India Introduces New Safety Standards for Enhanced Electric Vehicle Performance


6/24/20242 min read

The Indian government has announced new safety standards aimed at improving the safety and performance of electric vehicles (EVs) across various categories, including two-wheelers (L), four-wheelers (M), and goods trucks (N). The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Department of Consumer Affairs, has released two new standards, IS 18590: 2024 and IS 18606: 2024, which focus on critical EV components, particularly the powertrain and batteries. These standards ensure stringent safety requirements for powertrains while emphasizing the importance of powerful and secure batteries.

According to an official statement from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the new standards apply to electric cars, buses, and trucks. This brings the total number of Indian Standards dedicated to EVs and their accessories, including charging systems, to 30. In addition to cars and trucks, the transition to electric mobility includes E-rickshaws and E-Karts, which are gaining popularity in India.

Last year, the government introduced standards for these vehicles. To further address safety concerns, BIS has now introduced IS 18294: 2023. This standard sets specific safety requirements for E-rickshaws and E-Karts, covering various aspects from construction to functionality, ensuring the safety of both drivers and passengers.

The ministry highlights that these new standards are crucial for driving the shift towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and efficient transportation system in India. As the EV sector expands, the government is also preparing to introduce a standardized charging protocol. This move responds to concerns from major industry stakeholders about the lack of consistency in charging infrastructure, which has led to interoperability issues within the sector.

On September 1, 2022, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) issued amendments to the EV battery testing standards AIS-156 for two- and three-wheelers and AIS-038 (Revision 2) for four-wheelers. These amendments included additional safety requirements related to battery cells, battery management systems, on-board chargers, battery pack design, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuits leading to fire. Initially set to be implemented from October 1, 2022, these amendments were given an extension and implemented in two phases starting December 1, 2022 (Phase 1) and March 31, 2023 (Phase 2).

The new AIS-156 and AIS-038 standards, introduced under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), are necessary for vehicle manufacturing, reinforcing the government's commitment to enhancing EV safety and performance in India.