Tesla car catches fire in HK carpark

HONG KONG • A Tesla electric vehicle (EV) caught fire in a Hong Kong carpark, the Hong Kong Economic Times said, less than a month after a similar case was reported in Shanghai.

The Tesla Model S had been parked in San Po Kong Plaza for about half an hour on Sunday before the battery started to smoke and flames appeared, according to the report.

There were sounds of explosions and firefighters took about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze, the newspaper said, adding that it was the first fire of its kind in the city.

Tesla did not have an immediate comment on the matter, a Beijing-based spokesman for the firm said.

Last month, videos on social media showed a car with a Tesla logo in Shanghai emitting smoke before bursting into flames, while rival company NIO said one of its ES8 electric vehicles caught fire in the north-western Chinese city of Xi'an during repairs.

Tesla and NIO said they were looking into the reports.

The incidents have fuelled concern over the safety of electric vehicles in China.

Last year, China recorded at least 40 fire-related incidents involving new-energy vehicles, a fleet that includes pure battery electric, hybrid plug-in and fuel-cell vehicles, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2019, with the headline 'Tesla car catches fire in HK carpark'. Print Edition | Subscribe