Battery Certification and EV Safety: All you need to know | The Financial Express

Battery Certification and EV Safety: All you need to know

Battery certification is a process by which a third-party organization tests and evaluates the safety and performance of a battery. The certification process involves various tests.

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An electric vehicle being charged at an EV charging station (Representative image)

By: Pritesh Mahajan Co-Founder and CEO of Revamp Moto

Electric vehicles are bringing in a pragmatic and much-needed shift in mobility, as they are a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. However, as with any new technology, there are concerns about their safety. One such crucial aspect of EV safety is the battery. Batteries are the heart of an electric vehicle and are responsible for providing the power needed to run the car. Ensuring that the batteries are safe is of utmost importance to the safety of the passengers using EVs which is where battery certification comes into play and is the top concern for most governments and manufacturing organizations.

What is Battery Certification?

Battery certification is a process by which a third-party organization tests and evaluates the safety and performance of a battery. The certification process involves various tests, including electrical, mechanical, and environmental testing, to ensure that the battery is safe and meets specific industry standards.

Why is Battery Certification Important?

Battery certification is essential for ensuring the safety of EVs. The batteries used in EVs are large and powerful, and if they malfunction, they can pose a significant safety risk. Battery certification ensures that the batteries meet certain safety standards, such as temperature resistance, vibration resistance, and short circuit prevention, to name a few. The certification also ensures that the battery has passed strict quality control measures, which helps to minimize the likelihood of failure and ensures that the battery is reliable.

These tests also help to increase consumer confidence in electric vehicles. When consumers know that the batteries in their vehicles have been certified and meet strict safety standards, they are more likely to feel confident in the safety and reliability of their vehicles.

Who Provides Battery Certification?

Globally, there are several organizations that provide battery certification services, including UL (Underwriters Laboratories), TUV (Technischer Überwachungsverein), and Intertek. In India, Electric Vehicles Battery providers need to receive ARAI certification under AIS 156 amendment that has an extensive experience in testing and certifying products and components for safety and performance.

In addition to these organizations, governments and regulatory bodies also have a big role to play in battery certification. In the Indian context, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has taken steps to address battery safety concerns in electric vehicles by introducing new battery safety norms effective from October 1, 2022. The updated regulations, AIS-038 Rev 2/AIS-156, are equivalent to EU standards and include environmental and thermal propagation tests.

Everything about the Battery Safety Regulations in India

The new battery safety norms have been implemented in response to several incidents of fire related to faulty batteries reported by major electric two-wheeler makers like Okinawa, Ola Electric, and Pure EV in April 2022. Industry players have welcomed the new norms, stating that they will help to enhance the safety and reliability of electric vehicles in India, which will, in turn, promote greater adoption of EVs in the country.

The new regulations include stringent constraints for the design of battery packs, onboard chargers, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short-circuiting that leads to fire, among other things. Additionally, there are requirements such as traceability of packs, additional safety fuse, protection against regenerative braking, cell-to-cell spacing, and microprocessor-based BMS with all protections that are being implemented in two phases. Phase 1 began on December 1, 2022, and Phase 2 will start on March 31, 2023.

These will include several tests for battery safety, which will be mandatory for different vehicle categories. The L category, which includes two and three-wheelers, will have tests such as vibration tests, thermal shock, and cycling tests, mechanical drop for removable REESS, fire resistance, external short circuit protection, overcharge protection, over-discharge protection, over-temperature protection, and hydrogen emission tests.

On the other hand, M&N category vehicles, which include four and eight-wheelers and more, will have all of the above tests, as well as thermal propagation tests and hydrogen emission tests. The thermal propagation test measures the extent to which a thermal event can spread within the battery pack, while the hydrogen emission test measures the amount of hydrogen gas released during a thermal event.

As electric vehicles become more prevalent, battery certification will continue to be an essential component of EV safety. Thus, the Indian government’s introduction of new battery safety norms and the implementation of stringent testing standards for different vehicle categories is a significant step towards enhancing EV safety in the country. These new regulations and testing standards will help to minimize the risk of fire-related incidents and increase consumer confidence in electric vehicles.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.

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First published on: 04-03-2023 at 06:30 IST
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