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Chinese Electric-Car Maker BYD Faces Setback After Fire at Charging Station

HONG KONG–BYD Co. (002594.SZ, 1211.HK), a Chinese maker of electric cars and batteries backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, faces a setback after one of its charging units caught fire in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Link Management Ltd., manager of the carpark where the fire occurred, said it had suspended use of all 13 chargers used for BYD’s electric taxis in three of its carparks in the city. It said the decision was made in consultation with BYD.

The incident sent BYD shares nearly 10% lower in afternoon trade, reflecting investor concern about the safety of the company’s electric cars and charging facilities.

A spokeswoman for Shenzhen-based told The Wall Street Journal that the charger overheated and emitted smoke, but said there was no fire. The company is investigating in cooperation with the Hong Kong government and Link Management, she said.

No one was hurt in the incident.

BYD shares plunged in Hong Kong after local media reported the fire early Thursday. The shares fell as much as 9.7% to HK$29.70 in afternoon trading, underperforming the broader market’s 2.6% decline. At GMT 0640, they were down 8.8% at HK$30.00.

The charging unit was used for BYD’s e6 electric taxis, which it launched in Hong Kong in May as part of its efforts to promote China’s first electric vehicles to a wider global audience. It plans to roll out four dozen e6 taxis in Hong Kong but only 10 are now operating. \
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