Two people died after a Nio electric car they were testing fell three floors in Shanghai, company says

Elias Holdenried Nio ET7

A person views one of Nio’s self-driving electric cars in Germany.ENOUGH

  • According to Nio’s statement, two people were killed after a Nio electric car they were testing fell three floors.

  • The company did not specify the cause of the accident in its statement.

  • Social media users in China said Nio was responsible for making sure the test drive was safe.

Two people died Wednesday afternoon after an electric car made by Tesla’s Chinese rival, Nio, fell three floors in Shanghai, according to the company’s statement on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.

According to the statement, the two people were testing in one of Nio’s cars at its Shanghai headquarters when the incident took place. One of the people was a Nio employee, the other worked for a supplier.

Photos shared on social media and published in Chinese media appear to show chaos at the accident site.

In one of the photos, rescuers appear to be surrounding a gray car lying on its side, according to a tweet from the China-based electric vehicle news outlet CnEVPost† Broken glass and debris can be seen around the vehicle.

“Based on the analysis of the situation on the ground, it can be provisionally confirmed that it was an accident and not related to the vehicle itself,” Nio wrote in the Weibo statement. Investigations are underway, it added.

The company did not specify the cause of the accident in its statement. In various media reports, the floor on which the car fell was described as a test drive, parking lot or showroom. Nio did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The car involved in Wednesday’s incident appeared to be an ET5 model equipped with self-driving technology, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Another Nio vehicle was involved in a fatal accident last year. A Chinese businessman died in August after his Nio ES8, whose self-driving system was activated, hit another vehicle on a highway in Fujian province from behind, according to SCMP.

Founded in 2014, Nio markets itself as a premium car brand focused on autonomous cars. It is often seen as a rival to Tesla. Nio is listed in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Several Weibo users have questioned Nio’s handling of Wednesday’s incident.

Zhongcao Daren Zhuge, a Weibo influencer with 5.1 million followers, said on Friday that Nio had to make sure the environment was safe for the test drive. “Why wasn’t the car tested in a designated area? Why were there no crash barriers and protective equipment? Have employees received any safety training?” he wrote in a Weibo post.

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