidies for producing vehicles under the Fame-II scheme, the people said requesting anonymity. The tests will also be applicable for claiming incentives for batteries under the PLI for advanced chemistry cells (ACC).

So far, not a single automaker from any segment has been able to obtain certifications under MHI’s November 2022 notification, as the industry focused on first complying with the new AIS 038 and AIS 156 EV battery safety standards issued under the central motor vehicle rules notified by the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) last September, and implemented from 31 March. MHI had notified the new testing parameters as mandatory for obtaining government incentives following multiple instances of EVs catching fires last year.

The industry has also sought that tests prescribed under the ‘tests to enhance human safety of electric vehicles’ and made mandatory by the MHI from this month are segment-specific and harmonized with the tests that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery makers currently undergo to comply with CMVR norms, the people said.

OEMs need to comply with MHI rules to be eligible for any central government EV-related incentives, while complying with the MoRTH’s CMVR rules is necessary for vehicle manufacturing.

In the absence of a formal notification extending the timeline for the mandatory tests, there is lack of clarity whether OEMs will be able to claim PLI and Fame-II incentives from 1 April. However, industry bodies who had made representations to the government to extend the timeline believe a notification clarifying the matter should be issued in a few weeks.

“We have requested the government to make the tests segment-specific, give the industry a reasonable period of time to implement the new requirements and hold consultations with the industry before notifying rules of such nature," a leading executive at an electric three-wheeler maker said, requesting anonymity.

“We are expecting the timeline will be extended to October 2023, and fresh consultations will be held with the industry, post which the final tests, harmonized with the CMVR rules will be notified," the executive added. MHI’s notification lists numerous tests at cell, battery management system (BMS) and battery pack level to make EVs safer, and to specifically prevent and curtail incidents of thermal runways, which can lead to explosions in battery packs.

Alisha Sachdev
Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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Updated: 01 Apr 2023, 06:05 AM IST
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