Luxury Porsche EV worth ฿10 million spontaneously ignites and is destroyed in central Bangkok. Firefighters controlled the blaze which erupted after it overheated. The incident sparked debate about EV fire risks, though Thailand has had few such cases compared to China’s 21,000 in 2023. At this time, 40% of car sales there are EV types.

On Friday, a ฿10 million luxury EV spontaneously went up in flames at a top car dealership in the Bangkapi area of central Bangkok. The car was an expensive Porsche Taycan model. In short, no one was hurt in the incident, which firefighters brought under control within 15 minutes. However, the incident has sparked a debate about the propensity of EV cars to self-ignite. Significantly, Thailand has had relatively few EV car fires since the vehicles became more popular in the kingdom in 2023. At the same time, the same cannot be said for China, where there were no less than 21,000 EV vehicle fire incidents recorded last year.

Staff at a luxury car dealership tried to control the self-ignited fire within a ฿10 million Porsche Taycan in central Bangkok on Friday. The ฿10 million EV car was completely destroyed in the incident while awaiting repairs.

Emergency services in Bangkok responded to a sudden fire on Friday outside a luxury car showroom. The incident occurred sometime after 1 pm and was reported by the 199 Radio Centre.

The high-spec luxury Porsche Taycan car appeared to have ignited just outside the dealership. The fire quickly and spectacularly engulfed the car. 

Car fire was quickly brought under control by a firefighting unit from Bangkok Hua Mak Fire and Rescue Station dispatched by the emergency radio centre

However, firefighters were able to bring it quickly under control. They were concerned that the later conflagration was at risk of spreading to other buildings.

Afterwards, it was revealed that the car had previously cost its owner ฿10 million.

The car dealership was located in the central Bangkapi district of Bangkok. A fire truck arrived quickly on the scene from the Bangkok Hua Mak Fire and Rescue Station along with rescuers. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

In short, it took approximately 15 minutes to control the fire. At length, the car was left completely gutted by the inferno.

The vehicle was a Porsche Taycan and was awaiting repairs at the main dealership.

Fire investigators suggest that the fire was caused by an explosion in the car’s battery but the car dealership is also enquiring into the matter itself

Afterwards, fire investigators revealed that an explosion occurred in the vehicle’s battery.

However, staff at the car dealership insisted that, in turn, they would conduct their own probe into the cause of the fire.

Undoubtedly, electric vehicles can overheat. 

In short, this is caused by the battery discharge itself. Certainly, such incidents can happen in various weather conditions. Basically, the problem occurs when the electric battery discharge becomes too much for the car’s other components.

An analysis of EV car fire incidents by EV FireSafe published in April 2024 is informative.

Significantly, it showed that 22.5% of EV fires were caused by collisions or impact with road debris. After that, the key problem was defects in the manufacturing process. This accounted for 9.7% of fires.

Interestingly, 5.6% of fires were caused when the cars were previously submerged in water. 

Finally, 6.9% of fire incidents were linked to arson or criminal damage.

Luxury EV car model with a price ranging from ฿6.5 million to  ฿14.5 million. Supercar GT Turbo version of the Porsche can go from 0-100 km in 2.2 seconds

The Porsche Taycan is a luxury car model that ranges in price from ฿6.4 million to the ฿14.5 million Porsche Taycan GT Turbo in Thailand.

The car is known worldwide for its exciting performance. It is a rear-wheel drive vehicle. The GT Turbo model can go from 0-100 km an hour in 2.2 seconds while more basic models record 4.8 seconds.

Certainly, there is a market in Thailand for the luxury vehicle with 106 units being sold from January to April 2024.

The Porsche Taycan has suffered relatively less from the slump in EV car sales seen since the end of January, with sales falling nearly 74% in February and failing to recover.

Sales of the vehicle ranged from 33 units in January 2024 to 28 in April 2024.

Thailand has not recorded a significantly high number of EV car fire incidents since sales took off in the kingdom in 2023. This is in contrast to China

The EV fire on Friday comes with a noticeable absence of reported EV car fires in Thailand since sales of the vehicles took off in 2023.

In contrast, China last year reported 21,000 fires, growing from 14,000 incidents in 2021.

The communist country sold 8.1 million EV vehicles last year in its home market. At the same time, in 2024 so far, EV cars make up 40% of vehicles sold to Chinese drivers.

In September 2023, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt ordered a review of buildings in Bangkok used to store EV cars and associated batteries. In brief, this followed a fire at a building in the Chatuchak area of the city.

Certainly, fire services at a night-time scene took an extended period to extinguish that fire, which raised concerns that it may have spread.

฿1 million car gutted in Udon Thani in September 2023 but EV car fires are so far rare. Meanwhile, a series of ICE vehicle fires were reported this summer

That includes concerns raised just under a week earlier with a well-reported EV car fire in Udon Thani. In brief,  a Chinese-made electric car valued at ฿1 million suffered significant damage while charging. 

The problem was a faulty wire during the charging process

In that particular incident, there was no conflagration. At length, the front section of the vehicle was destroyed in a smouldering process.

Concerns raised about EV vehicles and batteries stored in Bangkok after intense Chatuchak fire
Drivers in Thailand are turning their backs on the EV hype. Sales in April were down further at 18.4% from March
Sales of EV cars fell in Thailand in February and March 2024 challenging the kingdom’s vision as a green hub

In the meantime, throughout Thailand’s hot summer period this year in April and May, there have been continuous incidents of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car and motorbike fires.

At the same time, sales of EV cars have floundered since they fell in February 2024. Following a 74% fall that month, EV car sales failed to recover in March and April.

Disturbing questions that must be confronted over Thailand’s reeling economy are China and EV cars

Significantly, this comes as the Thai government has spent billions on a plan to establish the kingdom as a future EV vehicle production hub in Southeast Asia.

In the meantime, there are conflicting signals about the future viability of EV vehicles due to a market downturn in key Western markets and at this time, also in Thailand.

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Further reading:

Drivers in Thailand are turning their backs on the EV hype. Sales in April were down further at 18.4% from March

Sales of EV cars fell in Thailand in February and March 2024 challenging the kingdom’s vision as a green hub

Jury still out on EV vehicles but with its back against the wall, Thailand is all in for the ride at high torque

Prime Minister Srettha in Japan talking up EV investments in Thailand’s vital automotive industry

Land Bridge to PM Srettha’s economic policy dreams on the agenda with a 2029 launch date

Thailand planning an infrastructural overhaul aimed at improving regional transport links to boost the economy

Transport ministry looks at launching Thailand’s own shipping line to support economic growth

RCEP deal agreed as India opts out – busy Bangkok ASEAN summit concludes on a low-key