What happened: Electric vehicle maker Nio said an incident last month in which one of its ES8 SUVs self-ignited at a service center in central China was a result of severe chassis impacts that led to the car’s battery short-circuiting. The company said that it had not checked the chassis as it was not requested by its owner, who asked to have the front bumper and windshield repaired.
Why it’s important: The ES8 fire came a day after a Tesla Model S self-combusted in a parking garage in Shanghai and a few days prior to a BYD igniting in the central Chinese province of Hubei. No one was injured in any of the incidents, according to the automakers. However, the fires have garnered a lot of attention and called into question the safety of the vehicles. EV makers like Tesla have claimed that electric cars are 10 times less likely to catch fire than their gas-powered counterparts. According to China’s top market regulator, around 40 new energy vehicles, which include hybrids and electrics, caught fire in China in 2018.