Report says battery did not explode in deadly BYD taxi fire
Published on August 6, 2012 by Joey Wang
No safety-related design flaws were found in a probe that was launched following a car fire that killed three people in a cab manufactured by Chinese automaker BYD, an investigatory team said Friday.
The probe results came a little more than two months after the deadly accident in South China’s city of Shenzhen. The incident has raised concerns about the safety of BYD’s electric vehicles.
An e6-model cab manufactured by BYD caught fire after being hit by a speeding car and slamming into a roadside tree on May 26, killing all three of the cab’s occupants on the spot.
Wu Zhixin, head of the 13-member investigatory team, said a month-long investigation found that the lithium-ion battery in the BYD cab did not explode during the accident.
The electric car also had no safety design flaws, he said.
The lithium-ion battery and high-voltage distribution box inside the cab were crushed during the accident, causing a short circuit that ignited the interior of the car, said Wu, who is also deputy director of the China Automotive Technology & Research Center.
Wu said the car had previously passed a series of quality tests concerning collision and battery standards.
Seventy-five percent of the 96-cell lithium-ion battery remained intact during the fire, Wu added.
Shenzhen uses 500 BYD electric vehicles (300 cabs and 200 buses) as part of its public transportation system.