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Asia

China Orders Electric Car Checks After Fires

China has ordered electric car makers to carry out inspections after recent fires on Tesla and NIO vehicles raised questions about their safety, Bloomberg reported. EV makers were ordered by China’s industry and technology ministry to check battery boxes, waterproofing, high-voltage wiring harnesses and onboard chargers. Car makers are expected to submit reports by the end of October about the safety of their fleets.

The order follows a string of reports of unexplained fires on electric vehicles in China, the world’s biggest market for the technology. In the last two months, three NIO vehicles have experienced fires, and Tesla has said it is investigating reports that one of its cars burst into flames in Shanghai in April. There was also a report weeks later of a Tesla Model S catching fire. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Audi said it was recalling its first all-electric fire over battery fire concerns.

The spate of incidents comes as electric cars with longer ranges—and more powerful batteries—are becoming more common. While gasoline powered cars are just as prone to fire as EVs, according to U.S. data, it’s clear there are still questions for the industry to address about battery design and performance.

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