Home / Industry / Manufacturing /  EV battery units, OEMs scurry for certification

NEW DELHI : With the phase-I deadline for complying with the new safety standards for electric vehicle battery packs approaching, battery and vehicle makers are making a beeline to get their lithium-ion batteries certified, a government official said.

“OEMs (original equipment makers) started approaching us only last week, and we will start issuing certificates next week. OEMs are delaying submissions. If they come in at the 11th hour, there may be a delay, but those who have submitted all details will definitely be getting the certifications on time," the official said, seeking anonymity.

Following several incidents of e-two-wheeler batteries catching fire, the government introduced additional provisions in the safety norms, which will be rolled out in two phases—starting 1 December, and 31 March, respectively.

According to a leading e-two-wheeler battery maker, the new batteries may cost 3-5% more.

While a few leading OEMs are compliant with the new requirements, others are in the process of submitting details for the new battery packs to get approval.

Those who have submitted will receive official certification by this weekend. According to the International Centre for Automotive Technology, a few OEMs were late in sending the details for getting the certification. Besides, OEMs have so far not applied for certifications for phase-II standards, said an industry executive, also seeking anonymity.

In September, the road transport and highways ministry issued amendments to the EV battery testing standards AIS-156 for two- and three-wheelers and AIS-038 (Revision 2) for four-wheelers. While the government had considered an October deadline for implementing the new standards, industry representatives asked for more time.

While phase-I mandates relatively easy testing and safety standards, phase-two norms are far more stringent and require significant design changes for both the batteries and the chassis.

From 1 December, batteries used in EVs must have a battery management system (BMS) with a “smart" or microprocessor-based circuit, which should be verified for overcharging and discharge protection, and over-temperature, and short-circuit protection, besides having an integrated onboard-charging system that can “communicate" with the BMS, among others.

“We are comfortable with procuring certifications at this point. We supply to a top-3 OEM, and, for them, the batteries are already approved, with production set to begin ahead of the deadline. We managed to get certifications for 75% of our sales. Others are not ready due to some delays in decisions between our customers and us," said Anand Kabra, vice-chairman and managing director of Kabra Extrusion Technik. The company supplies its Battrixx brand of batteries to five of the top 10 two-wheeler manufacturers. Battrixx makes nearly 20,000 li-ion batteries per month.

“While some brands were compliant with the new rules, many weren’t. The new protocols have to be written to ensure the chargers shipped with the batteries are smart. Because of this, certifications have to be redone in all cases. The phase-I implementation will increase the price of the batteries by 3-5%, whereas phase-II could see the cost rise by 15%," Kabra said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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