Indian govt removes mandatory human safety tests for EV Batteries

  • Industry News
  • Sep 08,23
According to the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Heavy Industries, adherence to the prevailing EV battery testing standards established by MoRTH is now the sole requirement for availing incentives.
Indian govt removes mandatory human safety tests for EV Batteries

The Central Government took a significant step by eliminating the compulsory human safety tests for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, a prerequisite to qualify for incentives provided under various government programs.

According to the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Heavy Industries, adherence to the prevailing EV battery testing standards established by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is now the sole requirement for availing incentives under the Central Government's various incentive schemes.

The guidelines from the Ministry of Heavy Industries justified this decision by stating, "EV safety and battery safety compliance requirements have already been subjected to stringent standards as notified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Consequently, adherence to these existing standards is considered sufficient and mandatory."

The initial report on the intention to remove the mandatory testing criteria was first disclosed by Business Standard on August 1. These tests were introduced by the Ministry on November 2, 2022, but the industry was granted a six-month extension in April, as reported on April 29 by Business Standard.

This change in policy regarding the elimination of mandatory human safety tests was influenced by the recommendations of a committee led by the director of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The committee's findings concluded that the existing MoRTH testing standards adequately meet the present requirements of the EV industry.

ARAI is a key testing and certification agency officially recognised by the Government of India.

Previously, the two key ministries responsible for regulating the transportation and EV sectors, namely the Ministry of Heavy Industries and MoRTH, had introduced separate sets of battery safety standards. This move was prompted by numerous incidents of EV fires reported in the country in the preceding year.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries had enforced human safety tests as a prerequisite for obtaining incentives under programs such as the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME II) and production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for the automotive and auto components industries, as well as advanced chemistry cells.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries' testing criteria were more stringent than those of MoRTH, involving assessments at three different levels, namely the cell, battery management system, and battery pack.

MoRTH's guidelines were also obligatory for the production of EVs.

Government officials stated that this decision to abolish the norms was also driven by the Ministry's acknowledgment that administrative control for manufacturing, registration, and operational rules of automobiles falls under MoRTH's purview. Consequently, with MoRTH's established testing standards already in place, additional certification was deemed unnecessary, as confirmed by an official closely involved in the decision-making process.

Source: Business Standard

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