China's industry regulator ordered automakers to inspect the safety of locally made environmentally friendly vehicles, saying the tests were necessary after some battery-powered buses had caught fire.
China’s industry regulator ordered automakers to inspect the safety of locally made environmentally friendly vehicles, saying the tests were necessary after some battery-powered buses had caught fire.
In a posting on its website Thursday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said automakers had until Oct. 20 to report their findings.
Most Chinese and global automakers in the mainland are developing green cars to meet the country’s fuel economy standards that grow increasingly stricter to 2020. They include BYD Co Ltd , backed by billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, which makes the country’s best-selling “new energy” vehicle the BYD Qin.
The buses that caught fire had safety flaws in their product design and hidden dangers in their ever day use, the ministry said. It gave no details about the incidents, but in April, BYD said an electric bus had caught fire in Shenzhen and that the automaker had not manufactured that vehicle.
Safety concerns add to the hurdles facing electric car sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, which also include “range anxiety” due to lack of charging infrastructure.
In a separate statement on Wednesday, the ministry said the number of so-called new energy vehicles – a catch-all for electric, hybrid and fuel-cell driven cars – made in China had more than doubled this year, but remain a fraction of overall vehicle production.