CHINA: BYD insists e6 EV safe despite fireball deaths

29 May 2012 | News | Source: Glenn Brooks

BYD insists that its e6 electric car complies will all relevant safety legislation. The statement follows the deaths of three occupants in an e6 which caught fire in Shenzhen on 26 May.

The firm issued a statement which says that the battery cells fitted to the e6 minivan did not ignite in any collision test undertaken during the vehicle's development. This includes crashes where the damage led to 50% deformation.

"Any vehicles undergoing multiple crashes and spinning like the one in the 5.26 (May 26) traffic accident will result in great danger for the passengers and driver, even gasoline-powered vehicles might burn," the company's statement notes.

The remains of the car in which the three occupants died is being held by the police in the southern Chinese city, BYD has told the local media.

According to newspaper reports, which showed graphic images of the burning car, the e6, which was operating as a taxi, was struck by a Nissan GT-R at high speed.

The BYD e6 was first seen at the Detroit auto show in January 2009. It entered production during 2010, but the number of cars built remains small, with most vehicles placed with taxis operators in Shenzhen.

BYD claimed at the Geneva motor show in March 2011 that it would launch the e6 in Europe from late 2012, following trials with a test fleet in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The company also stated at one time that the 'e6 Premier' would be sold in the US during 2012 but so far there is no sign of the model being launched there.

Author: Glenn Brooks