Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers in India are expecting a six-month extension to the deadline for obtaining mandatory certifications related to battery tests, which are necessary for claiming subsidies under the FAME-II scheme and production linked incentives (PLI) scheme for advanced chemistry cells (ACC). The Ministry of Heavy Industries had set a new testing benchmark in November 2022 to enhance the safety of EVs following a spurt in fire incidents involving ebikes, and the norms aim to increase safety at three levels – battery pack, battery management system, and cell level.
Compliance with the regulations is mandatory for claiming subsidies and payouts under various schemes, but no original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has reportedly been able to obtain the certification. The delay in compliance is attributed to the industry’s focus on first complying with the new battery safety norms (AIS 038 and AIS 156) issued under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR) and notified by the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways (MoRTH). While the MHI’s norms are necessary to claim incentives, the transport ministry’s guidelines are mandatory for vehicle manufacturing.
The OEMs have sought segment-specific tests and consultations with the industry before notifying rules of such nature. The adoption of EVs is on the rise in India, and two-wheeler EV registrations in the country grew nearly 30% month-on-month (MoM) to 85,683 units in March. The Several EV manufacturers, including Ola Electric, Ather Energy, TVS Motor, and Hero Motocorp, could face regulatory scrutiny for allegedly keeping their vehicle prices artificially lower to claim incentives. The government is currently investigating as many as 12 EV players, including Hero Electric and Okinawa Autotech, for claiming subsidies without complying with minimum localization norms. The government plans to finalize the quantum of action against Hero Electric and Okinawa Autotech soon.