A few months back, electric vehicles were all over the news because of fire-related incidents. These string of fire-related incidents have caused major concern for both prospective EV buyers and EV manufacturers in India.
With several EV fire incidents coming to light, the Government of India has been forced to step in and analyse the situation. In fact, a few of these incidents were fatal, claiming a few lives in the process.
While some blamed the high summer temperatures for the cause of EV explosions and fire-related incidents, it was soon rubbished as the batteries used by a few manufacturers seemed faulty.
Following these incidents, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari, expressed his anguish over these incidents mainly involving electric two-wheelers.
Also, the minister assembled an expert committee to look into the recent incidents involving electric vehicles catching fire and urged the committee to come up with recommendations on remedial steps.
The expert committee was chaired by ARCl Hyderabad director Tata Narsingh Rao, Indian Institute of Science principal research scientist Subba Reddy, Centre for Fire, Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES) scientist M K Jain, and IIT Madras professor Devendra Jalihal.
Now, after studying the incidents and analysing the situation, MoRTH has introduced additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards notified under CMV Rules. This set of new norms will come into effect from October 1 onwards.
Commenting on the new battery norms, Mr Akshay Singhal, Founder and CEO of Log9 Materials said, “Log9, in all earnest, welcomes the amended battery safety norms notified by the Government. With this, we can say that the Indian EV industry has now come of age. The safety standards have been long overdue. With safety guidelines and regulations now conceptualised and designed as per the Indian operating conditions, we are confident that, in the future, every battery manufacturer and OEM will take full responsibility and go above and beyond to ensure that every single EV that reaches Indian roads is the safest of the lot.”
“As an EV OEM committed to increasing EV adoption and safety, we at Etrio welcome the recently-notified regulatory amendments and battery norms suggested by the Ministry of Road Transport, Government of India. The additional safety requirements for battery cells, battery packs, BMS, etc., when implemented, can greatly help the OEMs win the confidence of EV end-users by rolling out robust and safe vehicles. Safety standards such as these are extremely important in not only saving lives and minimizing fleet asset damage, but also play a pivotal role in making the public feel safe in switching to electric vehicles.” said Mr Kalyan C Korimerla, MD & Co-Promoter, Etrio.
Also, the newly issued guidelines include new safety norms related to battery cells, onboard charger(s), design of battery pack(s), and thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to a fire.
Thoughts About New EV Norms
With the new EV norms, we expect electric vehicles to become a lot safer even when used to their absolute limits. Though these safety measures increase the price of electric vehicles, they make sure that the EV you ride is safe at any given point.