Guide to Battery Safety Standards in India – compiled by ARAI

This write-up on Battery Safety Standards in India has been contributed by ARAI. It was first published in EVreporter December 2021 magazine that can be accessed here.

The below image shows the Automotive Industry Standards in India under CMVR.

Regulatory Standards Associated with Vehicle Battery Safety

1. AIS 038 Rev 1 (2015) – Vehicle Safety

Set-up by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways under Central Motor Vehicle Rules in February 2015, an amendment was later added to the standard in December 2017.

This standard prescribes the requirements only for the construction and functional safety of Electric Power Train Vehicles for L, M and N categories. The standard is prepared in line with the UN R100 Rev 2-Part 1 (A United Nations regulations requirement for electric vehicles). Specification and tests include protection against electric shock, protection against direct and indirect contact, protection against water effects, markings, functional safety etc.

2. AIS 048 (2009) – Battery Safety

According to a MoRTH notification, this standard (AIS 048) will be cancelled from DEC 2022. From 27 Dec 2022, AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev 2 standards (detailed below) will become mandatory as notified by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on Dec 27, 2021.

This standard covers Traction Battery safety requirements for L, M & N category vehicles (Including E-Rickshaw/E-Cart). It mainly covers the following two types of testing:

Electrical Abuse Test (typically done at cell level)

– Short Circuit Test

– Over-charge Test

Mechanical Abuse Test (typically done at module or pack level)

– Vibration test
– Mechanical Shock Test
– Roll-over Test (open-type batteries, not applicable for Lithium-ion batteries) Penetration Test

In AIS 048, a single-cell nail penetration test is done at the cell level and sometimes it is difficult for high energy density cells e.g. NMC and NCA cells to comply with the nail penetration requirement. It was one of the main reasons, some changes were introduced to the regulation as described below.

3. AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) – M&N Category

AIS 038 Rev 2 was prepared in September 2020 with an amendment added on July 2021. It was prepared with considerable assistance from GTR 20 (Global Technical Regulation) and ECE R100 Rev 3. This test is for M and N category vehicles and does not cater to the 2Ws and 3Ws.

This standard takes a system-level safety approach, i.e. the battery and the vehicle are considered a single unit. The standard is used to make an assessment from a functional safety point of view to ascertain the Automotive Safety Integrity Level and protection from thermal runaway.

4. AIS 156 (2020) – L Category

This standard prescribes the safety requirements with respect to the electric power train of motor vehicles and Rechargeable Electrical Energy Storage System (REESS) of L category vehicles (including 2W, 3W, quad cycles). It was prepared in September 2020 with considerable effects from UN R136 regulations. The standard takes a system-level approach and covers both vehicle electrical safety and REESS safety.

AIS – Automotive Industry Standards

REESS – Rechargeable Electrical Energy Storage System

CMVR – Central Motor Vehicle Rules

New vs Old Regulations

Compared with the previous regulation, AIS-048, the new regulations AIS-038 Rev 2/AIS- 156 were significantly changed in terms of the regulatory framework, technical requirements, and test methods. The previous regulation AIS-048 could test at the cell, module, and battery pack levels; however, no environmental test item was included. The new regulations AIS-038 Rev 2/AIS-156 are equivalent to EU standards and include environmental and thermal propagation tests. The test objects are the battery system, subsystem and the entire vehicle. Besides, the nail penetration was removed in the new regulations, which was the most concerning test item before.

We would like to thank Mr Manoj Desai, General Manager at ARAI for providing above information on the current regulatory standards for battery safety in India.

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