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Initial details on fiery crash involving BYD e6 that killed 3

28 May 2012

China Auto Web. Three passengers in a BYD e6 taxicab, including the driver, were killed in an accident in Shenzhen on 26 May.

Byd-e6-ev-crash-fire-shenzhen-3
BYD e6 in flames following crash. Click to enlarge.

In its microblog on weibo.com, Shenzhen traffic police say the accident happened at about 3:08 in the early morning on Binhai Dadao (Beach Boulevard) near the city’s downtown. A drunk driver crashed a high-speed Nissan GT-R into a BYD e6, and then collided with another, gasoline taxicab. The e6 hit a tree before bursting into flames. The GR-R was traveling at no less than 180km/h [112 mph], an eyewitness told Guangzhou TV reporting on the crash. The driver and two female passengers on the pure-electric car apparently never had a chance to get out. A person in the other taxi suffered minor injuries. The drunk driver ran away from the scene, but turned himself in to the police later that morning, at about 10.

News about the accident has spread quickly as speculation mounts over the cause of the EV fire and its possible effects on BYD and the industry. It evokes the burning of a Zotye EV, which also served as a taxicab (no one was injured in that case)...While the e6 was obviously not at fault, people want to know why an EV, without a gas tank, can burn to ashes in minutes. Many of them still remember the words of Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD: “Batteries from BYD would not explode even if you throw them into a fire.”

About 400 e6s are in service in Shenzhen as taxis; the city plans to grow the fleet to 800 units this year. BYD has not yet issued a statement about the crash.

May 28, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

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More ammo for the antis.....
We are not having a good week.
I don't know how BYD have managed that with that chemistry

A few comments and questions here:

#1. Let's decide; are they are Antis or Naysayers?
- A naysayer is one who opposes, or is skeptical or cynical about something; ORIGIN: 1880-1900; thought to be derived from the attitude of horses about the introduction of horseless carriages.

#2. Though this is a real event (apparently), its importance to public safety today is vanishingly small - but only because the impact of EVs is today, vanishingly small.

#3. While they are finding out why it burned like a pile of Leafs we need to be developing better batteries.

#4. How does a driver crash a Nissan GT-R directly into a car full of batteries, at 112 mph and walk away?

#5. If this was intentional, the driver is an Anti not a Neighsayer.

Good No. 4 question TT. Is a Nissan GT-R low enough to drive under another car without chopping the the driver's head off?

@TT,
The driver of the Nissan GT-R did not hit the e6 BEV directly but probably side-swipe it only, causing the BEV to veer and hit a tree, allowing the drunken Nissan driver to be able to run away from the scene.
On the picture supplied, and from the internet, it appears that the e6 was structurally intact, except for a huge fireball coming from behind, probably from the battery compartment. This type of crash probably would be survivable for at least the two passengers in the rear seat, has the fire not broken out.

I wonder if BYD has done extensive crash testing on the BEV model during development, and what did the data show? Of significance, the GM Volt and the Fisker Karma also suffered from destructive fire that most likely originated from the battery.

These are perhaps the reason for Toyota to refrain from the use of Lithium battery in their HEV's and continue to use heavier and less-efficient NiMh batteries.

If you look at the article in chinaautoweb.com

http://chinaautoweb.com/electric-cars/

you can see that the BYD has by far the longest range (and hence the largest battery).

It is possible that BYD have substituted range for safety (i.e. cells for armour), hence the fireball.

Nonetheless, it is a freak accident and you have to feel very sorry for the unfortunate 3 people who were killed.
If they were 1 child families, that is 3 families wiped out in a single drunken crash.

Unfortunately, you need a few accidents like this to happen before the authorities (and companies) understand what level of safety is actually required. I am sure a lot more died in the Ford Pinto. [ but that appears to be a complicated story ].

I bet Warren Buffett isn't very happy.

"people want to know why an EV, without a gas tank, can burn to ashes in minutes"
There's no fuel, but there's plenty of volatile material in the car (the seats, interior plastics, and wiring). That's the stuff that burns the fastest (in minutes). A short-circuit in the crash can start the fire and then it's a big blaze in minutes. This wouldn't even be news if it happened to a gas car.

@Jake
It's not the seats, interior plastics, and wiring,

it's the Lithium in the battery.

(just as it would be the gasoline in the tank).

A year ago BYD layed off nearly 2/3rds of its employees. "In March, Reuters published a lengthy special report that raised a number of questions about the troubled automaker. Based on interviews with industry consultants and executives as well as diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party, the report described a record of BYD stealing designs from rivals, using those savings to undercut competitors on price and scrimping on safety."

'nuff said.

"..287,000 vehicle fires per year.."
http://www.rokemneedlearts.com/carsindepth/wordpressblog/?p=5332

That comes out to 786 ICE auto fires that day, in the US alone.

The National Fire Protection Association records don't mention if those daily 786 auto fires have to be caused by a 112 mph collision.

786 DAILY ICE auto fires is the REAL story, but it seems missing..

FYI http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-29/toyota-prius-escapes-niche-to-surge-into-global-top-three.html (also Toyota again global auto leader)

But where are all the apologies about the "unsafe" Prius that even NASA cleared of any problems?

Wait, there's a battery in them Prius. Bout time for them Gov Motors, Republican Senators, and assorted other voodoo science witch doctors to lie to the public again.

Lithium batteries were introduced in some early versions of the IBM Personal Computer to provide power to the calendar clock when the power was turned off. There were extensive warnings on the package about fire dangers if the batteries were misused. Several laptop computer lithium batteries created world wide news when they caught fire.

ZEBRA cells and full batteries have been used and tested for over ten years without any fires and are produced in steel insulated boxes to keep the cells at their high operating temperature. Both the cells and the case would have survived the mentioned fire but not the electronic control unit. The THINK used ZEBRA batteries in Europe, but lithium advocates and investors in the US prevented that option in the US. They have been used in a very deep diving submarine for total power. The high price of the batteries due to limited production was a major cause of THINK's failure.

Every business or home should have one or more ZEBRA battery packs for computer and light power backups. There is no maintenance and a probable life of 30 years or more in such an operation. Some EDISON nickle iron batteries could last a hundred years or more with care.

ZEBRA batteries have similar if not greater capacities to lithium batteries and far more durability and ease of cooling and temperature range. GE chose them for testing large hybrid trucks and rail locomotives and proposes to use them for those products as well as many other battery uses. Automobiles require about 200 Watt hours per mile. For the average 40 miles a day this would require 8 kilowatt hours. The EFFPOWER bipolar lead-acid acceleration battery or the possible Atraverda replacement, which could replace at lower cost the Prius battery, can be combined with a far cheaper 8 kilowatt hour low power ZEBRA battery for a high performance vehicle system. ZEBRA batteries could now be 1/4 the price if used in half the electric cars sold.

A simple single piston range extender fuel powered generator with rotating valves from Coates limited for very high operating speeds would weigh about 10 kg or less and operate the vehicle in the ordinary traffic flows of cities on the rare occasions of a necessity of a longer than usual trip. Lead batteries are also light weight enough and cheap enough for 40 mile a day commutes.

The need to keep the ZEBRA battery hot is only a slight disadvantage in a vehicle that is seldom used, and a positive advantage where no exceptional cooling or heating methods is needed in very hot or very cold environments. People who can afford an electric automobile can easily afford an electrical connection for a seldom used vehicle that could pay for itself in a V2G operation.

For people who do not want to emit CO2 or CO from their automobile, a liquid ammonia operated version range extender could be invented as a variant of the INNAS CHIRON free piston engine. There is not a single "neutral carbon" bio-fuel produced or used. ..HG..

FIAMM is now producing the ZEBRA battery as FZSONICK, and GE is building a production facility for its versions uses. China could produce such batteries but the electric car public has been blinded by lithium battery hype and anti-ICE range extender cultism. ..HG..

..The ZEBRA battery operates at 245 °C (473 °F).. wiki

A battery that MUST stay above the ignition point of paper IS NOT going to power the cars of our world.

786 DAILY ICE auto fires is Not the REAL story.

Nor is 30,000 auto related deaths per year.

Why not?

News is show biz.

You need to expand your paranoia to embrace them.

- - And let Zebras use whatever batteries they like.

"786 DAILY ICE auto fires" IS "News is show biz."

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/low-temperature-molten-salt-battery-ten.html is a different story - if true.

You'd think the idea of internal combustion would provide a clue. In light of kelly's far more distracting car fires stat - even this level of Chinese negligence pales. Trouble is "news" stories are fabricated according to agenda - and ICE fires are clearly not approved.

But BYD makes all EV makers' job harder with their sloppy, scrimping, poor quality workmanship. It would be better for the whole outfit to go BK (sorry Warren) and leave EVs to people who honor safety.

I bet most(all?) ICE cars would catch fire when struck by a 112 mph Nissan GT-R. Maybe even a distracting 780 ICE auto fires EVERY day.

That's now over 2,000 ICE auto fires in the US since this unbiased article was released.

Or should they be towed to storage for a few weeks to incubate a 'never discharged/never gas tank emptied' fire?

Another good point kelly.

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