Tesla car suddenly catches fire in Hong Kong carpark, after similar case in Shanghai

A Tesla showroom at a shopping mall in Los Angeles on April 25, 2019.
A Tesla showroom at a shopping mall in Los Angeles on April 25, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - A Tesla Inc electric vehicle (EV) suddenly caught fire while 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 been parked in San Po Kong Plaza for about half an hour on Sunday (May 12) 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 Economic Times reported.

It was the first fire of its kind in the city, the report said.

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

Last month, videos on social media showed a car bearing a Tesla logo in Shanghai emitting smoke before bursting into flames, while rival NIO Inc said one of its ES8 electric vehicles caught fire in the north-west Chinese city of Xi'an while being repaired. Tesla and NIO said they were looking into the reports.

The incidents have fuelled concern over the safety of EVs in China. In 2018, 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.