Recently, Indian government announced amendments in electric vehicle (EV) battery testing standards. Rajit Arya, Co-founder & CEO Of Dispatch Vehicles said, “It’s the right move by the government given the rush to capture the market displayed by manufacturers, that has led them to ignore proper development timelines and adequate testing, causing multiple incidents in the recent past.”
At Dispatch, we believe that these incidents could have been avoided. The incidents happened because systems were not really tested and validated enough or adequately before batteries were put into the market. So, in a rush to capture the market first and fast, companies are skipping the required testing.
The other issue is also the design level compromise where companies are not really developing complete battery systems, but instead, they are integrating BMS boards, cells, and other hardware from various suppliers and just putting together something that is not being integrated well.
The new amendments will cover not just battery-level testing by the government but also component-level testing. And there are norms that are being set for all the different components for safety level checks, including the BMS boards, sensors, as well as cells. So it’s the right move by the government. Now it’s a matter of how quickly companies can implement these new standards.
One other issue that led to all of these incidents is the non-existence of Conformity of Production (CoP). So, what happened is that it’s been found by certain investigations into these incidents that companies are using poor-quality cells for mass manufacturing. They usually tend to have different levels of quality from batch to batch and that also leads to various issues. What was found was that companies were sending a certain type of battery pack with a certain type of cell for certification, but when it came to actual mass production, they were using something else with lower quality, assumably for cost reduction.
Hence, if CoP is implemented, which is the case with the majority of the other critical safety components of automobiles, then there will be a periodic check at the manufacturer’s facilities, and it could be bi-annual or annual. This will lead to ensuring that manufacturers don’t just use high-quality cells for certification, but they continue to use high-quality cells even for the actual products when they go to production.
So, overall it’s a needed standard. Recently the government has pushed forward the implementation date. Hopefully, it will not be extended further and companies will have to comply with the new standard immediately. This will basically ensure that all the unorganized players are slowly removed from the market. Only companies that are delivering high-quality and high-safety products will continue to remain on the market.