According to industry sources, a JAC iEV5 burned in Beijing late last month. It is said that the burning of the electric SUV manufactured by the Chinese automaker was because of spontaneous combustion attributable to a high temperature.
This model was released in April last year at a price of as low as 98,000 yuan. JAC sold 10,420 electric vehicles last year based on the popularity of the iEV5 and the sales volume reached 4,410 cars in the first quarter of this year, up 778.5% from a year ago.
These days, similar EV-related fire accidents are following one after another in China. For example, subsidy payment for nickel-cobalt-manganese batteries was stopped last year in the wake of three electric bus-related fire accidents in China and Hong Kong. In 2012, a BYD EV burned down in an accident that caused three deaths.
Under the circumstances, Chinese automakers are paying more and more attention to electric vehicle batteries manufactured by South Korean suppliers such as Samsung SDI and LG Chem, which have recorded no fire accident at all so far. Samsung SDI has signed battery supply contracts with the 10 Chinese carmakers including Yutong and Foton, which are the largest bus manufacturer in the world and the largest truck manufacturer in China, respectively. JAC’s next flagship model iEV6S is to use Samsung SDI batteries as well. LG Chem, in the meantime, is supplying its products to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, Great Wall Motors, First Auto Works, Chery Automobile, etc. SK Innovation recently established a joint venture with Beijing Electronics for development and production of electric vehicle batteries.