Home / Companies / News /  Industry gets extension for implementation of new EV battery testing standards

Following submissions from the industry asking for more time to implement the recently notified electric vehicle battery testing standards, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has extended the deadline for the mandatory execution of the standards, the Ministry said in a notification on Tuesday.

"For the OEMs to be better equipped to comply/implement the provisions prescribed under the standards AIS-156 and AIS-038 (Rev 2), the Ministry has decided to implement the Amendment 3 of the said AIS, in two phases...", the press note issued by MoRTH read.

The deadline for the first phase of implementation is 1st December, 2022, whereas the date for mandatory implementation of phase two of the rules is from March 31, 2023. OEMs will be expected to meet different aspects of the new battery standards by these two deadlines.

The move comes as a relief for the EV industry as it was concerned that a hasty implementation of the new rules may lead to more problems. 

The industry had been lobbying the government for an extension.

The new rules were only notified on September 1, with less than a month given to the industry to switch over its entire manufacturing set-up, sourcing & certifications to a much more stricter set of regulations. Though the industry is confident the norms can be easily met and set a high benchmark for the developing EV industry, manufacturers point out that additional design and process-related requirements in the new standards will require a certain level of supply chain readiness, which could not have been achieved in only a month. Rushing to meet the new norms may be counter-productive as the time crunch in re-designing battery packs and lack of clarity in certain testing processes could lead to shoddy implementation.

The new standards provision for stricter cell-level safety checks, ingress protection or better insulation, adequate spacing of individual cells in a battery pack, thermal propagation tests to ensure that a thermal runaway in one cell doesn't spread to other cells in the battery, temperature sensors which can send out audio-visual warnings to prevent thermal incidents, and smarter battery management systems (BMS) and chargers.

The revised standards are designed with a sharp focus on preventing casualties or harm to "bystanders" in the event of an EV fire.

Further, specific rules around the testing of individual cells can make the manufacturing process itself significantly more time-consuming, and therefore costlier. A delegation of OEMs & battery makers had sought to defer the implementation of the new rules till March 2023, in a meeting with Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari last week.

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