A wicked crash between a Nissan GT-R and a BYD E6 electric taxi in China last Sunday is lighting concern about EV fires anew.
BYD, one of the country’s best-known EV manufacturers, is hurriedly explaining that it’s unlikely under the circumstances that the car catching fire had anything to do specifically with it being a battery-electric car.
The crash killed the taxi’s three occupants when the GT-R hit it from the rear travelling approximately 180 km/h, (roughly 110 mph). At the time, the taxi was driving a little slower than 40 mph and was sent flying through traffic and into a tree. Upon impact, the car was sliced down the middle, from the rear, beyond the rear passenger seats.
In that car, the battery packs are housed under the rear seats, which meant they were broken apart on impact. Spurring speculation about the vehicle’s safety, the car burst into flames moments after the crash.
That fire inevitably sparked concern in China that EVs aren’t safe, much the same as the controversy that plagued the Chevrolet Volt.
BYD is admitting that the cause behind the fire isn’t totally clear, but maintains that it isn’t necessarily the battery pack that caused the blaze. Given the nature of the accident, it could have been fabric in the car’s interior, or ruptured high-voltage gear according to BYD marketing head Lin Mi.
[Source: New York Times]