MHI modifies safety compliance standards for EVs under PLI and FAME II programme

The production-linked incentive (PLI) programme for automobiles and auto components as well as the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) II programme have been modified by the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) to improve the human safety of electric vehicles (EVs). Effective from October 1, 2023, the new safety precautions will be required in order to receive incentives under the PLI and FAME II programmes. The rechargeable electric energy storage system (REESS) will undergo an IP X7 ingress protection test in accordance with IEC 60529.

Furthermore, a microprocessor or microcontroller-based circuit should be used for the battery management system. It must adhere to the applicable electromagnetic compatibility specifications set forth in AIS 004 Part 3 or AIS 004 Part 3 Rev 1. During REESS testing, the following safety aspects for the battery management system should be checked: Protection against over-charge, over-discharge, over-temperature, over-current, and short circuit.

Additionally, a thermal propagation test has been introduced to evaluate the REESS’s ability to withstand thermal propagation, which could happen as a result of an internal short circuit leading to a single-cell thermal runaway. This process shouldn’t cause the REESS to ignite or explode. Additionally, the producer of the REESS will be required to offer a risk reduction analysis using industry-recognised techniques, together with a thorough system layout containing all necessary physical systems and parts. With regard to acceptance criteria, in the event of thermal runaway of cells, the REESS should feature an audio-visual warning for early detection of thermal events or gases which should become active at least five minutes before thermal propagation, like a fire or explosion.

With respect to initiation method, the test requires the use of a block heater, film heater, or another heating equipment to start the thermal runaway process. When using a block heater, one of the component cells must be swapped out for the heater, if the heater is the same size as the component cell. It is possible to place a block heater inside the module in direct contact with the surface of the initiation cell, if it is smaller than a component cell. If a film heater is chosen, it needs to be attached to the surface of the start cell. Furthermore, the technical requirements for electric power train vehicles entails that the REESS’s cells should go through a minimum of one cycle of charge and discharge, carried out at a rate of C/3 current. The manufacturer of the REESS pack is required to record and keep the data from this cycling procedure. Furthermore, in order to avoid RESS’s overcharging, the charger must be equipped with charge voltage cut-off. It must provide protection against input supply variation, output voltage, and current regulation. The battery management system should also keep track of the battery pack’s essential indicators, and the most recent data should be kept for at least a month.