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    EV Safety, More Testing of Imported Cells to Maintain Standards : Ather

    Bengaluru-headquartered Ather has said regulators need to raise mandatory safety standards for electric two-wheelers to make the battery-run vehicles safer on roads after fire accidents involving e-scooters sparked alarm among consumers.

    The company said in a statement that the “stringent” AIS 156 now imposed needs to be augmented for safer EVs. “At Ather, we have adopted more stringent internal standards to ensure the safety and reliability of our scooters and have thoroughly tested them for 100,000 kilometers. We design our batteries to prevent the initiation and propagation of thermal runaway (fire) than what AIS 156 mandates,” the company said in a statement.

    The Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had told Lok Sabha on Thursday that action would be taken after receiving the forensic report of the probe into the fire incidents over the last week. Gadkari also said there is 10.7 lakh registered EVs and 1,742 public stations catered to e-bikes in the country.

    The company said cells used in the EV batteries in India are designed and made for countries with lower average temperatures. “When designing batteries for Indian conditions, the battery not only needs to be compatible with extreme road conditions but also with grid charging. Typically, the range, reliability, and performance of every EV vehicle is affected heavily by climatic and road conditions. To manage these external conditions, a robust Battery Management System has to be built to ensure safe, reliable performance.”

    Ather said OEMs importing batteries should spend time on-road testing before commercial production.

    Ather counts among the crop of electric scooter makers besides TVS Motor and Hero Motocorp, Ola, and others that cater to a burgeoning segment of the consumer-driven e-scooter segment in the country.

    According to data from the Centre’s Vahan dashboard, it was electric two-wheelers that displayed a large jump over the FY2021-22 year, jumping from 35,626 to over 2 lakh registrations.