Posted on 14/09/2023 in Building & Construction Fire Safety 2023
Car transport ship fires

The “Fremantle Highway” car transport ship fire is raising questions about electric vehicle (EV) transport safety. The ship, chartered by K Line Japan, owned by Shoei Kison Japan, registered in Panama, with an Indian crew of 21, caught fire off the Netherlands island of Ameland on 25th July and burned for a week, before being successfully towed to port avoiding potential pollution. The ship was transporting 3 783 cars of which 498 were EVs.  Media have reported an emergency responder saying that the fire started in an EV and that an EV exploded but this is not confirmed.  The fire has led to experts from the IMO (International Maritime Organisation), shipowners federations and insurers and suggesting that tighter regulations may be needed for EVs on car transport ships where isolating or safely accessing a burning vehicle is impossible. The Fremantle Highway fire follows the Grande Costa d’Avorio fire, New Jersey, 5th July (no EVs on board) and the Felicity Ace fire, Azores, 18th February (involving EVs).

“Ocean shippers playing catch up to electric vehicle fire risk”, Reuters, 27 July 2023

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