In pursuit of meeting the target of installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, India has put a renewed focus on clean mobility through enhanced penetration of the electric vehicles. In line with this, the road transport ministry constituted an expert committee to strategize additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards, the deadline for the implementation of which has been set for 1 December 2022. To further ensure safe e-mobility, the government has drafted another set of EV battery safety norms, the Phase II, which will come into effect from 31 March 2023.
The government’s move comes in the backdrop of the incidents of electric vehicles catching fire in different parts of the country. To reduce its overall carbon footprint, India has set an ambitious target to achieve electrification of 70 per cent of all commercial cars, 30 per cent of private cars, 40 per cent of buses and 80 per cent of two and three wheelers by 2030. Even there has been a steep rise in the customer behavior towards transportation, with surveys suggesting that 66 per cent of the Indian consumers are more inclined to purchase electric vehicles or prefer commuting through them.
There has also been a rise in the investments in the electric vehicles sector; with the EV makers in India having committed an investment of over Rs 9000 crore in the last one year. The electric vehicle market in India is expected to reach $206 billion by 2030, with a cumulative investment of $109 billion in vehicle production, charging infrastructure and battery efficiency. According to reports, the domestic market in financing electric vehicles will be around Rs 40,000 crore by 2025 and Rs 3.7 trillion by 2030 – around 80 per cent growth from the current size of the retail vehicle finance industry.
However, for the country to witness a fast-paced adoption of clean and green mobility there should be an enhanced focus on creating a robust EV charging infrastructure and application of cutting-edge technologies to make the batteries more reliable and durable. Hence, the government’s initiative to take new measures to enhance the battery standards is a boon for both the manufacturers and the customers.
The amendments include safety requirements like battery cells, battery management system, on-board charger, design of battery pack, thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to fire, etc. Further, the road and transport ministry is seeking suggestions from all stakeholders to create a more safe and clean mobility infrastructure in the country.
Following the reports of fire incidents, the government has been strictly monitoring testing criteria and standards and the reasons for fires. Working on the findings the government has issued guidelines to ensure better connection of EV battery cells and improvement in the venting mechanism to disperse heat in case of overheating. This is expected to make the EV ecosystem in India more advanced and safe and boost up the trend of people’s growing inclination towards clean mobility.
OEMs, NFBCs, private banks, fleet operators, and start-ups and fintechs are the key players to unlock the capital for electric vehicles. The country has made steady progress in the growth of the EV ecosystem, which has also encouraged the state and central governments to reform EV policies, and incentivizing domestic manufacturing of EVs, batteries and charging infrastructure.