Nio recalls nearly 5,000 electric SUVs after "battery safety incidents" | The Driven
Nio ES8
The Nio ES8. Source: Nio

Chinese EV market darling Nio has issued a recall for 4,803 of its electric ES8 SUV, after what the company described as a number of “battery safety incidents” occurred in Shanghai and other locations around the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday – and which expressly does not mention the word “fire” – the company explains that detailed analysis and testing found a battery fault that in “extreme cases” risked causing a short circuit, “creating a safety issue.”

“Effective immediately, models produced from April 02, 2018 to October 19, 2018 equipped with NEV-P50 will start to be recalled, altogether affecting 4,803 vehicles,” the statement says.

“NIO will be replacing battery packs equipped with the NEV-P50 modules with battery packs equipped with the NEV-P102 modules in order to mitigate the… safety issue.

“At the same time, all NEV-P50 batteries in the battery swap network will be replaced to ensure safety. The battery replacement is targeted to be completed within the following two months.”

The troubles – which are being reportedly variously as “battery fires” and “spontaneous combustion” – are a bump in the road for the start-up, just recently named as one of China’s most innovative companies by American monthly business magazine Fast Company.

According to the magazine, Nio “has brought the same kind of excitement to the market as Tesla has in the United States, but amid a much more crowded market of electric-vehicle startups”.

The recall also comes just one week after the car maker started delivering the first of its ES6 Premier Editions – the newest version of its electric SUV.

According to the site, the ES6 is “is a sophisticated mobile living space,” with an ultra long range of 510km, and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of only 4.7 seconds.

As Nio points out in its recall statement, buyers of this model – or any vehicles produced after October 20 last year, need not worry about any spontaneous combustion.

“70kWh battery packs in vehicles produced after October 20, 2018 are equipped with the NEV-P102 modules and have different internal structural designs,” the statement says. “These packs do not present the aforementioned risks.

“NIO would like to sincerely apologise to our users and the public for the trouble caused by the battery safety incidents,” it continues.

“As a user enterprise, NIO takes quality concerns seriously and will always act with honesty and transparency. The company also wants to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have followed and cared for NIO during these incidents.”

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.