A high-speed collision involving a Nissan GT-R and a BYD e6 electric taxi cab in Shenzhen, China, this past weekend left three passengers dead after the taxi erupted into flames.
According to China Car Times, the GT-R’s driver was drunk and was going over 124 mph when it struck the BYD taxi; it’s thought that he may have been street racing. The occupants of the GT-R emerged with only minor injuries, but the driver and two passengers of the taxi all died in the fire. BYD was quoted by Reuters as saying that it was “sorry for the deaths” and that “the accident is under police investigation and we’re waiting for its results.”
Though the precise cause of the fire has yet to be determined, BYD’s stock tumbled 7.5 percent this morning to its lowest point since October of last year in the Hong Kong market. The stock also fell 6.9 percent on the Shenzhen market, which marked its lowest point since January. BYD’s stock had gotten a boost in recent months after America business mogul Warren Buffet invested in the Chinese automaker.
In 2010, BYD introduced 50 e6 electric taxis to the Shenzhen fleet as a trial, and added another 250 last summer after successful first tests. The e6 uses a rapid charging system that fills the lithium-ion batteries in less than half an hour, with a top speed of 88 mph and a range of about 160 miles. BYD is also looking at making inroads in the U.S. – it showed its S6 and F3 models at last year’s Detroit show, has begun discussions to sell its cars to Hertz for its fleet in New York City, andopened a service center near Los Angeles for the test fleet of cars currently being used by the City of Los Angeles Housing Authority.