For a long time, the whole-scale transition to e-mobility has been an uphill task in India. Only recently have relevant stakeholders - EV OEM manufacturers, battery makers, and other component suppliers - started to understand the technology, its implementation, and challenges in a market as unique as ours. For us stakeholders, we have to consider several novelties of this market. For example, we have to account for the road conditions and extremely varying climatic conditions across the country - which is unlike anything one encounters anywhere else in the world.
In India, EVs are finally gaining steady traction because people are beginning to understand the benefits of upgrading from ICE to EVs. The market is thriving, and the players are either upcoming ventures or established OEMs. In such an evolving industry, there is ought to be some resistance to change. However, whenever there has been a change in standards, the EV community has been quick to adapt and this time will be no different.
Since the beginning of this year, several incidents have occurred which has led to questions about the safety of EVs. As a result, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway constituted an Expert Committee to recommend additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards. These amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, BMS, onboard chargers, design of battery pack, thermal propagation, etc. The sudden change in safety norms may have brought the industry to a standstill. All OEMs, manufacturers, and suppliers may be in a dilemma of how to change their entire process, formulated over several years, within a short period of time. But it’s a necessary transmutation.
The first thing to consider
These new regulations will have several implications such as higher costs due to changes in design and components of the battery pack, extended development timelines due to further validation and testing requirements, etc. Moreover, it will become critical to adapt on several fronts, simultaneously - redesign battery packs, update the BMS, modify on-board chargers and add additional thermal protection to the pack.
Amidst this conundrum, we need to realise that there’s a huge opportunity here.
Opportunity to build a Safer & Sustainable Tomorrow
EVs are the future of mobility; now more than ever, it’s evident that people largely defer buying EVs due to safety concerns. In the past, the 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler space was primarily dominated by an unorganized market that depended on low-cost imported components. This was also one of the reasons for the adverse incidents since none of these components were designed or built for the Indian market.
The new standards will not only help us build more reliable & sustainable EVs but also support upcoming EV ventures to focus entirely on indigenous EV development. It’s time for the industry to get organized so that only serious players who design and develop EVs to comply with the highest safety norms can survive. Of course, adapting to new battery standards will be challenging in the short term. But in the long run, it will be beneficial for the industry, society, and the environment.
Since the government has taken the first step towards building a sustainable, reliable future, now it’s our turn to support them and adapt to the new regime in order to transform the future of mobility.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house