EV suppliers welcome new standards for EV batteries

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Electric vehicle (EV) suppliers have welcomed the Bureau of Indian Standards’ (BIS) move to issue new performance standards for lithium-ion batteries to safeguard the consumers amid the rising EV fire episodes in India.

BIS, which comes under the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, has published the performance standards for electric vehicle batteries in a bid to keep a strict control over the manufacturing of EV batteries, IANS reports.

“There has never been a better time for the BIS performance standards for EV batteries to be implemented. These standards will ensure that only the best and most secure batteries reach Indian consumers in the long run,” Log9 Materials CEO and co-founder Dr Akshay Singhal said.

Log9 Materials is a battery technology and deep-technology startup headquartered in Bengaluru. It launched India’s first cell manufacturer line which is South Asia’s largest battery cell manufacturing plant.

The new BIS standard called “IS 17855: 2022” has been designed for lithium-ion traction battery packs and systems of electrically-propelled road vehicles.

This standard incorporates the test procedure for basic characteristics of performance, reliability and electrical functionality for the battery packs and system for either high power or high energy application, according to the ministry.

The standard for these battery packs and systems is harmonised with ‘ISO 12405-4: 2018’.

“This standard is formulated considering real life scenarios for an electric vehicle such as vehicle is in parking (battery is not used for extended period of time), battery system is being shipped (stored), operating battery at low and high temperature etc., accordingly various tests are incorporated in this standard,” the ministry said in a statement.

EV charging network provider Statiq’s CEO Akshit Bansal said the recent spate of fire incidents related to EVs are making consumers conscious and they should be.

“EV batteries need a little more research before they go to market. EV manufacturing companies are in the process of building trust among users but such incidents have really brought the issue to everyone’s notice and this battery issue needs to be sorted out urgently,” Akshit Bansal said.

The BIS standards came as the government ordered a probe into Tata Motors’ Nexon EV fire incident in Mumbai.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which was tasked with investigating electric two-wheeler fire incidents by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry, would lead the probe into Nexon EV fire.

The DRDO probe earlier found serious defects in the electric two-wheeler batteries. These defects occurred because the electric two-wheeler manufacturers like Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles, Ola Electric, and Boom Motors may have used “lower-grade materials to cut costs”.

The new BIS standards for EV batteries will look into size, connectors, specification and minimum quality of cells, the battery’s capacity.

“Further, keeping a view on the safety aspect of batteries for EV, Bureau of Indian Standard is in the process of publishing two more standards related to batteries for various passenger and goods carrying vehicles (L, M and N category),” it said.

Earlier, NITI Aayog in a discussion paper also stressed upon the need for BIS standards as the first step towards the national battery swapping policy.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry said that safety and performance are two critical aspects of electronic devices.

“The requirement of battery systems for use as a power source for propulsion of vehicles are significantly different from the battery used for consumer electronics or stationary use,” the ministry added.