The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on Tuesday allowed more time for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to adopt the new safety standards for making batteries.

The amendments to EV battery testing standards-- AIS-156 and AIS-038 (Rev 2)-- which were to be implemented from October 1, 2022 will now be implemented in two phases with effect from December 1, 2022 (Phase 1) and March 31, 2023 (Phase 2), MoRTH said in a statement.

The amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, on-board charger, design of battery pack, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to fire.

Strengthening parameters

To strengthen the safety parameters for the testing of the batteries used in EVs, the government brought the Amendment-2, which was to be effective from October 1, 2022.

“For the OEMs to be better equipped to comply/ implement the provisions prescribed under the standards AIS-156 and AIS 038 (Rev 2), MoRTH has decided to implement the Amendment 3 of the said AIS, as hosted on Ministry’s website, in two phases,” it added.

Based on recommendations of the expert committee report, MoRTH on August 29, 2022, issued amendments to AIS 156—specific requirements for motor vehicles of L category with electric power train. Amendment 2 to AIS 038 Rev. 2—specific requirements for Electric Power Train of motor vehicles of M category and N category The N category vehicles are motor vehicles with at least four wheels used for carrying goods which may also carry persons in addition to the goods).

L category motor vehicles are those with less than four wheels, while M category vehicles are at least four wheels used for carrying passengers.

In the backdrop of cases of fire incidents reported in two wheeler EVs in different parts of the country, MoRTH constituted an expert committee chaired by International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad Director Tata Narsingh Rao, to recommend additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards notified under CMV Rules.