Many accidents involving flames! Anxiety Grows over “Chinese Electric Vehicles” Arriving in Japan | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Many accidents involving flames! Anxiety Grows over “Chinese Electric Vehicles” Arriving in Japan

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On January 29, a wagon of the upstart EV maker Ideal Motors caught fire in Jinan, Shandong Province (from Chinese SNS “Weibo”).

BYD, a major Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer that began sales in Japan on January 31 of this year, has suddenly become the subject of much commotion. It was discovered that a solvent containing hexavalent chromium was used in an EV bus that has been delivered to Japan. A source in the automobile industry said, “Solvents containing hexavalent chromium are used in bolts, nuts, and other parts.

Hexavalent chromium, which is used in bolts and nuts, has the property of preventing corrosion of metal surfaces, but is toxic to the human body. Its use is banned in Europe. In Japan, there are no legal restrictions, but the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is calling for voluntary controls.

BYD’s safety concerns are not limited to this. There have been a number of accidents in China where batteries have spontaneously combusted, causing fires. According to a September 6, 2022 report by Taiwanese media outlet T Hakubang, as many as 13 fires have occurred in the past four months. In particular, in June last year, battery fires occurred one after another in Wuhan City, Hubei Province; Foshan City, Guangdong Province; and Guigang City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on June 6; and a parked EV caught fire in Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province on June 12.

BYD is a battery manufacturer, and is particularly focused on battery development. 2020 will see the release of the next-generation “blade battery,” which will be used in EVs. According to the media mentioned above, the company confidently launched the product on the market, saying that it would “erase spontaneous ignition from the EV lexicon,” but unfortunately, accidents have not disappeared, as cars equipped with the battery have also caught fire.

Unfortunately, BYD is not the only automaker to have had an ignition accident: on January 29, a van produced by a new EV manufacturer, Ideal Motor, caught fire in Jinan, Shandong Province, and on February 4, a small EV produced by a major Chinese automaker, Chery Automobile, caught fire while being recharged. The same vehicle model also had two accidents last year in which it caught fire while being recharged.

According to China’s Ministry of Emergency Management, the ministry responsible for disaster management and emergency relief in China, there were 640 EV fires in the first quarter of 2022, a 32% increase over the same period the previous year, averaging seven accidents per day.

Since BYD is the largest manufacturer in China, accidents are inevitably more prominent than for other manufacturers, but are there any problems with the models sold in Japan? When we contacted BYD’s Japanese subsidiary, BYD Japan, we received the following response.

The Japanese subsidiary, BYD Japan, responded as follows: “The cause of the accident in China is being investigated by an external third-party organization, but at this time BYD Japan cannot respond to individual incidents. If such an incident should occur in Japan, we will promptly confirm the facts and investigate the cause, and take action to gain the trust of our customers.

We hope that a similar accident will not occur in Japan.

  • Reporting and writing roadsiders Roubiansha

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