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Indian EV makers to follow BIS standards

  • Category
    Governance
  • Published
    6th Jun, 2022

Context

As fires and explosions in electric two-wheelers continue unabated, the government is all set to introduce EV battery standards (BIS standards) for EV two-wheelers that will be expanded to four-wheelers at a later stage.

  • NITI Aayog, too, in a discussion paper, had asked for BIS standards as the first step towards a battery swapping policy.

Background

  • Following multiple escooter fire incidents, the Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), the fire science and engineering arm of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) investigated the incidents.
  • The expert panel found defects in batteries, including the designs of the battery packs and modules, which led to the escooter fire incidents in the past few months.

Analysis

Bureau of Indian Standards

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standard body of India, is responsible for the harmonious development of activities of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods.
    • The BIS was established under the BIS Act, 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods.
  • The standards are likely to include specifications on size, connectors, specification and minimum quality of cells, the battery's capacity.
  • The following schemes of certification are covered under BIS
    • Product Certification Scheme– Applicable for tangible products; with some products classified under compulsory certification.
    • System Certification Scheme– Applicable for systems/ process
    • Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme - Applicable for foreign manufacturers who are engaged in the sale of their products in India.
    • Hallmarking – Applicable for articles made from precious metals like gold and silver
    • ECO Mark Scheme – Applicable for products affecting or related to the environment
  • Obtaining the BIS registration is essentially voluntary in nature.
  • However, BIS requires compulsory certification for products which impact the health and safety of consumers.
  • Mandatory certification scheme is bifurcated into:
    • ISI (Indian Standards Institute) Mark Scheme
    • Compulsory Certification Scheme (collectively referred to as ‘Standard Mark’)
  • ISI Mark Scheme is applicable for products such as cement, electrical appliances, baby food, etc. and Compulsory Certification is required mostly for IT/ electronic products.
  • For procurement of the BIS certificate, the manufacturer has to ensure that the product is in compliance with the ‘Indian Standard’.

What are the major concerns of EV vehicle? 

  • Risk of inflammation
  • Standardisation of design and module
  • Interoperability
  • Recycling process
  • Waste management system
  • Environmental concern:
    • Water contamination
    • Ground water contamination
    • Soil degradation
  • Inadequate policy measures
  • Technological and infrastructural constraints
  • Disequilibrium in skilled labour market

How BIS standardisation will improve the situation? 

  • Technological standardisation, minimising the risk of inflammation
  • Increases the scope of interoperability
  • Better implementation of batter swap policy
  • Quality standardisation

What needs to be done? 

  • Impetus on waste management system and recycling process, reducing the environmental cost
  • Bridging the infrastructural and technological gap
  • Skill development and knowledge enhancement through research and development initiatives
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