Additional safety requirements in battery standards

In April this year, cases of fire in electric two-wheelers of manufacturers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV were reported. Following which the government constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of Tata Narasimha Rao (Director, ARC, Hyderabad) to probe it.

This committee submitted its recommendation to the government recently. These new safety standards will come into effect from 1 October 2022. Ministry has also sought comments and suggestions from all stakeholders within a period of thirty days.

Key Points

  • These new rules will be applicable to electric two-, three- and four-wheelers, passenger and goods vehicles. These modifications included specific requirements for L-class motor vehicles with electric power trains (engines) and requirements for M-class and N-class motor vehicles for electric power trains.
  • Whereas, L class motor vehicles are those which have less than four wheels, whereas M category vehicles are those which have at least four wheels and are used for transporting passengers.
  • These modifications include additional safety requirements relating to thermal diffusion due to fire from the battery cell, on-board charger, the design of the battery pack, and internal cell short circuits.

Mandatory to include ‘Safety Fuse’

In this new amendment it has been made mandatory to include ‘Safety Fuse’. This will blow the battery off the powertrain and immediately disconnect it in case of excessive heat generation or high current outflow.

EVs will now also have four additional sensors

These sensors will help to quickly identify the problem if there is a problem with the battery system. These sensors will show an error on the console of the vehicle which will alert the driver to take necessary corrective or remedial measures.

Distance between two battery cells is compulsary

It is also said to increase the distance between two battery cells used in electric vehicle batteries. It is recommended by the panel to help release heat in the event of thermal runaway in rechargeable energy storage systems (RESS) and to help detach cells.

Auto cut-off feature for charger

Electric vehicle chargers will be redesigned to include a charge voltage cut-off as well as a time-based charge cut-off function. This will help prevent overcharging the RES.

Audio-visual alerts for drivers

The EVs will have to be equipped with audio-visual alerts for early detection of thermal events or gases in case of thermal runaway of the cell.



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