Video shows electric BMW 3 Series catching fire during a test drive in China
Despite the incredible amount of energy that is stored in their high-density batteries, the potential fire hazard in accidents that involve electric cars is not a major concern for most EV drivers these days. However, even though modern electric cars are equipped with some sophisticated safety mechanisms, a recent video featuring a BMW i3 illustrates that small fires can still occur in some isolated cases.
The rear of the electric BMW 3 Series, which is currently only available in China, caught fire when a customer and an employee of a BMW dealership went on a test drive near the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. The location and comparatively small extent of the fire suggests that a defective electric motor in the BMW i3 may have been the cause of the fire. The 11-minute YouTube video also shows that the flames only spread very slowly, and that the occupants of the electric BMW 3 Series had plenty of time to get away from the developing smoke.
The first units of the new BMW i3 were delivered this June, and it is estimated that around 1,600 customers have since taken ownership of the new electric car. With its 70 kWh battery and a peak performance of 282 horsepower, the electric BMW 3 Series has not much in common with the discontinued subcompact EV hatchback that was also named “BMW i3”. Presumably, the German automaker will thoroughly investigate this scary fire incident in order to further improve the reliability of the electric BMW 3 Series, which is expected to snatch some market share from the popular Tesla Model 3.