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Uniform Safety Standards for EVs

  • 10 Oct 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Electric Vehicles (EVs), Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles Scheme-II (FAME-II), PLI schemes automobile, automotive components and Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC), Lithium-ion batteries.

For Mains: Electric Vehicles Manufacturing and Adoption - challenges and opportunities, EVs and Global Goals of Net Zero Emission.

Why in News?

To establish uniform safety standards for electric vehicles (EVs), India will begin its first ever testing of EVs from April 1, 2023.

  • This comes amid concerns over multiple instances of fires in electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers in recent months.

What are the Key Points about EV Testing?

  • Current Scenario:
    • As of now, there are no centralised testing facilities for EVs in India and manufacturers have their own benchmarks.
    • In June 2022, the first major step towards standardisation of battery technology was taken when the Bureau of Indian Standards issued performance norms for lithium-ion battery packs and traction systems in line with broader ISO norms.
  • Latest Update:
    • The task for procuring the infrastructure needed to test battery-powered vehicles has been vested in the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
    • The Ministry of Heavy Industries has allocated Rs 44 crore to ARAI to set up the requisite infrastructure for testing, certification, and development of electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Significance:
    • The EV testing push compliments the government’s redoubled focus on electric vehicles as well as on other forms of alternative fuel with a larger aim to reduce its crude import bill.
      • As per the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, the government is targeting to go all-electric in terms of new car sales in the country by 2030.
    • Adherence to the uniform standards would enhance product reliability, performance, and safety.
      • It would also make the entry barrier slightly tougher for non-serious players and ensure that only serious players get into production.


  • Globally, there is no single EV standard. Japan, China and countries in Europe and North America have safety standards that promote different norms in four key areas: safety, charging connectors, charging topology and charging-related communications.
    • India is set to broadly follow the same philosophy for its testing standards — updating them as technology evolves.

What are Electric Vehicles?

  • About:
    • An EV operates on an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine and has a battery instead of a fuel tank.
    • In general, EVs have low running costs as they have fewer moving parts and are also environmentally friendly.
      • In India, the fuel cost for an EV is approximately 80 paisa per kilometer.
  • Current Scenario of EVs in India:
    • The push for Electric Vehicles (EVs) is driven by the global climate agenda established under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in order to limit global warming.
    • As of June 2022, India had over 1.3 million electric vehicles — 50% of which are three-wheelers, a bulk of the remaining vehicles being two-wheelers, with four-wheelers making up the rest.
  • India’s Initiatives to Support EVs:
  • Recent Issues Related to EVs:
    • There have been increased instances of electric vehicles catching fire. The reasons for fire may include:
      • Manufacturing defects
      • External damage
      • Faults in the deployment in the battery management system, and
      • Faulty charging in some cases
  • The Covid-19 pandemic and the US-China trade war has disrupted supply chains thus making the critical components of EV prohibitively expensive.
  • The semiconductor shortage which began at the end of 2021 has still not been resolved completely and has hindered multiple industries.
    • A similar challenge can adversely impact India’s upcoming EV industry in terms of high price volatility and supply disruptions of these elements

Way Forward

  • Uniform guidelines and inspection systems should be laid down for the entire EV ecosystem starting from conceptualization to prototype to production and finally end-of-life of the battery.
  • Battery is the most important component of an EV, and with consumers concerned about EV safety, uniform production standards — conformity of production (CoP) in industry parlance — should be laid down.
  • CoP should be implemented to ensure that the same quality is maintained throughout the manufacturing of EV batteries.
    • Further, self-regulation should be maintained by battery manufacturers until CoP is implemented.
    • Each imported cell should be checked individually and only those that fulfil the norms and quality standards should be used in battery pack manufacturing.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. How is efficient and affordable urban mass transport key to the rapid economic development in India? (2019)

Source: IE

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