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China: Concerns on electric cars after fiery crash


The BYD e6 taxi caught fire after it was hit from behind by a sports car traveling at a reported speed of 180 kilometers an hour. Xuan Hui / For China Daily

High-speed collision – Shenzhen e-taxi burns
A dramatic high-speed auto accident in Shenzhen that left an all-electric taxi and its three occupants incinerated has cast a shadow over public confidence in the new technology.
On May 26 a Nissan GTR sports car driven by a suspected drunk driver smashed into the rear of two taxis at an estimated speed of 180 km/h.
One of the taxis – an e6 electric made by BYD Automobile Co – caught fire and the driver and two passengers died at the scene. The other taxi rolled over and the driver was slightly injured.
Shenzhen traffic police said the high performance car hit the left rear of the electric taxi, which then lost control and crashed into trees along the road.
Police said they are investigating the cause of the fire and whether there was explosion.
Even before the exact cause of the fire was known, the accident aroused public concerns about the safety of BYD’s electric cars and other similar vehicles.
The company said in a statement on May 29 that the e6 has passed authoritative crash tests and meets national safety standards.
It said that in the past two years, e6 taxis in Shenzhen have driven a combined 15 million km and have been involved in 18 previous rear-end accidents, but none caused fire or causalities.
BYD began to offer the e6 for taxi service in Shenzhen two years ago. About 300 e6 electric taxis are now on the road in the southern city in addition to 200 electric buses made by the company.
The statement from BYD said the extreme nature of the accident could have also caused a traditional gasoline vehicle to catch fire.
More chinadaily.com.cn

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