A Li ONE, the only car made by Chinese EV maker NIO’s local rival Li Auto, caught fire on the Guangdong Expressway at around 16:09 on August 6, 2012, causing concern about the safety of driving an EV.
Responding to this, Li Auto said in an early morning Weibo post that the cause of the fire was an object that flew off from under the car and pierced the high-pressure fuel line.
Li Auto said the cause of the accident and detailed analysis of the results will be conducted at the scene of the accident.
The video and data show that at 16:08:54 on August 6, an object with a length of about 20 centimeters, suspected to be a piece of iron, appeared in front of the vehicle and then entered the bottom of the vehicle, which was traveling at 115 kilometers per hour.
The fuel line pressure then dropped abnormally, the driver pulled over and the vehicle caught fire.
According to Li Auto, the data shows that the battery and range extender has not shown any abnormalities since the accident.
Li Auto's stock was up more than 10 percent on Wednesday and down 1.3 percent in after-hours trading.
Here is the full translated text of Li Auto's statement:
Description of the incident
At approximately 16:09 on 6 August 2020, an accident occurred on the Erguang Expressway in Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, in the direction of Sihui and Lianzhou, resulting in a fire in a Li ONE.
Li Auto staff arrived at the scene immediately to confirm the condition of the user. Two passengers are currently in hospital for observation, while the rest of the occupants are safe.
According to video and data from the time of the accident, at 16:08:54 an object approximately 20cm in length, which appears to be a piece of iron, is seen in front of the vehicle. It then entered the underside of the vehicle, which was travelling at 115 km/h.
At 16:08:59, the fuel line pressure dropped abnormally. At 16:09:06, the driver pulled over and the vehicle caught fire.
According to the cloud-based monitoring data, there was no abnormality in the battery or range extender after the accident.
The cause of the accident was tentatively determined to be an object suspected of being an iron sheet that was rolled up by a high-speed vehicle and punctured the high-pressure fuel line, causing fuel to sputter and be ignited by the high temperature of the exhaust pipe.
The specific cause of the accident and detailed analysis of the results will be subject to the detailed investigation and analysis of the accident site.