China is requiring EV companies to re-evaluate their designs for safety, report says

Several high-profile EV fires, including a recent one involving a NIO model prompted the Chinese government to act.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Recent EV fires have spurred the Chinese government into mandating that makers of battery-electric vehicles re-examine and validate their designs for safety, according to a report published Monday by Bloomberg.

Specifically, China is requiring electric car manufacturers to check their designs for battery pack enclosures, the waterproofing of those enclosures, high-voltage wiring and charge controllers. The companies are being required to complete their self-evaluations by October of 2019.

This move by China comes after a pair of Tesla fires occurred this year — one in Shanghai and another in Hong Kong — made global news, thanks to video clips shared via social media. The latest incident (and perhaps the last straw) was a fire involving a vehicle made by Chinese company NIO.

China’s mandate isn’t limited to new production vehicles either. It wants manufacturers to pay special attention to severe-duty models like those used as taxis or delivery vehicles.

It’s unclear what this whole procedure will cost vehicle manufacturers, but with China serving not only as the world’s biggest market for cars but also the world’s largest market for electric and hybrid vehicles, it’s doubtful that there will be much pushback.

Neither NIO nor Tesla responded immediately to requests for comment.

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