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A Nio staff member and an employee of a partner company were killed in the accident, the Chinese electric carmaker said in a statement on Thursday.
Both were inside the test vehicle, which crashed Wednesday afternoon at the Shanghai Innovation Park, Nio (NIO) said in a Weibo post. From the company the head office is inside the industrial park.

He added that “according to the analysis of the situation on the spot, we can confirm on a preliminary basis that it is an accident (not due to vehicle-related reasons)”.

Nio also said he was cooperating with a police investigation into the cause of the accident.

The company did not respond to a request for additional comment from CNN Business.

Nio’s statement on the crash has attracted at least 78 million views on Weibo and over 1,700 chat messages. Videos circulating online show rescuers in orange jumpsuits trying to save passengers in the car, which appears to be badly damaged.

Founded by Chinese entrepreneur William Li in 2014, Nio has become one of the fastest growing electric car startups in China and one of many local rivals to Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Last year, it delivered 91,429 vehicles, up 109% from 2020, according to the company. For the first five months of this year, it delivered 37,866 units, up 12% from the same period a year ago.

Tesla was the top seller of pure electric vehicles in China until April, when the Covid shutdowns in Shanghai affected its sales and supply chains. China BYD (BYDDF)backed by Warren Buffett, overtook Tesla that month.

Nio listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018.


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