Lack of basic safety systems behind electric two-wheeler fires, says government inquiry

  • The Union Department of Road Transport and Motorways has discovered faults in the safety system in the batteries of electric two-wheelers.
  • The probe revealed that inferior materials were used to cut costs.
  • Now, a new BIS standard called “IS 17855:2022” has been designed for battery packs in electrically powered road vehicles.

As electric vehicle (EV) fires continue unabated in the country, an expert committee set up by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Motorways has discovered faults in the safety system in the batteries. electric two-wheelers.

Electric two-wheeler manufacturers have taken shortcuts to increase production and meet growing demand rather than focus on keeping riders safe.

The expert panel, which has already shared safety recommendations with electric vehicle makers to address larger issues, is expected to make its findings public soon, sources say.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari warned EV manufacturers in April that if a company is found to be negligent in its processes, “a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordained”.

“We have formed an expert committee to investigate these incidents and make recommendations on corrective measures. Based on the reports, we will issue the necessary orders on the failing companies,” he said.

The panel found that electric vehicle manufacturers offered no mechanism to identify cell overheating and isolate failing battery cells.

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which was previously tasked with investigating electric two-wheeler fires by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has also found serious faults in the batteries of the electric two-wheelers.

The defects arose because makers of electric two-wheelers like Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles, Ola Electric and Boom Motors may have used “substandard materials to cut costs”, the probe had revealed. DRDO.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has now released new performance standards for lithium-ion batteries to protect consumers from the rise in electric vehicle fire episodes in the country.

The BIS, which falls under the Union’s consumer affairs department, has released the “Performance Standards for Electronic Vehicle Batteries” in a bid to maintain strict control over the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

The new BIS standard called “IS 17855: 2022” has been designed for lithium-ion traction batteries and systems of electrically powered road vehicles.

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