Batteries: why certification matters
30 May 2023
As the battery sector changes quickly, with an increasing number of emerging players and novel technologies, this disruption presents both risks and opportunities for existing suppliers as well as new market entrants. To succeed in this dynamic environment, companies need to have a clear strategy that addresses the unique challenges of this industry, including early and thorough planning for their products’ regulatory compliance.
Representative image: Shutterstock
What is driving the battery market?
The lithium-ion battery market is predicted to grow from $122 billion (£98.2bn) in 2020 to $196 billion (£157bn) in 2026, with the majority of this growth expected to come from the electric vehicle sector. This increasing demand for EVs has resulted in a host of new challenges for the industry, particularly around safety and environmental impact. As it’s not unusual for certification agencies to come across battery manufacturers operating outside of compliance, new players need to be prepared to address certification and best practices head-on and demonstrate verifiable improvements to processes.
Which certification standard is right for you?
Lithium-ion batteries are considered hazardous goods and can pose safety risks if not tested, packaged, and transported in accordance with the applicable regulations. Because of this, there are several safety standards available to manufacturers, depending on the battery's technology type, intended use, and its application, including UL 1642, Lithium Batteries; UL 2054, Standard for Household and Commercial Batteries; UL 62133-2, Secondary Cells and Batteries Containing Alkaline or Other Non-acid Electrolytes (Bi-national with CSA C22.2 NO. 62133-2:20, for Canada); and UN/DOT 38.3, Transportation Testing For Lithium-Ion Batteries.
When designing their product, in addition to ensuring that it’s built to the standard’s requirements, battery manufacturers should also consider the potential impact that different compliance standards could have on their operations. Financial and time commitments are both to be factored in when designing products like batteries, as some standards require a longer testing process than others and, therefore, larger budgets.
The battery industry is a dynamic and quickly growing sector. Manufacturers need to be able to confidently demonstrate that they are prepared and able to meet the challenges of this industry. The best way to do this is through a combination of upfront risk assessment to identify hazards and risks early in the process and use this as a baseline for continuous improvement; thorough planning; a standardized and streamlined production process to increase efficiencies and reduce the risk of compromised quality; and a robust product compliance plan.
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