A few months ago, in China, BYD (Build Your Dreams) hit the headlines when one of its e6 electric vehicles caught fire and burned to the ground after being hit by a Nissan GT-R, killing the vehicle’s three occupants. At the time, the e6’s battery pack was seen as a root cause of the fire and deaths; however, a new investigation by Chinese authorities has revealed the high-speed impact of the accident was to blame and the occupants of the taxi were killed when the GT-R barreled into the e6 at a speed of 110 mph.
The news is a welcome relief for BYD, which has invested heavily in electric vehicle battery technology and saw its share price tumble in the wake of the accident. In a recently issued statement following the investigation, BYD said that the power batteries of the vehicle did not explode, “72 single-cell batteries (accounting for 75 percent of all the 96 power batteries) did not catch on fire.” Furthermore, “the design of the battery system in relation to the installation layout on the vehicle, the insulation protection and the high voltage system are reasonable,” BYD remarked. “No flaws in the safety design of the vehicle were revealed.”
The investigation was conducted by Shenzhen City’s Quality Inspection Office, in conjunction with officers from the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, the Research Institute of Highway Ministry of Transport, the Tianjin Fire Research Institute, the fire department of Guangdong Province as well as the North Vehicle Research Institute.