Picture this – a shiny, newly purchased electric car with an eye-watering price tag of over a million baht, idly plugged-in at a charging station in a bustling shopping mall in Udon Thani, a vibrant city in northeast Thailand. All is well until smoke begins to envelope the car out of nowhere. A scenario straight out of a blockbuster movie? Unfortunately, that was a reality for a 41-year-old man known as Vin (a pseudonym).
Vin’s sparkling grey BYD electric car was just a week-old when, on this fateful day, a baffling incident occurred. It was 2 pm, and the vehicle, marked conspicuously by a red registration plate, was in the process of charging. But, much to Vin’s horror, the car, at a 50% charge, suddenly began to emit clouds of smoke from under the hood, causing quite a stir on the scene.
Firefighters and rescue workers from the Udon Thani Municipality and Udon Sawang Methatham Foundation immediately sprung into action. The severity of the electric car fire was effectively tackled as they successfully doused the flames with foam, disengaged the car’s battery, and sprayed water onto it for good measure.
Explaining his experience to the press, Vin threw light on the chronology of events. Having driven the car to the mall for a family shopping spree, he situated his car at the charging point due to the battery’s low 10%. While the rest of the family enjoyed their shop, Vin stayed back in the car. It wasn’t until the charge reached 50% that Vin noticed plumes of smoke billowing from the hood. Acting quickly, Vin alerted the mall security who swiftly brought a fire extinguisher. A call to the fire department followed immediately after.
Shaken but safe, Vin expressed his disbelief at the unfolding incident with the electric car he had bought merely a week prior, for over a million baht. The car had been used routinely, charging both at home and various charging points without a hitch. Never in his wildest dreams did he foresee such an event, Vin confessed to KhaoSod.
While the local police speculate an electrical short circuit may have sparked the electric car fire, a more thorough evaluation remains pending. They plan to question Vin and inspect the vehicle at the dealer centre to augment understanding around the troubling and unanticipated incident.
In response to the alarming incident, BYD assured that Chinese engineers have been sent to investigate the circumstances leading up to the fire. As part of their investigation, they intend to meticulously examine the details of the charging process. Stay tuned for more coverage of this shocking event on The Thaiger’s new Facebook page HERE.