The shipowner is concerned that in the event of a fire in an electric vehicle on board, the crew will not be able to handle the firefighting operation without outside support.
A ban on the transfer of electric and hybrid vehicles was imposed after a risk analysis conducted by an outside company
The ferry, which electric cars are not allowed to drive, has giant batteries on board that allow it to sail in electric mode for several hours.
Nobody expects this! The first airline to announce that it is suspending electric vehicle rides for safety reasons is Norwegian airline Havila Kystruten. All of this is strange, because not only is Norway the first European country where electric cars are sold far more than combustion ones, but the shipowner himself has been widely discussed so far in the context of promoting environmental motivations.
Kystruten’s Havila Capella was awarded the Next Generation Ship award, including for a unique low-emissions hybrid engine consisting of LNG (liquefied natural gas) engines coupled to an electric motor powered by giant batteries weighing 86 tons and having a capacity of 6.1 megawatt-hours, allowing for several hours No-emission cruises.
They have banned electric and hybrid cars on the hybrid ferry
Perhaps because of these technical solutions (huge gas supplies and gigantic batteries) the carrier decided to limit the risks – only vehicles with internal combustion engines are allowed on board.
According to reports quoted by the specialized service maritime-executive.com, the shipowner determined, based on risk analyzes conducted by an outside company (Proactima AS), that the crew could deal with a possible fire in a diesel vehicle carried on board using the means available on board the ship. , but in the event of a fire in an electric vehicle, effective firefighting would require outside assistance, and such a fire would present a serious danger to both the ship and its passengers.
The carrier indicates that its ships are equipped with the latest fire extinguishing systems, but even these systems may be insufficient in such cases. It was also indicated that although the ships are also equipped with traction batteries, they are installed in fireproof rooms isolated from the environment and equipped with additional fire fighting devices.
Conclusions after the fire and sinking of the car carrier – insurers warn
The catalyst for the preparation of risk analyzes related to the marine transportation of electric vehicles and their batteries was undoubtedly the giant fire of the Felicity Ace car carrier at the beginning of 2022, loaded with thousands of vehicles, including electric cars. The ship’s fire could not be controlled, the unit sank near the Azores archipelago.
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Potential risks associated with EV transportation were also highlighted by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, which analyzed damages in marine transportation reported over the past five years. The Allianz report shows that ship fires are a growing problem, and transporting lithium-ion batteries, whether installed in vehicles or separately, is a factor that increases risk and, above all, makes it difficult to extinguish a potential fire.
Attention! This does not mean that electric cars burn more than combustion-powered cars – available statistics show that the risk of fire in the case of such cars is much lower. The problem, however, is that such fires are much more difficult to put out than combustion engine fires – the firefighting process takes several times longer, and larger quantities of extinguishing agents are also required.
Some prohibit, others install chargers on board
While the Havila ferries banned the transport of electric cars, charging stations for electric cars were installed on TT-Line ships sailing between Sweden, Lithuania, Poland and Germany! The so-called “green ships” of TT-Line are equipped with 32 cargo boxes that can charge cars with a power of 40 kW (direct current) or 11 kW (alternating current) during cruises.
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