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Chinese EV taxi catches fire after crash with speeding drunk driver

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by markwj, May 27, 2012.

  1. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    #1 markwj, May 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2012
    More bad press:

    Three die as electric taxi explodes

    http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2af62ecb329d3d7733492d9253a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=7521a9c76be87310VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&ss=China&s=News

    At about 3am on Saturday, a speeding sports car rear-ended a BYD E6 electric taxi, causing the cab to catch fire, killing the driver and two passengers, according to The Southern Metropolis News.

    One witness, another taxi driver, said: "The sports car must have been driving at between 150 and 200km/h when it passed me. I was driving at more than 90km/h." He added that he saw the BYD taxi in flames on the roadside a few minutes later.

    Lo Kok-keung, an engineer with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said that a fully charged lithium battery could explode in a serious crash."The crash could result in a short circuit, which, in turn, could make the battery hot and eventually explode within a matter of seconds," Lo said. "This is the major hidden danger of electric cars that doesn't exist in vehicles that consume petrol."

    On what planet do petrol cars not explode and/or catch fire?
     
  2. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Why isn't anyone calling for speed inhibitors to be fitted to the Nissan GT-R?
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Because no one wants to support speed restrictions. Look what happened to the 55 mph speed limit. Think about all the feedback you get if you say something like "speed kills".
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    WHY??? Gasoline cars do it all the time!
     
  6. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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  7. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Looks like a simple fire rather than an explosion. Guess it was rear-ended.
     
  9. raymond

    raymond Member

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    I would think BYD uses (the safer?) LiPoly batteries. Do we have any intel on that?
     
  10. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    A quote from the exec summary in the linked nfpa.org report:
    On average, 31 highway vehicle fires were reported per hour. These fires killed one person a day.

    I guess those are all from hybrids then, since petrol doesn't burn or anything like that.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I changed the thread title to be less sensationalistic and more accurate.
     
  12. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    One of the ways the sensationalistic news media distort public perception: Accidents that happen often enough do not get reported because they are too mundane, and reporting all of them would fill all the available space or time for reporting. Accidents that are unusual get reported because they draw people's attention. Thus the public becomes desensitized to the greater risk, but more aware of and more frightened of the lesser risk. This can only happen in a population incapable of, or unaccustomed to critical thinking.
     
  13. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Wish you could change the newspaper headline in the same way...
     
  14. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    to be fair, shouldn't it just be "after crash"? Does the speeding or drunk driver thing present a more balanced view of the event? Surely if their speed or intoxication level were of relevance to the fire their vehicle would likely have caught fire as well? As I understand it, no one in the GTR was even seriously hurt?

    I'm not sticking up for them, but jumping from one end of the spectrum (blaming the EV before we know anything) to the other (blaming the other car because they were drunk and speeding) isn't any better. If we were discussing who caused the accident, sure -- but I'll wager the most-talked about issue here will be why the EV caught fire.
     
  15. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Wikipedia shows:

    BYD’s "Fe" lithium iron phosphate battery, which powers the e6, represents one of the company’s core technologies. All chemical substances used in the battery can be recycled. There are four different power combinations for the e6: 101 hp (75 kW), 101+54 hp (75+40 kW), 215 hp (160 kW) and 215+54 hp (160+40 kW).[12] Most of (or at least part of) the e6 battery pack is located on the belly pan of the vehicle. The two-motor options use front and rear motors, making the car all-wheel drive.
     
  16. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #16 stopcrazypp, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
    In terms of the news story, the driver being drunk and speeding definitely is relevant and deserves a place in the title.

    In terms of the cause of the fire, probably speeding is still relevant (not sure about the drunk driving part), esp. the difference in speed between the vehicles, as it shows the severity of the crash.

    From what I can tell, the GTR rear-ended the EV-taxi. The airbags deployed on the GTR (plus it has that huge front crumple zone), so the driver/passengers (male driver, three female passengers) probably were not severely injured. The EV-taxi supposedly caught fire almost immediately. The EV-taxi then smashed into a third sedan taxi which flipped over.
     
  17. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    The photos for the BYD showed that it was rear ended and the occupants could have been trapped before the fire. The true cause of the deaths was due to the bad judgement of the GT-R driver and probably not the design of the EV.
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I was just posting reported facts without much of a value call. To not mention the crash or that another vehicle was involved, implied the EV caught fire on its own. The word "explosion" in the original title also appears to be an exaggeration.
     
  19. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Chinese made is the operative word in the Headline. While there are high quality products manufactured in China, poorly designed/engineered/manufactured products are all to common. I recall seeing the first crash testing videos of Chinese made cars; the cars literately fell apart in pieces upon impact. My point is a poorly designed/engineered/manufactured car is far more likely the cause than the fact it was an EV.
     
  20. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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