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Manufacturers of batteries for electric vehicles who are seeking to place their traction batteries on the Chinese market now face a new challenge: the Chinese government has published a new safety standard for batteries of electric vehicles, the GB 38031-2020 standard. It will come into effect on 1 January 2021 and be applicable from that date on. TÜV SÜD’s battery testing laboratory already offers testing according to this new standard.
The new standard includes tests at cell level as well as tests at the levels of battery packs and/or systems. The tests required at cell level include overcharge, overdischarge, short-circuit and crush tests. Where battery packs are concerned, some of the tests required have already been specified in the GB/T 31467.3-2015 standard, including vibration tests, mechanical shock tests, immersion tests, salt-spray tests, tests for external fire resistance and others.
However, a new and particularly noteworthy test in the GB 38031-2020 standard is the “thermal propagation test”. This test is designed to verify that after thermal runaway of a cell in a battery pack, the cell will not cause a fire or explosion for at least five minutes. This allows time for passengers to leave the vehicle in case of fire or explosion hazards.
The new safety standard replaces the former GB/T 31485-2015 and GB/T 31467.3-2015 standards. China is the first country to make this requirement for traction batteries binding from 1 January 2021 onwards. It may be assumed that the requirement will also be imposed in this or a similar way for other regions. TÜV SÜD’s battery testing laboratory in Garching near Munich already offers tests based on the new standard.
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