China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued three national standards regarding safety requirements for electric vehicles and their batteries. The standards, which have been approved by the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration and the National Standardization Management Committee will be implemented from January 1, 2021.
The three standards are the first compulsory national standards in the field of electric vehicles in China. They integrate the technical innovation achievements and experience of the electric vehicle industry in China, and are fully coordinated with international standards and regulations to improve the safety level of new energy vehicles and ensure the sustainability of China’s EV industry.
The three standards are based on China ’s original recommended national standards, and are in line with the United Nations Global Technical Regulations for Electric Vehicle Safety (UN GTR 20), further improving and optimizing the performance of electric vehicles and power battery products. One of the standards relates to electric vehicles in general, another specifically to electric buses and the third to traction batteries.
The standards are as follows: GB 18384-2020 “Safety Requirements for Electric Vehicles”; GB 38032-2020 “Safety Requirements for Electric Passenger Cars”; and, GB 38031-2020 “Safety Requirements for Power Storage Battery for Electric Vehicles”.
“Safety Requirements for Electric Vehicles” mainly stipulates the electrical safety and functional safety requirements of electric vehicles, and adds the alarm signal requirements for thermal events of the battery system, which can give the driver and passengers a safety reminder for the first time; strengthens the waterproofing, insulation resistance and monitoring of the whole vehicle; requirements to reduce vehicle safety risks under normal use, etc. Test methods, such as insulation resistance and capacitive coupling, have been optimized to improve test accuracy and ensure the safety of high-voltage vehicles.
“Safety requirements for electric buses” addresses the high number of passengers in electric buses and battery capacity with regard to collision safety, the charging system and the tightness of the batteries and the vehicle. High-voltage components must be particularly resistant to fire, and specifications were also specified for the thermal continuity of the cells. Based on the “Safety Requirements for Electric Vehicles” standard, the test conditions for the collision, charging system and waterproofing of the battery compartment of electric buses are more stringent. There are increased flame retardant requirements for high-voltage components and thermal runaway assessment requirements for the minimum management unit of the battery system.
“Safety requirements for power batteries for electric vehicles” focuses on strengthening the battery system’s thermal safety, mechanical safety, electrical safety and functional safety requirements. In particular, the standard adds a battery system thermal diffusion test, which requires that the battery system will not fire or explode within five minutes after the battery cell thermally loses control, and reserves a safe escape time for the vehicle occupants.