Electric Vehicle Technology
May 30, 2024

Driving a Safe, Secure, and Sustainable EV Ecosystem in India

EV on a country road

The government of India has set the impressive target for its citizens to have 80 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Increasing numbers of battery-swapping stations and other infrastructure supporting EVs nationwide is a testament to this shift. Motivated by the pressing environmental imperative of climate change, finite fossil fuels, and pollution, the Indian government promises various economic benefits for its citizens while ensuring the country is doing its part for a greener future. 

Consumer trust is essential to the widespread adoption of EVs. Assuring this trust is a top priority of UL Standards & Engagement. Among the concerns of potential EV owners are range anxiety, insufficient charging infrastructure, EV battery safety, and the upfront costs. To address these barriers, ULSE, the Indian National Standards Body, and the government of India have convened panels and conferences to facilitate important initiatives to accelerate the adoption of EVs.  

By pooling resources, expertise, and proactive engagement, ULSE can identify potential risks and vulnerabilities in the Indian EV ecosystem early on. This allows for proactive measures to mitigate these risks and enhance the overall safety of EVs for consumers and the environment.  

In the last 12 months, ULSE hosted a series of roundtable meetings focusing on technical challenges and convened a national-level policy and regulatory discussion, supported by NITI Aayog, the premier policy think tank of the Government of India. Key action items that emerged from these discussions include: 

  • Global harmonization of standards with proper consideration given to India’s needs 
  • Advancing the development of standards for the service segment of the EV industry and transportation of batteries 
  • Establish industry partnerships for research, education, and standards development 
  • Design guidelines with stakeholder input for equitable EV accessibility 
  • Enhancement of consumer awareness programs and measuring the impact of those programs 

Standards, the Currency of Impact  

ULSE’s EV safety standards continue contributing to filling gaps in the Indian EV ecosystem. One of these gaps is the consumer concern of what is done with EV batteries when they reach the end of their life. As electric vehicle (EV) batteries near the end of their initial service life, they begin to lose power. However, these batteries often have close to 70-80% of usable energy capacity when they are removed from vehicles. To help in preventing these usable batteries from adding to the accumulation of e-waste, UL Standards & Engagement developed ANSI/CAN/UL 1974, the Standard for Evaluation for Repurposing Batteries, a standard that provides requirements for the sorting and grading process of batteries that are intended for repurposing. 

Though used EV batteries may not be suitable for electric vehicle propulsion at 70-80% capacity, they can be repurposed in applications that do not require as much power, such as stationary energy storage systems. UL 1974 helps to drive this sustainability initiative by providing requirements for aspects of the repurposing process. 

A full overview of ULSE’s work to make EVs a viable option in India can be found here. 

What We’re Doing 

ULSE has collaborated with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS),  to form ETD 51, the Sectional Committee for Electrotechnology in Mobility for Preparing the India Standards for EV Charging. Throughout 2023, we continued the masterclass webinar series on battery-related safety and standards with our esteemed partner, the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). Our workshops and training programs in collaboration with MOU partners including BIS, and India Energy Storage Alliance have not only focused on building awareness about the role of standards but have also encouraged more stakeholder participation on our EV Technical Committees. 

Yet another key highlight of our partnership with IESA has been the formation of the ETD 52 committee, which focuses on creating safety standards for stationary energy storage in India. The committee was formed in 2017-2018, and for the first time in the history of BIS, within the first few meetings of forming the committee, a draft standard was presented.  

How You Can Help 

Our Standards are developed through a consensus-based process, which integrates scientific and testing expertise with input from our TC members and stakeholders. A TC is a group of individuals, representing a variety of interests, formed to review proposals related to UL Standards. If you are involved in the design, manufacturing, testing, use, and/or repurposing of EV batteries, and you would like to help improve safety in your industry, please take a moment to learn how you can get involved.