Two killed as electric car falls from third floor of Shanghai building

Two people involved in testing for electric car maker NIO died when one of its vehicles fell three storeys from a Shanghai building, the company has said.

One member of staff and a person from a partner company were both killed in the crash, which took place on Wednesday at around 5.20pm local time.

The company said the pair, who were described as “digital cabin testers”, were inside the vehicle as it fell from a parking garage in the firm’s Innovation Port building.

Photos in Chinese media showed the vehicle lying on its side with its roof caved in, surrounded by broken glass and emergency workers.

NIO added there will be investigation into the incident with government officials, although it appeared to be an accident and “not caused by the vehicle”.

The company said in a statement: “Our company has collaborated with public security department to launch the investigation and analysis of the cause of the accident.

“Based on the analysis of the situation at the scene, we can initially confirm that this was an accident (not caused by the vehicle).

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“We feel very sad about this accident and would like to express our deepest condolences to our colleague and partner employee who lost their lives. A team has been set up to help the families.”

NIO is one of China’s biggest home-grown companies with the aim of taking over the electric vehicle industry.

It focuses on using interchangeable batteries in its cars to help lower the amount of charging time.

The company has often been dubbed China’s “Tesla killer”, in a reference to Elon Musk‘s rival US-based electric carmaker.

Tesla also has a huge manufacturing plant in Shanghai.