Does India Need an EV Battery Standard? Here's What We Know.


Electric vehicle battery
How effective will having predefined EV battery standards be in India?

With the current scenario of electric vehicles and how they’re coming into the mainstream, things look pretty good for the industry.


However, with everything looking good, there are some large hurdles that the industry has been facing, albeit overcoming them gradually.


One of the major challenges that tend to hamper accelerated growth for the industry is- the EV batteries. According to a recent report, titled ‘e-mobility: Cell manufacturing in India’ the country requires investments of over $10 billion to boost local manufacturing and raw material refining, in order to serve the local demand by 2030.


To ensure that the rising demand does not fall prey to sub-standard products the government of India, along with the EV manufacturers and other OEMs are working towards ensuring a holistic EV future that is driven towards safety and performance.


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Here’s all you need to know about EV battery manufacturing in India, and why exactly we need safety standards in place.


What’s the current status of EV Battery Standards in India?

Where do the EV battery manufacturers and government currently stand?
Where do the EV battery manufacturers and government currently stand?

There’s been a rise in the investments sector in the electric vehicles industry. The market is expected to reach $206 billion by 2030.


However, in order for that to happen it becomes imperative for all the stakeholders to come together and create a robust EV infrastructure that’s conducive for it to grow.


Apart from a widespread and effective EV charging infrastructure, there is a requirement for battery manufacturers to up their game and provide products that are reliable, durable, and effective.


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As of now, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has created a set of guidelines and performance standards as per the recommendations of an expert committee. The committee recommended amendments to the existing AIS-156 standards which were already in place.


These recommendations, although prepared, will come into effect from 1st December 2022, and the next phase will go live in March 2023.


Why are the new EV Battery Standards Required in India?

India is looking towards achieving a future that’s suitable for electric mobility. While that happens, the country is looking forward to focusing more on ensuring that the products, i.e. the EVs are not just practical but safer for Indian consumers.


This effort was further accentuated by the incidents of two-wheeler EVs catching fire during the summer of 2022. While some speculated that it was due to the higher temperatures, others were eager to blame the OEMs for a lack of quality assurance.


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Whatever the reason might’ve been, it pushed the Government of India to take a step toward ensuring these incidents are minimized for good in the coming days. The Road Transport Ministry laid down mandatory standards which need to be adhered to by the EV manufacturers and will be coming into effect by December 1st, 2022, and Phase 2 will come into action by March 2023.


While that happens, there has been an increase in the overall customer sentiment and perception towards EVs with around 66% of customers willing to buy electric vehicles.


As this happens, and the demand rises, it becomes imperative for the customers to have the right products that they can rely on.


The BIS Standards

EV charging station in Delhi
Bureau of Indian Standards has set certain guidelines for EV batteries and charging stations too.

In June, this year, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) came out with performance standards for electric vehicles’ batteries.


The standards included the ones which were amended to accommodate the previously set ones and some of them were created from the scratch.


Standard IS 17855: 2022 was brought into place for lithium-ion battery packs, which are commonly used in EVs, and was collaborated with ISO 12405-4: 2018. The new standards incorporate test procedures that closely look into the performance, reliability, and electrical functionality of the battery packs and systems.


Not only are these standards good from a manufacturer’s point of view, but they intuitively take into consideration real-life consumer-centric scenarios. This includes a car standing for a long period of time if the battery is being shipped when the battery is operated at a lower or a higher temperature etc. All of this will be tested as per the new standards.


Conclusion: Making India EV-Friendly

EV charging station.
Having a Consistent EV Battery Standard Across the Country Can Make Things More Streamlined.

India is currently at a very delicate stage for EV adoption.


The reports of electric two-wheelers catching fire were definitely off-putting for many, who are relying on an industry that’s still at a very nascent stage and is bound to grow further.


Having a set of standards for EV manufacturing and specifically the most critical component of an EV, the battery will go a long way in achieving consumer trust as well as investors looking forward to chipping in their funds into the growing Indian EV markets.


While there have been roadblocks in ensuring the timely implementation of these battery standards, the initiation of the same by the government, in itself, is a welcome step.


As stricter norms and testing criteria come into play, it would help EV makers to up their game further, and provide an EV that every Indian is vying for a safe, and reliable one.


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