Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio has launched an investigation after one of its vehicles caught fire on Monday at a service center in central China.

The company said in a statement on microblogging platform Weibo that one of its ES8 SUVs had been undergoing maintenance at a service center in Xi’an when the incident occurred. There were no casualties and no other property damage, the company said.

Posts on Weibo relating to the incident had been read more than 850,000 times as of Monday afternoon. Videos show an ES8 billowing white smoke while Nio staff fight the flames with handheld extinguishers. In another video of the same incident, firefighters can be seen battling the blaze.

The fire comes amid heightened challenges to Nio’s business, including being forced to abandon plans for its own manufacturing plant in Shanghai. The company has seen its stock price fall by as much as 50% since it released its fourth-quarter and year-end results in early March.

The incident is the second in the same number of days in which an EV has caught fire in China. On Sunday, a Tesla Model S reportedly spontaneously combusted and exploded in a parking garage in Shanghai, damaging surrounding vehicles. The US EV maker also said it was looking into the incident.

Last year, a test vehicle for rival EV maker WM Motors combusted at a research institute in Chengdu, a city in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. The incident occurred while the vehicle was being dismantled, the company said at the time. In 2018, more than 40 new energy vehicles, which include electric and hybrids, caught fire in China, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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