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Electric Vehicle, Battery Makers Seeking Certification of Lithium-ion Batteries

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According to reports, with the phase-I deadline for complying with the new safety standards for electric vehicle battery packs approaching, battery and vehicle makers are making a beeline to get their lithium-ion batteries certified.

Following several incidents of e-two-wheeler batteries catching fire, the government introduced additional provisions in the safety norms, which will be rolled out in two phases—starting 1 December, and 31 March.

According to a leading e-two-wheeler battery maker, the new batteries may cost three to five percent more.
While a few leading OEMs are compliant with the new requirements, others are in the process of submitting details for the new battery packs to get approval.

Those who have submitted will receive official certification by this weekend. According to the International Centre for Automotive Technology, a few OEMs were late in sending the details for getting the certification. Besides, OEMs have so far not applied for certifications for phase-II standards.

In September, the road transport and highways ministry issued amendments to the EV battery testing standards AIS-156 for two- and three-wheelers and AIS-038 (Revision 2) for four-wheelers. While the government had considered an October deadline for implementing the new standards, industry representatives asked for more time.

The phase-I implementation will increase the price of the batteries by three to five percent, whereas phase-II could see the cost rise by 15 percent, adds Kabra

While phase-I mandates relatively easy testing and safety standards, phase-two norms are far more stringent and require significant design changes for both the batteries and the chassis.

From 1 December, batteries used in EVs must have a battery management system (BMS) with a smart or microprocessor-based circuit, which should be verified for overcharging and discharge protection, and over-temperature, and short-circuit protection, besides having an integrated onboard-charging system that can communicate with the BMS, among others.

“We are comfortable with procuring certifications at this point. We supply to a top-3 OEM, and, for them, the batteries are already approved, with production set to begin ahead of the deadline. We managed to get certifications for 75 percent of our sales. Others are not ready due to some delays in decisions between our customers and us," says Anand Kabra, vice-chairman and managing director of Kabra Extrusion Technik.

The company supplies its Battrixx brand of batteries to five of the top 10 two-wheeler manufacturers. Battrixx makes nearly 20,000 li-ion batteries per month.

“While some brands were compliant with the new rules, many weren’t. The new protocols have to be written to ensure the chargers shipped with the batteries are smart. Because of this, certifications have to be redone in all cases. The phase-I implementation will increase the price of the batteries by three to five percent, whereas phase-II could see the cost rise by 15 percent, adds Kabra.

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