Electric vans from one of China’s biggest EV makers are catching fire
March 19, 2019 Echo Huang
Improving technology means that electric vehicles (EV) are able to go for
ever-longer ranges, but it’s also challenging the safety limits of
batteries, as one leading Chinese EV maker is finding out.
So far in 2019, there have been least three incidents of electric minivans
of the same model catching fire while charging, with the latest incident
happening last week in Shenzhen, news outlet National Business Daily (link
in Chinese) reported yesterday (March 18). The vehicles in question are the
Beiqi Weiwang 407EV, manufactured by BJEV [
] (paywall), an EV maker linked to state-owned manufacturer BAIC, a staffer
at the Shenzhen Electric Vehicle Application and Promotion Center confirmed
Founded in 2009, BJEV is one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of
battery electric vehicles. Last year, it topped sales of battery passenger
cars in China, selling about 150,000 units (link in Chinese).
BJEV didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.
The incidents come at a time as China’s rapid advance into electric cars is
now placing a greater focus on increasing battery performance, with the
government using the energy density of batteries as a key factor in
determining the subsidies given to carmakers. But the measure has also drawn
criticism (link in Chinese). In theory, high energy density means (paywall)
that batteries can last longer, are cheaper, and are also lighter in weight.
That, however, poses more serious challenges to battery safety because
energy-rich metals like lithium tend to be reactive. That’s part of the
reason why China has a surveillance network working 24/7 to monitor EVs and
prevent batteries from catching fire, though it’s unclear if the 407EVs made
by BJEV are part of the network.
Starting at a price of around 100,000 yuan ($15,000) each, the EV407 minivan
has a range of 220 kilometers (136 miles). The van is designed for use in
urban logistics services, according to the company (link in Chinese). Since
the incidents, three companies including Lalamove, a Hong Kong-based
logistics firm which has operations in China, have stopped using the model,
a news outlet focusing on the battery industry reported (link in Chinese).
(Beiqi Weiwang 407EV charging spontaneous combustion accident frequently
2019-03-18 Ouyang Kai, Wei Guanhong(Wei Weihong)
On the afternoon of March 17, the Shenzhen New Energy Vehicle Application
and Promotion Center issued an urgent notice. Since Shenzhen City has had
many safety accidents caused by the self-ignition of Beiqi Weiwang 407EV new
energy pure electric trucks this year, the promotion center suggested that
the relevant accidents Before it has been ascertained, all relevant
enterprises and individuals should immediately stop using Beiqi Weiwang
407EV new energy pure electric truck. Subsequently, Shenzhen Electric King
Fast Charge Technology Company, cargo Lala, Zhaowei New Energy and other
enterprises responded, and issued corresponding notice to stop using the
Shortly after the “3·15”, the quality and safety of new energy vehicles
became the focus again. On the afternoon of March 17, the Shenzhen New
Energy Vehicle Application and Promotion Center (hereinafter referred to as
the Promotion Center) issued an urgent notice. Due to the safety accidents
in Shenzhen City this year, many of the Beiqi Weiwang 407EV new energy pure
electric trucks were charged and spontaneously ignited. According to the
requirements of the higher authorities, the promotion center recommends that
enterprises and individuals engaged in the operation of vehicles and
charging piles in Shenzhen should stop using the Beiqi Weiwang 407EV new
energy pure electric truck immediately before the cause of the relevant
accident has been ascertained. .
Subsequently, Shenzhen Electric King Fast Charge Technology Company, cargo
Lala, Zhaowei New Energy and other enterprises responded, and issued
corresponding notice to stop using the model. On March 18, the relevant
person in charge of the promotion center told the reporter that the relevant
enterprises have been urged to take effective measures for disposal. It is
hoped that the vehicle enterprises can carry out comprehensive inspections
of vehicles and minimize the occurrence of spontaneous combustion accidents,
but the notice is not mandatory, only A suggestion calls for companies to
pay attention to car safety issues.
Involved in Shenzhen 1519 vehicles
According to the investigation, the number of Beiqi Weiwang 407EV vehicles
currently registered in Shenzhen is 1,519, of which 1,417 are purchased by
enterprises and 102 are purchased by individuals. The notice shows that all
charging facility operators should immediately stop charging services for
BAIC Weiwang 407EV new energy pure electric trucks. If the vehicle
spontaneously ignites, drivers and other relevant personnel should stay away
as soon as possible and report to the fire department in time.
The notice further requires that the safety of pure electric trucks should
be increased. For vehicles that have already occurred, vehicle operators and
vehicle manufacturers should try to investigate the cause of accidents,
comprehensively investigate possible safety risks, and actively take
measures to solve them. .
The promotion center pointed out that the safety of the promotion and
application of new energy vehicles involves not only the safety of the
public life and property, but also the strategic development prospects of
emerging industries. It once again calls on relevant enterprises to do a
good job in the safety self-inspection of new energy pure electric trucks in
a timely manner. Promote the healthy development of the new energy
However, it seems that the outside world is not unexpected. As early as
March 14, in Baidu "Beiqi Bar", there were netizens who broke the news that
because Beiqi Weiwang 407EV battery smoked and ignited spontaneously, many
charging stations in Shenzhen could not be charged.
The relevant person in charge of the promotion center told the reporter that
no specific accident has been counted yet. However, according to the notice
issued by Zhaowei New Energy, on March 6th, March 12th and March 16th, there
were 3 charging and spontaneous combustion events in the charging stations
Self-ignition battery thermal runaway
"Daily Economic News" reporter learned that Beiqi Weiwang is a
micro-customer brand under the BAIC Group. The 407EV was launched in
November last year and sold for about 109,800 yuan. It claims to "satisfy
the urban road surface." The logistics and transportation mission, 220km of
battery life is enough to meet the daily use needs of most cities in the
country, and because of the use of pure electric drive, so the
transportation costs can be saved."
In response to the accident of this model, the reporter dialed the
after-sales service hotline of the model. The customer service staff told
the reporter that they have not received any notice about the disposal of
this car. At present, this car is only sold for large customers, generally
buying vehicles. For more than ten customers, if you want to buy in bulk,
you can arrange for a major account manager to contact. However, as of press
time, the reporter has not been able to contact the relevant personnel of
New energy vehicle safety has always been the focus of attention.
Previously, the research report of China's electric vehicle market published
by the research institute EVTank did not completely count and sort out the
safety accidents of electric vehicles in China. According to the report, in
2017 and 2018, there were 14 accidents and 34 accidents in China's electric
vehicles, involving 103 vehicles and 51 vehicles respectively.
In the research report, EVTank found out that the main cause of safety
accidents in electric vehicles is related to power batteries by combing
public data, and most of the vehicles spontaneously ignited during charging.
EVTank pointed out that the main reason for the frequent occurrence of
domestic electric vehicle safety accidents is that due to policy subsidies,
a large number of car companies and battery companies lack sufficient
verification for the safety of electric vehicles and power batteries in
order to increase the amount.
For the self-ignition accident of new energy vehicles, which was not
uncommon, in January this year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences academician
Ouyang Minggao said at the China Electric Vehicles 100-person meeting that
the battery thermal runaway caused spontaneous combustion. "The current
electric vehicles are pursuing high energy density and high battery life.
The reduction of the thickness of the diaphragm has caused certain safety
hazards to the safety of the battery, and it is easy to cause thermal
runaway. In addition, the rapid adjustment of the state subsidy policy is
inconsistent with the development cycle of the power battery system,
resulting in the product not being fully verified. Create a safety hazard."
The Beiqi Weiwang 407EV charging spontaneous combustion accident was also
classified as a battery thermal runaway accident in the notice of the
promotion center. Prior to this, the former National 863 electric vehicle
major special power battery test center director Wang Zidong said in an
interview that the power battery pack is a very complex energy system, a
battery safety and cycle life, in addition to the quality of the battery
itself, The important thing is safety control.
+ (C$20k 2seat Solo EV.cn production facility elbows-in)
Canadian EV Maker Opens China Plant
Mar 11, 2019 Vancouver-based Electra Meccanica has begun building the Solo,
a single-passenger EV retailing for C$19,888 ($15,500), at its Zongshen Solo
EV production facility in Chongquing.cn A Canadian entry elbows into
China's crowded electric-vehicle market ...
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