The current sinking of the Felicity Ace automobile provider is already having an impression on the broader delivery trade. Automotive transport corporations are starting to implement insurance policies proscribing or outright banning EVs out of considerations for the hearth dangers posed by batteries, experiences Splash.

Japan’s Mitsui OSK Strains (MOL) suffered enormously earlier this yr when its ship, the Felicity Ace, was misplaced to a hearth that broke out throughout transit of the Atlantic Ocean. Round 4,000 automobiles had been misplaced, with the manifest together with the final run of Lamborghini Aventadors and one fanatic’s Honda Prelude. The incident incurred losses for the corporate on the order of $500 million in response to regulation agency Vinson & Elkins. With the ship having sunk, the reason for the hearth will probably stay a thriller, however the EVs carried onboard are suspected to have contributed to the ferocity of the blaze.

A MOL spokesperson informed Splash that it has now applied a brand new coverage banning the carriage of used EVs in the meanwhile. The coverage solely considerations all-electric autos, with hybrids nonetheless allowed carriage onboard. “The variety of used EVs we transport has been growing not too long ago,” stated the spokesperson, including that the corporate has “determined to droop accepting reserving of used battery electrical autos in the meanwhile,” 

As customary follow, MOL security checks common ICE autos previous to carriage for apparent points like gasoline or oil leaks that would pose a hearth threat. The spokesperson famous that that is presently more durable to do for used EVs. Notably, nevertheless, MOL confirmed to that the coverage has “nothing to do with the incident on Felicity Ace.” As a substitute, the spokesperson indicated that it happened because of a coverage evaluate prompted by the growing variety of used EVs the corporate was receiving for transport. 

Different automobile carriers are nonetheless blissful to move EVs, nevertheless, new or used. As reported by Autofile, Toyofuji Shiping NZ and Armacup Maritime Companies have each indicated that they’ll proceed to ship electrical autos as regular within the wake of MOL going public with its new coverage. “It is enterprise as regular,” says Chief Working Officer of Armacup, Hans Corporaal, including that “Our coverage is to not settle for accident-damaged EVs, however we will probably be protecting an in depth eye on developments regarding used EVs and may have to regulate our coverage sooner or later as and when extra data comes out there.”

Curiously, research have discovered that EVs are literally far much less more likely to catch hearth than ICE-powered automobiles and hybrids. Thus, the MOL coverage could appear uncommon on this regard. Nevertheless, within the occasion a hearth does get away, EV batteries burn extra ferociously, are troublesome to extinguish, and may also spontaneously reignite days after they’re put out. Thus, the chance posed by EVs is comprehensible, and the hybrid exception maybe makes some sense given the smaller batteries often carried by these autos. 

If the brand new MOL coverage is as a result of threat of runaway combustion throughout a hearth began externally, reasonably than the chance of the EVs themselves igniting, then solely banning used EVs makes little or no sense. New EVs current simply as a lot hearth threat on this regard. Nevertheless, it might be that MOL would not want to jeopardize relationships with main automakers by banning cargo of their newest merchandise. Thus, banning a subset of electrical autos helps cut back dangers of a runaway hearth to a point. 

For its half, the Worldwide Maritime Group has decided that fireplace combating requirements want to vary to higher deal with the challenges posed by EVs on automobile carriers. With lots of or 1000’s of automobiles parked in shut proximity beneath the decks, hearth combating methods used on land, akin to dunking a automobile in a tank of water, merely aren’t sensible on ships.