The Chinese government has ordered an investigation into the safety of new energy vehicles after a clutch of widely reported fires and around 130,000 recalled EVs in 2018.
- shares

While explosions and fires from Tesla and Nio vehicles have made headlines, China has had a reported 40 fire-related electric car incidents last year.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has ordered manufacturers to inspect batteries, chargers, high voltage harnesses, and the mechanical parts of all electric vehicles currently in stock.

In its edict, it has also ordered automakers to perform similar checks on cars, buses, vans and trucks already in use which are due for a service, have been involved in an accident, sat in standing water, or have had a serious malfunction alert.

According to the government, car makers should monitor for these events 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and "promptly" inform owners when they need to return their vehicles for inspection.

Manufacturers also need to report these triggering events to the relevant local and national authorities within one day.

All new energy vehicles sold in China are fitted with telemetry equipment which reports location and other details to monitoring centres. Some of this data is sent to the government for planning, road tax and other purposes.

Automakers need to complete their investigations and submit their findings by October 2019.