The government has deferred the implementation of additional provisions in the battery safety standards, which were to begin from October 1, to give manufacturers more time to comply with new norms, according to an official statement.
The statement said now additional provisions in the battery safety standards will be implemented in two phases — first phase from December 1 and second phase from March 31, 2023.
Concerned over cases of fire incidents observed in electric two-wheelers, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on September 1 introduced additional safety provisions in the battery safety standards, which were to come into effect from October 1.
The amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, on-board charger, design of battery pack, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short-circuit leading to fire.
“To strengthen the safety parameters for the testing of the batteries used in electric vehicles, Amendment-2, which was effective from October 1, 2022, was issued to both the Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-156 and AIS-038.”
“For the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to be better equipped to comply/implement the provisions prescribed under the standards AIS-156 and AIS 038, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to implement the Amendment 3 of the said AIS in two ph ases,” the MoRTH said in a statement.
In April this year, cases of electric two-wheelers of manufacturers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV catching fire were reported. It prompted the government to form a probe panel.
The MoRTH had constituted an expert committee, chaired by ARCl Hyderabad director Tata Narsingh Rao, with Centre for Fire, Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES) scientist M K Jain, Indian Institute of Science Principal Research Scientist Subba Reddy and IIT Madras professor Devendra Jalihal as members, to recommend additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards notified under CMV Rules.
Taking the EV fire accidents into consideration, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari in April warned companies of penalties, if they were found to be negligent, and said they would be ordered to recall the defective vehicles.
Subsequently, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 units of its electric two-wheelers. Okinawa also announced the recall of 3,215 units of its Praise Pro electric scooter to fix any issue related to batteries. Similarly, Pure EV recalled 2,000 units of its ETrance+ and EPluto 7G models.