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The Chinese government announced new mandatory safety regulations for electric vehicles this week designed to improve product standards and provide consumers with additional protection and reassurance.

The new standards, formulated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation and the Standardisation Administration of China, are targeted primarily at electric vehicles and their battery systems.

They are scheduled to come into force in January 2021.

Despite China being the world’s largest electric vehicle market, safety standards have so far been driven by the automakers resulting in various battery system designs available on the market, including thermal management systems.

The new regulations aim to provide minimum safety standards for the entire electrical systems, including a requirement for an onboard alarm system in the case of overheating batteries.

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By GlobalData

They also set minimum battery safety standards in the case of accidents, vehicle collisions and onboard fires.

Electric vehicle batteries will be required to withstand at least five minutes of overheating without causing a fire or explosion, allowing passengers sufficient time to exit the vehicle.

More stringent standards will apply to battery powered buses due to their large number of passengers, including fitment of batteries and minimum safety standards in the case of an onboard fire and collision.