The recent finding of a two-month investigation has freed BYD and its BEV e6 taxi from all responsibilities in the May 26 fatal crash that killed the driver and two passengers.
The finding concludes that the deaths were caused by lethal mechanical injuries that surpassed human endurance, that the deformation of a quarter of the battery cells due to high-speed collision gave rise to short circuit and ignited the interior materials but there was no sign of explosion, and that the e6 BEV passed national safety tests and there are no defects in vehicle safety design.
Despite the findings by a group of national experts independent of all parties involved in the accident, there has been questioning from both the media and the public about the safety of the e6. Obviously and understandably most of the questioning is underlined by the rooted and subconscious distrust in the safety of pure electric vehicles and power batteries. Any new technology or new industrial products would trigger concerns over their performance, stability and safety when they are first launched into the market.
It is also understandable that at the initial development stage of new technologies or products there is plenty of room for improvement in both performance and safety.
Plug-ins and BEVs are one of the auto industry’s new and revolutionary alternative solutions to IC engines and undoubtedly require continued improvement in many areas.
But in the case of BYD and its e6, some of the questioning is obviously prejudiced.
BYD as a pioneer and global leader in batteries and electrified mobility has been subject to constant questioning and even accusations from vested interests in favor of traditional IC engine vehicles or state-owned automakers in China many of whom are direct competitors.
Fortunately the independent finding about the e6 fatal accident has exonerated BYD and its BEV. The e6 and the K9 electric bus are now receiving increased orders in China. The K9 has also been exported to several European countries.
The challenge for BYD is to continue with its innovative technologies and to further improve the quality and reliability of its battery and vehicle products.