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BIS norms for EV scooter batteries won’t stifle growth

The standards are being formulated amid a spate of incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire in the last few months, sparking safety concerns among buyers.

The benchmark standards for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to be laid down by the  Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will be flexible enough to promote innovation and value addition in the sector, Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary at the Department of Consumer Affairs told FE. Standards for batteries for EV four-wheelers will be formulated later.

The standards are being formulated amid a spate of incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire in the last few months, sparking safety concerns among buyers. Faulty battery cells and modules have been identified as the main reasons for such incidents .

According to Singh, the BIS standards for batteries, which are being finalised in consultation with manufactures of EV scooters, will focus on size, connectivity protocol and quality of cells. Singh said quality norms would not create any impediment to growth of the EV industry.

He said BIS standards are being developed in tune with average temperature prevalent  during most times of the year.
Last month, NITI Aayog in a discussion paper had stressed the need for BIS standards as the first step towards a national battery swapping policy. “Safety and reliability of the battery is one of the primary concerns surrounding the prospects of battery swapping.”

Niti Aayog had stated in the paper. It had stated that if battery swapping for EVs to become popular, it is paramount that the government specify at the earliest minimum operational and safety standards for battery swapping without compromising the performance of the battery.

In April, Niti Aayog had released a draft battery swapping policy for getting stakeholders comments. The draft policy had stated that battery swapping which involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones reduces the upfront cost of the vehicles.  The stakeholders had the time to submit comments on the draft policy till Sunday.

Because of rising space constraints for setting up charging stations in the large scale, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget speech (2022-23) had announced that the government will introduce battery swapping policy and interoperability standards in order to improve efficiency in the EV ecosystem.

The Defence Research & Development Organisation that was entrusted by the  road, transport and highway ministry for investigating EV fire incidents had found defects in the batteries.

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