Pictures of a burning BYD e6 sent the already beaten down BYD stock on a nose-dive yesterday. The e6 is one of the rare BYD electric cars, used in a taxi test in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. A Nissan GT-R had crashed into two taxis, one a conventional Santana, the other an electric e6. The e6 immediately did burst into flames. Two female passengers and the driver were killed.
According to Carnewschina.com, “investors are extremely worried about implications for BYD’s electric vehicle sales.” Such as they were.
Last year, news of burning Volts and burning charging stations became the fuel of inflammatory anti-EV rhetoric. Earlier this year, GM announced a fix to its battery pack after an NHTSA investigation into why a Volt caught fire following crash testing.
The lithium used in lithium ion batteries can be extremely flammable under certain circumstances.
“Lithium burns really hot,” engineering consultant Sandy Munro told Automotive News. “But it doesn’t happen often. You have to do something pretty dramatic to make it catch fire.”
Such a dramatic incident can occur during an accident when a ;piece of steel pierces the battery case. A chemical reaction can take place and may result in a fire.. If the piercing is small, that reaction can take days or weeks to occur, Munro said.
Today, BYD issued a statement, saying its battery pack is safe because it has passed all tests “required by relevant authorities.” The stock recovered.