And that in the electric car country of Norway: According to a report by “Manager Magazin”, a shipping company is no longer taking electric cars and hybrids on board. The reason should ultimately be the fire inferno on the car freighter “Felicity Ace”.
“Electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars are banned on board – the explosive statement is hidden in the FAQ of the Norwegian shipping line Havila Kystruten,” reports the business newspaper. The shipping company offers various routes with the “Havila Voyages” line with four ships. You can take your car with you on the route from Bergen to Kirkenes if you reserve one of the spaces on board. Unless the car has a hybrid or electric drive. Hydrogen vehicles are also subject to the ban.
According to several media reports, the reason for the ban is the risk of battery fires – the fire in lithium-ion batteries is so difficult to extinguish that enormous amounts of water are required and highly toxic vapors are produced. On a passenger ship that would of course be a huge risk that the shipping company apparently does not want to take.
“During a risk analysis, those responsible came to the conclusion that the possible fire of such a car would require a particularly complex rescue operation, which could not be carried out with the means and the crew on board – the passengers would be endangered as a result. However, this is different for private vehicles with a conventional, fossil fuel drive,” reports “Manager Magazin”.
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The real background to the precautionary measure, which is causing a lot of trouble in the electric car lobby, is probably the spectacular fire on the car freighter “Felicity Ace”. The ship burned out completely at sea in February 2022 and sank. Also on board were many cars from the Volkswagen Group from VW, Bentley or Porsche, including many electric cars. An ignited electric car battery was suspected to be the cause of the fire. In addition, the batteries of numerous electric vehicles fueled the fire so severely that all attempts to put it out were in vain. Today, the “Felicity Ace” lies 3000 meters below the surface of the Atlantic together with thousands of charred cars.
Although the shipping company’s decision is understandable for safety reasons, it comes as a surprise, especially for Norway: The country is Europe’s “electrical wonderland”, more than every second new car is an electric vehicle and from 2025 petrol and diesel cars will no longer be allowed to be sold at all become. It will be interesting to see whether other shipping companies will follow suit with electric bans – after all, they would scare away many potential customers.
The shipping company TT-Line takes a completely different approach and even offers charging stations for the crossing. “The charging station at which your electric car is charged during your crossing depends on the utilization and availability of the respective departure. Allocation is the responsibility of the loading officer. The plugs of the two charging stations are compatible with all connections of the electric cars,” says the company on its website. However, you don’t charge “green” electricity: Despite many efficiency measures in the drive, the ferries of the TT Line still run on fossil fuel, namely natural gas or LNG.
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