More Shipping News – Was the Felicity Ace Fire caused by Electric Vehicle Batteries?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Devils Tower – What made the Felicity Ace cargo so flammable? “It was not clear whether the [EV] batteries first sparked the fire”.

Felicity Ace Car Carrier Continues to Burn in Mid-Atlantic – Photos

Reuters February 18, 2022

A salvage team from SMIT is en route to the retreive the abandoned M/V Felicity Ace, which continues to burn near the Azores. 

BERLIN/LISBON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – A ship carrying around 4,000 vehicles, including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, that caught fire near the coast of the Azores will be towed to another European country or the Bahamas, the captain of the nearest port told Reuters on Friday.

Lithium-ion batteries in the electric cars on board the vehicle carrier Felicity Ace have caught fire and the blaze requires specialist equipment to extinguish, captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas said.

It was not clear whether the batteries first sparked the fire.

“The ship is burning from one end to the other… everything is on fire about five meters above the water line,” Cabecas said.

Read more: https://gcaptain.com/felicity-ace-car-carrier-continues-to-burn-in-mid-atlantic/

We may never know if an EV started the fire, but even if the EVs didn’t start the fire, they are certainly making it a lot more difficult to extinguish the fire. EV battery fires are chemically comparable to thermite fires, hot enough to melt steel, so there may not be much left to analyse by the time the ship fire finally burns itself out.

This disaster could have real consequences for the EV market, both transporting EVs by sea or land, and consumer desire for a product which is potentially such a severe fire hazard. I would not be surprised if in the future, once insurers understand the hazard, owning an EV could make your home uninsurable, unless you can prove it is parked well away from your house.

At the very least insurers may start demanding strict end of use dates on the batteries. The hazard likely grows as the battery ages, though if the Felicity Ace fire was started by a new battery, you can never say the hazard is zero.

The following video demonstrates how ferocious EV fires can be in a home environment – and this fire is just an electric scooter. Automobile batteries are far larger. How much would be left of your house, how much time would you have to get to safety, if an electric automobile caught fire in a built in garage or car port? EV fires are not constrained by lack of oxygen. The battery itself contains everything necessary to initiate and sustain a deadly, white hot fire which is almost impossible to extinguish.

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Tom Halla
February 18, 2022 6:12 pm

A fair number of apartment buildings have garages in their lower floors. Imagine a burning Tesla.

peter schell
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 18, 2022 6:30 pm

I’m imagining if the dreams of a EV in every home ever come true, imagining a fire in an underground garage that is part of the buildings support structure.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  peter schell
February 18, 2022 11:53 pm

Disturbing to say the least!!!

Alexander Vissers
Reply to  peter schell
February 19, 2022 2:25 am

That was a reason to ban LPG vehicles from underground parking buildings. But combustion vehicles can cause an inferno just as much.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 5:48 am

Years ago the town car dealership moved a propane delivery truck into the shop to repair it. A propane leak and fire occurred and the entire facility burned.

paul courtney
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 9:15 am

Mr. Vissers: “Just as much”? Is there fuel in the tanks of ICE vehicles when they are being shipped? Your comparison couldn’t be worse, and it is so typical of the EV enthusiast response to everything- “whatabout”.

RobR
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 9:57 am

I think you are confused. LPG, or Propane engines are 100% spark ignited internal combustion engines.

A ruptured LPG tank will rapidly vaporize any liquid fuel, as unpressurized LPG flashes to vapor at temps above -44F. The vapor is heavier than air and is prone to occupying low lying areas.

Compare this to a ruptured gasoline tank, where spilt fuel takes much longer than LPG to dissipate.

CNG, or.Compressed Natural Gas is stored under tremendous pressure in speciality cylinders. Explosive decompression on a CNC will blow a vehicle to pieces.

MarkW
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 11:39 am

It is very, very rare for a “combustion” vehicle to self ignite. Almost all fires are in the immediate aftermath of a collision.

ih_fan
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 8:26 pm

But combustion vehicles can cause an inferno just as much.

Can, but don’t. ICE-equipped cars don’t just spontaneously catch fire.

UNGN
Reply to  ih_fan
February 20, 2022 6:57 pm

The vast, vast majority of non accident, ICE vehicle fires start as electrical fires.

Not a ringing endorsement for electric cars.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  peter schell
February 19, 2022 3:45 am

A terrorist’s wet dream.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  peter schell
February 19, 2022 10:38 am

Channel Tunnel, anyone – or any tunnel. Not sure I’d want to travel next to an EV in one.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Harry Passfield
February 21, 2022 6:39 am

Or on the same train!! It is the toxic gas given off that makes battery car fires more dangerous – that and you can’t put them out.

tommyboy
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 18, 2022 6:45 pm

Imagine dozens of Teslas and other EV’s parked below a high rise apartment building all burning together.

Rick C
Reply to  tommyboy
February 18, 2022 8:31 pm
Jeroen
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 12:36 am

Rick, I know a lot of people here don’t like change, but you have to look at the nuance: an electric fire is hard to put out. The protocol is to now pull out the car from the garage and let it burn out.

JLC of Perth
Reply to  Jeroen
February 19, 2022 12:42 am

The tricky bit is getting closer enough to the burning vehicle to attach the tow rope securely.

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  JLC of Perth
February 19, 2022 12:35 pm

tow CHAIN or CABLE perhaps?

ATheoK
Reply to  JLC of Perth
February 19, 2022 12:42 pm

Lithium fire combustion products are toxic. Exposure to the smoke is a very bad idea.

Ropes? Unless it is made of Nomex or steel chain don’t expect to drag the car far.

Ebor
Reply to  Jeroen
February 19, 2022 5:51 am

Much much harder to put out b/c this type of fire does not require oxygen to sustain it. The only real solution is to let it burn. Sorry that reality is so cruel EV enthusiasts.

Rick C
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 7:17 am

There is FUD and there are falsehoods. Lithium battery fires are put out with water. In Texas a tesla was wrecked so badly it burst into flames. The fire department had it out minutes after arriving by spraying water on it. They left someone there to watch it as cells could continue to ignite and need a dosing. They did not need to dunk the car or spray special chemicals on it like a gasoline fire. They just needed a hose to spray the car down.

So please stop spreading falsehoods. You might also try reading up on it. It is pretty amazing the things you can learn when you actually do a bit of research rather than believing everything you hear from Bubba. Here’s a good article on the Texas fire.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a36189237/tesla-model-s-fire-texas-crash-details-fire-chief/

Charles
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 7:58 am

Took 30,000 gallons to put that Texas Tesla fire out, There was a fire hydrant nearby, otherwise not possible, according to your link. Kept restarting itself. Also, dry chemical class D is the recommended way to put out Lithium fires, not water.

How do you Extinguish a Lithium Battery Fire? – Watts Up With That?

John in Oz
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 2:55 pm

Ship at sea, low crew numbers, confined spaces – good luck and don’t forget your life jacket.

A toxic blaze at the site of Australia’s largest Tesla battery project is set to burn throughout the night.
Key points:

  • A 13-tonne Tesla lithium battery is on fire near Geelong
  • The battery was expected to be ready later this year
  • It was due to be the biggest battery in the southern hemisphere

The fire broke out during testing of a Tesla megapack at the Victorian Big Battery site near Geelong.
A 13-tonne lithium battery was engulfed in flames, which then spread to an adjacent battery bank.
More than 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze, which has been contained and will be closely monitored until it burns itself out.
If we try and cool them down it just prolongs the process,” the CFA’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ian Beswicke said.
But we could be here anywhere from 8 to 24 hours while we wait for it to burn down.”

ih_fan
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 8:35 pm

The fire department had it out minutes after arriving by spraying water on it.

If, by minutes, you mean hundreds of minutes, then you are correct. From the article: “By the time even the smallest embers were finally out, many hours after the crash, somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons were used, Buck said. This was only possible because the incident happened in a residential area with a hydrant nearby. Had the crash happened on a highway, his department’s trucks, which carry between 500 and 1000 gallons, would not have been able to keep on lightly soaking the car for that much time.”

Here’s another take:https://sfist.com/2021/06/22/as-tesla-fires-require-outlandish-volumes-of-water-to-extinguish-firefighters-grapple-with-ev-batteries/

So please stop spreading falsehoods. You might also try reading up on it. It is pretty amazing the things you can learn when you actually do a bit of research rather than believing everything you hear from Bubba.

Here’s probably what you meant to say:

So please stop spreading truths. I love EVs and it’s hard to convince people to buy them when you keep spreading the truth. Perhaps I will try reading up on it. It is pretty amazing the things I could learn when I actually do a bit of research rather than believing everything I hear from environmentalists.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Rick C
February 20, 2022 6:04 pm

Rick C writes on the subject of a burning Tesla:

They left someone there to watch it as cells could continue to ignite and need a dosing.

Sorry, Rick, what was your argument again? That battery fires of this type are easy to deal with?

Reply to  Rick C
February 21, 2022 2:30 pm

Ric,
PLEASE Educate yourself about EV size Lithium Fires.
Once the fire has melted enough of the surrounding protection any water hitting the hottest part will turn into Hydrogen and Oxygen due to the high temperature. [Simplified description, Much mor complex.]
Once you get outside of the Urban center areas, basically all you can do is Watch and protect the surroundings. Few cities have high capacity water mains feeding the entire city and high capacity fire hydrants throughout the city. Even the city you live in.

John Endicott
Reply to  Rick C
February 22, 2022 7:55 am

There is FUD and there are falsehoods”

And thank you for being exhibit A.

ATheoK
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 12:44 pm

Sorry that reality is so cruel EV enthusiasts.”

It is the truth.

Rick C
Reply to  Jeroen
February 19, 2022 7:02 am

An EV fire is not an electric fire and it is not hard to put out. You spray water on it. Yeah, H2O. No need for special foam to put out liquid fires that spread easily and can engulf a large area simply by being liquid. So no need for a special squad in the fire department.

People like to spread FUD. People like to offer opinions as if they were facts. The reality is nearly none of the posts here are accurate. Do a little reading. I don’t know who’s “protocol” you are quoting, but it is not hard to put out a lithium battery fire. After all, what is burning is not lithium (that’s only in ionic form in the chemistry, not as a metal), rather the organic electrolyte. Yeah, the part of the battery that is like gasoline, but with a lower burn temperature. Gasoline fires burn so hot, they can reignite from the temperature of objects in the flame. Gasoline vehicles are very hazardous and catch fire quite often. Again, read up a bit on it. 150,000 auto fires per year in the US.

Meab
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 9:03 am

Rick C, I was driving a gas powered car when it caught fire under the hood. Like almost all gas car fires not involving a crash, the gas tank did not ignite. As smoke filled the cab, I pulled over and instinctively shut the engine off. In my haste to exit the car, I dropped the car keys in the driver’s footwell. Realizing that I had a fire extinguisher in the trunk, I frantically searched for the keys but it took a minute to find them. In that minute, the flames already subsided significantly -without the fuel pump running there was no longer a supply of fuel to the leaking fuel line. The car suffered significant damage but was repaired and back on the road after a few weeks in the shop.

You are the one spreading misinformation. Gas cars very rarely are the source of a fire fire while parked. Unfortunately, some EVs do catch fire as they are being charged while they are parked. If that happens to be when they are in a garage, disaster. That’s why GM recalled all of their Chevy Bolts and warned owners to not park them within 50 feet of any combustible object (obviously impossible for many owners to do). Claim otherwise and you’re a liar.

paul courtney
Reply to  Meab
February 19, 2022 9:20 am

Rick C has chosen the wrong site to post his works of fiction about EV fires.

Sara
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 9:57 am

Gasoline vehicles are hazardous? Catch fire OFTEN? ON what planet? I’ve driven gasoline powered vehicles since I got my driver’s license before you were born and NEVER EVER had a fire or even a hint of such a thing — NOT IN 60 YEARS! Got that?

I don’t know where you get your information, Rick C, but you are WAY off the mark on that.

Mark D
Reply to  Sara
February 20, 2022 7:46 am

Way back when I drove a 1948 Cadillac with a Chevy 283 engine with a side float carburetor. If I turned too sharp a corner it spilled gasoline and ignited same. Stop vehicle. Open hood. Throw blanked over the engine smothering fire. Drive by’s laughing at long hair at the side of the road. Shake out blanket. Close hood and go about my way.

Don’t imagine that will work with my wife’s Volt. The garage is sheathed and fire-walled from the house with 5/8″ x-code. Volts aren’t noted for battery fires so I hope I’m good. The granddaughters battery scooter will have to live on the open porch.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 10:48 am

In the event of a lithium ion battery catching fire, it is important to note that such a fire reaches very high temperatures, produces toxic gases and is inextinguishable.

Source: https://maritimesafetyinnovationlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/BMBVS-Study-on-fire-safety-in-connection-with-the-transport-of-vehicles-with-electric-generators-or-electrically-powered-vehicles-on-ro-ro-and-ro-pax-ships-2013.pdf

at 5.

Water is used ONLY to prevent the EV fire from spreading.

Ibid.

Table 5: Failures/Risks Related to Electric Vehicles Not Connected to the Ship’s Power Distribution System 

***

Lithium ion batteries catch fire more frequently (estimate: by a factor of 2) than conventional batteries. …

Id. at 24.

***

[Recommendations] … the following amendments to SOLAS [Safety of Life at Sea — these reg.s came about largely because of the tragedy of R.M.S. Titanic] Chapter II-2, Regulation 7 …

stowage plans for the vehicles to be carried, sorted by drive system (electric vehicles with lithium ion battery, fuel cell-powered vehicles)

Id. at 39.
****************************************

Only someone who makes money from promoting electric vehicles could say the things you do, Mr. C..

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 10:51 am

Flame from a Li-ion vehicle battery fire spreads low and outwards. Direct flame and heat will come to bear on the sides and undersides of the cars on one or more sides. It is often an intense, projected, blowtorch-like flame, sometimes there is explosion. This is not typical, non-EV, car fire behaviour.

In 2020, in China, a battery fire in a single EV at a charge station resulted in the full involvement of two vehicles to one side of it in less than three minutes[2]. It is easy to visualise from this particular video the likely spread of fire on any vehicle carrier deck. Further research is not required.

The EV industry tends to dilute the issue by, for example, comparing to the frequency of fire in non-EV vehicles. The fact remains that the Li-ion battery can and does malfunction catastrophically for no apparent reason known at the time to the owner or user. …

(Source: https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/vehicle-carriers-risk-from-lithium-ion-li-ion-battery-electric-vehicles-evs/ )

ATheoK
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 12:59 pm

Only someone who makes money from promoting electric vehicles could say the things you do, Mr. C.”

If “C” is involved with electric vehicles or a lithium battery manufacturer/seller; it’s comments make it culpable if someone believes “C” and is harmed by a lithium fire.

Janice Moore
Reply to  ATheoK
February 19, 2022 3:20 pm

Thus, the “C.” 🤨

(Hi, Theo🙂)

ATheoK
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 3:52 pm

Hello Janice!
Welcome back!

Janice Moore
Reply to  ATheoK
February 19, 2022 4:22 pm

Ebor
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 1:43 pm

Thank you Janice!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 3:22 pm

Well, how extraordinarily gracious of you, Ebor. Thank YOU for the affirmation 🙂)

Ebor
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 1:51 pm

Some more detail for Mr. C from: https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/safety/in-flight-safety/handling-of-hazardous-materials/lithium-batteries/dangers-lithium-battery-fires-flight/

“Given the risks, Cox said aircraft operators need to ensure crewmembers are correctly trained to deal with battery fires.
Halon alone only extinguishes the open flame from a battery fire. It does not stop the thermal runaway. “The only option to stop this chemical reaction is to cool it or contain it,” said Cox, “otherwise, it will continue until every cell in the device has expended itself in [a series of] virtual explosions.”
The FAA recommends cooling the device with water (even though pouring water on an electronic device is counterintuitive to most people). Halon and water together are the best ways to fight a lithium battery fire.
“The first step is to contain the fire,” said Cox. “The next step is managing smoke. The vapor from these fires is toxic, it’s a mucous membrane irritant and it’s carcinogenic.”

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 3:26 pm

Thank you for THAT, Ebor 🙂. On point, powerful, evidence against foisting EV’s on consumers.

Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 11:36 am

“An EV fire is not an electric fire and it is not hard to put out.” Except nobody knows how. The ship is still burning.

MarkW
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 11:45 am

Rick, you are starting to sound like griff. Citing articles that do not support the point you are trying to make.

ATheoK
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 12:52 pm

Rick C spews lies as great as manniacal’s or dessler’s falsehoods.

Lithium fires will rip out any elements from molecules lithium can react with, and that is a large list.

Foam? Useless, just more fuel.
Water? Similarly useless, the only way water works is to cool the lithium below combustion temperatures. Otherwise, lithium tears apart H₂O using both elements to further combust.

The protocol is well established amongst fire safety agencies and shared internationally.

ih_fan
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 8:47 pm

I don’t know who’s “protocol” you are quoting, but it is not hard to put out a lithium battery fire.

Can you provide any references to this claim? You can’t.

However, I can provide references that say fighting EV fires are much more difficult. For example: https://premium.goauto.com.au/ev-fires-loom-large/

“Cars catch fire. But data from London fires indicate that EVs are catching fire at twice the rate of petrol or diesel vehicles which are far easier and faster to extinguish.”

“But EV fires not only produce intense heat, they emit poisonous smoke which is a danger to firefighters and, because it can take so long to make an EV fire safe (up to 24 hours), roads are blocked for long hours causing mass disruptions to traffic.”

“This has serious ramifications for those who have to fight EV fires and in Europe emergency services have even resorted to dumping burning EVs into skips full of water in an attempt to cool flaring battery packs.”

“According to the Confederation of Fire Protection Associations of Europe, firefighters need more than 60,000 litres of water and a flow rate of 1100 litres per minute to even tackle an EV fire and need to prevent the water from flowing into drains because of the toxins the water picks up from the burning batteries.”

MarkW
Reply to  Jeroen
February 19, 2022 11:42 am

Fascinating how not liking having change forced down our throats by government fiat, becomes “don’t like change”.

Janus100
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 7:53 am

From the Stavanger (Norway) airport fire article you referenced:

“…Given that Norway has the largest concentration of electric cars per capita in the entire world, it’s almost certain that both traditionally fueled and electric-powered cars were gobbled up by the flames. It’s worth noting that although catastrophic garage fires aren’t exclusive to EVs, battery fires can be especially hard to contain due to the volatility of lithium, a key component used in the chemical makeup of the cells, and the risk of a fire re-igniting after it is put out can be significant.…”

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 9:01 am

It’s always interesting to see the crap from EV bigots. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most vehicle fires are caused by mechanical or electrical component malfunction while the vehicle is on the road or shortly thereafter, not in the fuel system. Most EV fires start in the battery power system. Since most fires involve older, poorly maintained vehicles, it will be interesting to see what happens as the EV fleet ages.

ih_fan
Reply to  tommyboy
February 19, 2022 8:28 pm

Imagine dozens of Teslas and other EV’s parked below a high rise apartment building all burning together.

Imagine dozens of people dying when the high rise apartment burns. Then, imagine the lawsuits and EV bans.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 18, 2022 11:52 pm

In the UK, for domestic/residential fire-resistance (FR) we only require half-hour FR, a sheet of 12mm/half-inch plasterboard or similar, for commercial premises it’s usually 1 hour FR (two layers etc). The philosophy is to protect the means of escape to save lives. For garages the ceilings with accommodation above it would be 1 hour FR. The fire regs in these situations are simply designed to give time for safe egress from the property. It will be interesting to see, if the building code authorities here & abroad start to seek for higher degrees (sorry for the pun-unintended) of protection to enable safe escape from the properties in the future, an absolute must IMHO!!! Observational evidence (invalid only where climate is concerned) suggests electric car battery fires are a real headache, to put it politely!!!

RickWill
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 19, 2022 2:26 am

Australian Standards already require house batteries to be located in spaces that have no occupancy above them. If that Standard was applied to car batteries it would mean more than half of the residential car garages in Australia would be unsuited to BEVs.

Rick C
Reply to  RickWill
February 19, 2022 10:36 am

What is a “house battery”?

Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 12:24 pm

I suspect that refers to such things as the Tesla “power wall” that some use for off grid type solar systems. They are also known for spontaneous combustion.

Rick C
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 19, 2022 10:35 am

Except that “observational” evidence does not say BEV fires are worse than gasoline fires. In the US, if your home has a garage in it your rates go up. Gasoline burns at 2138 °C, hot enough that objects can be heated so hot they reignite the gasoline vapors. Gasoline is a liquid that spreads across the floor engulfing a large area including other vehicles and floats on top of water. Gasoline requires special foams to effectively fight the fire while lithium-ion battery fires are stopped by spraying water. Yes, a fire sprinkler can help put out a lithium-ion battery fire while it would cause a gasoline fire to spread.

If a car in my garage catches fire, I would rather it be an EV rather than a gasoline vehicle any day. It also happens much less often.

traditional internal-combustion vehicles experience one fire for every 19 million miles traveled; for Teslas EVs, it’s one fire for 205 million miles traveled. 

MarkW
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 11:57 am

First off, observational evidence is meaningless, especially when the person doing the observing is biased.
Actual data, contradicts your “observations”.

ICE fires almost always happen after collisions. Instances of self combustion are quite rare.

The average ICE car on the road is well over a decade old. Many 20 and 30 year old ICE cars are still being driven.

The average EV on the road is only a year or two old.

What is it about EV enthusiasts and their refusal to do honest comparisons?

Finally, many ICE fires are electrical and have nothing to do with the fuel systems. Last time I checked, these systems also exist in EV’s.

Last edited 7 months ago by MarkW
Janice Moore
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 12:17 pm

See my comment at 10:48AM today, below:

Lithium ion battery fires are inextinguishable.

To paraphrase an aviation safety quote:

[Parked, non-charging EV’s are] not in themselves inherently more dangerous. But, […they are] terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity, or neglect.

comment image

… a Port St. Lucie family woke up to the smell of smoke. … it was coming from the garage. Their 2019 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle was burning.
 
the 750 gallons of water carried by most fire trucks [is] not enough to put one of these electric vehicle battery fires out.

(Source: https://cw34.com/news/local/chevy-bolts-battery-compartment-fires-prompts-investigation-by-federal-safety-agency )

Unlike airplanes, we do not need electric vehicles.

Last edited 7 months ago by Janice Moore
Ebor
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 2:18 pm

EV batteries are typically made by ganging together thousands of individual cells, if anyone one of those separately manufactured cells goes into thermal runaway (e.g., from a defect that doesn’t surface until latter in the cell’s life) then it will almost always spread to the rest of the cells. That is a LOT of self-sustaining exothermic reaction to contain. Sure, you can do so (at what cost?) in managed facilities (see https://www.pv-magazine.com/2022/02/17/worlds-largest-lithium-ion-battery-is-down-again/) but the risk in ad hoc circumstances (e.g., your garage at 3am) is much greater: you can (1) use a halon system to try to stop any ordinary combustion of nearby objects while it runs its course, (2) pour a ton of water on it try to cool it, or (3) run away and wait until the reaction is over. Good luck on saving your house in any of those scenarios.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 3:47 pm

“Good luck on saving your house… .”

Or something more precious…

comment image
“I’m just glad they saved me,” said Molly, later that evening.

Last edited 7 months ago by Janice Moore
Ebor
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 7:10 pm

Indeed!

ih_fan
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 8:49 pm

If a car in my garage catches fire, I would rather it be an EV rather than a gasoline vehicle any day. It also happens much less often.

Gasoline vehicles don’t catch fire just sitting in the garage.

Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 8:52 pm

Gasoline burns at 2138 °C …

Not at normal air pressure. Try 257°C/495°F.

If it did, the fire would be hotter than when lithium burns (2000°C/3632°F). Also, you could melt steel (~1370°C/2498°F), but not on this planet.

Dean
Reply to  SasjaL
February 19, 2022 10:17 pm

How dare you question Ricks rectally derived support data.

Sara
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 19, 2022 9:50 am

How about office buildings that have 50 floors of office space?

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 19, 2022 2:32 pm

Well for Uber-environmentalists every human death is a victory for the planet. So what’s not to like with EV’s?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Phil Salmon
February 19, 2022 3:52 pm

Disgusting, but true, Mr. Salmon. Guess we need to remind them that animals could die, too. 😕

George T
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 19, 2022 3:55 pm

If EV’s become more common and losses mount, insurance companies may increase rates for EV’s which might spill over to your homeowners insurance. The cost might be prohibitive (difficult to assess the frequency or occurrence of these events) or you may need to add an umbrella policy to cover the loss that might exceed policy limits and any collateral damage. Insurance companies might see the EV novelty as a liability that could cost them millions. Moreover, extinguishing a Li fire is problematic. I have yet to read anything on an effective extinguishing agent (outside a Class D fire extinguisher for flammable metals assuming Li fits into that category).

I see no real utility in EV’s. When you contemplate the cost to replace a battery in an EV it’s appeal diminishes. Costs exceeds benefit, unless of course money is no object. The benefit would not be for saving the planet, since I don’t see plant food as a threat.

Last edited 7 months ago by George T
Devils Tower
February 18, 2022 6:13 pm

There were a lot of VW EVs IE.4 on board. It is VW main port.

All decks above water were on fire end to end. White smoke gives it away.

1/2 billion total loss

Devils Tower
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 18, 2022 6:23 pm

Follow up…
MSN not talking about fires on ships from EVs

See fllowing articles..

There is also a ferry on fire off Greece that was probably caused by EV fire

https://gcaptain.com/felicity-ace-car-carrier-continues-to-burn-in-mid-atlantic/

https://gcaptain.com/electric-vehicles-and-maritime-transportation-fire-hazards-identified/

https://gcaptain.com/flames-engulf-grimaldi-ferry-euroferry-olympia/

Richard Page
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 20, 2022 10:05 am

The Olympia ferry fire probably wasn’t caused by an EV. There was another ferry fire, very similar to this one (possibly also Grimaldi), where the source of the fire was flammable/unstable cargo in a container in one of the cargo holds. The smoke is different from an EV fire as well.

dk_
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 18, 2022 6:29 pm

€ .5Bil minimum cargo loss. The final bill will be quite a bit higher.

NeedleFactory
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 18, 2022 7:21 pm

“1/2 billion total loss” may be an exaggeration.
WSJ is reporting the ship is valued “at around $30 million” and “the cargo about $100 milliion, according to insurers.”

Devils Tower
Reply to  NeedleFactory
February 18, 2022 7:32 pm

Starting at 4000 cars at average price of 75k, probably low.

But then it is hard to unwind tax credits that you and I paid for on EVs

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 18, 2022 8:46 pm

I can see .5 billion by the time you add everything up.

RickWill
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
February 19, 2022 2:27 am

Nothing to do with salvage of a vessel this size is low cost.

Christopher Allport
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 19, 2022 5:29 am

Factory gate prices for any of these cars is unlikely to be much less than half the amount you quote!

Christopher Allport
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 19, 2022 5:46 am

When the Tricolour, another PCC ( Car Carrier) sank in the English Channel some years ago carrying several thousands of high end BMW’s and Volvo’s the insured value of the cars was based on the factory gate value of $10K each. Half a $ billion is a gross exaggeration in this case as it is more likely to be a total loss of around $100M for ship + cargo.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 19, 2022 9:54 am

The value of the vehicles is about half of retail, so $100 million seems at the upper end if there were a lot of higher priced vehicles.

Devils Tower
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 10:34 am

Understand all that. The real question is what are the actual losses from top to bottom regardless of insurance coverage into todays enviroment. I know they are not insurred for replacement cost in this case. Latest info is that over 1000 cars were Porsches. Do not know how many were the EV Taycan. Sure most of these cars were already sold. They will have to be replaced even if electronics plus are not available. This has got to be a big hit. Curious what the final causalty loss will be. Know i will never see it.

ATheoK
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 1:12 pm

“The value of the vehicles is about half of retail, so $100 million seems at the upper end if there were a lot of higher priced vehicles.”

Your math is screwy.

Many of the cars, Porsche, Bentley, etc. retail well above $100,000.
4,000 vehicles at $50,000 still comes out to $200 million before adding in the additional vehicles, higher cost vehicles, all other cargo and the ship itself.

Then there are medical bill incurred by any seaman who tried to extinguish the fires.

That the cargo is underinsured has zero bearing on total value lost.

Last edited 7 months ago by ATheoK
Richard Page
Reply to  ATheoK
February 20, 2022 10:11 am

The average unit cost (each vehicle) is estimated to be $99, 650. Half a billion is not an unreasonable estimate.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  NeedleFactory
February 19, 2022 3:45 am

then add the cost of the liers… er, I mean lawyers

john Reistroffer
February 18, 2022 6:51 pm

I seem to recall a U.S. commercial airline crashing several years ago, the culprit was attributed to some batteries in the cargo.

Tinny
Reply to  john Reistroffer
February 18, 2022 11:16 pm

It was definitely oxygen generators which downed one aircraft. I’m not aware of any crashes caused by battery fires on a/c.

Yet.

Reply to  Tinny
February 19, 2022 2:39 am

UPS Airlines Flight 6, 3 September 2010, Dubai to Cologne.

Rick C
Reply to  Doug Huffman
February 19, 2022 10:46 am

That was lithium batteries, not lithium-ion batteries. Lithium batteries are a known hazard for fire and are banned in cargo holds. The military doesn’t want them in any equipment either. They are used in many common items as small coin cells, but I don’t know if they are banned from airplanes when in devices.

Lithium-ion batteries are much safer. Mostly there is a lot of hype about them because anything related to Tesla is news. Lithium-ion batteries are in cell phones and laptops and many other appliances you are allowed to bring on a plane. They do warn you about devices which are under recall for the lithium-ion batteries. Sometimes they muck up the design of the charging circuits.

Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 8:02 pm

The last 15 years, I have been flying 2-3 times/year, except for last year (for obvious reasons) and I have never had any problems bringing any type of lithium batteries, except once, but that was my fault. When I fly somewhere, I bring my system camera with four pair/sets of Li-Ion batteries, my laptop with two Li-Ion batteries and sometimes when I plan to do some astronomical stuff, I bring my headlamp with five pairs of batteries (They last just less than an hour/pair and my excursions in the dark are at least six hours long.)

As long as the Li-Ion are carried in the hand luggage (a backpack in my case), the security check at the airports do not care. Putting Li-Ion batteries in a suitcase is a different story, which I realised once. When packing at home, I temporarily had all my extra batteries [w. insulating plastic cases] in my suitcase, before putting them in my backpack and I managed to miss a pair, that managed to slip behind some clothes. After the check-in, the security check opened my suitcase and removed the Li-Ion batteries. They left a note that explained why and how to retrieve the batteries. (They also tagged the suitcase on the outside.) That included a fee that was higher than the value of the batteries of concern (type 16550 for my headlamp). Reason? During flight, the cabin is pressurised, but not the cargo bay where they put the suitcases.

Not to forget, I also bring my mobile phone, whristwatch and the pulse sensors I use when I exercise. They all have Li-Ion batteries. The security check do not care.

Lithium batteries are a known hazard for fire …
Working with computer hardware and electronics since first half of the 1980’s, this is the first time I heard/read something like that. In some few cases, I have seen corroded ones, but that’s all. It probably happens when you try to short circuit them. I’m not sure though, as I never have tried myself …

… and are banned in cargo holds.
– No, that applies to Li-Ion! The security check do not care, at least in Europe.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  john Reistroffer
February 19, 2022 4:57 am

Early Boeing 787’s had problematic lithium batteries:

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787_Dreamliner&gt;

Early operations encountered several problems caused by its lithium-ion batteries, culminating in fires on board. In January 2013, the US FAA grounded all 787s until it approved the revised battery design in April 2013. The 787 has no fatalities and no hull losses through January 2022.

Elmer Ulmer
February 18, 2022 6:59 pm

I have not determined the sea conditions at the time of the incident, but inasmuch as it was winter and North Atlantic it probably delivered higher loads than normal to the ship and the cars. I don’t know how the vehicles were secured to the deck, but hope it was better than the average BC ferry, which is none unless you are on the end of the vehicle lane where you will get one block on your tire. If the fire originated in the cars, then it is not clear to me if the ignition related to cars being tossed about and causing a gasoline leak, a spark and catastrophic ignition, or a battery fire.

NeedleFactory
Reply to  Elmer Ulmer
February 18, 2022 7:27 pm

A “cargo ship” is not a “ferry.”
The cargo is not “secured to the deck.”

Reply to  NeedleFactory
February 19, 2022 2:44 am
Christopher Allport
Reply to  NeedleFactory
February 19, 2022 5:31 am

In this case the cargo (cars) are secured to the deck. This vessel is designed to carry cars on probably 13 decks, just like a multistorey garage.

NeedleFactory
Reply to  Elmer Ulmer
February 18, 2022 7:29 pm

This was a duplicate of the above post; apologies to all.

Last edited 7 months ago by NeedleFactory
Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Elmer Ulmer
February 19, 2022 10:00 am

Do you really think shipping companies haven’t figured out how to securely handle gasoline vehicles on their ships? Vehicles don’t ignite from wave movement.

Stephen Mueller
February 18, 2022 7:25 pm

If lithium can melt steel then it could destroy concrete as well, that would be catastrophic for a car burning in an underground car park.

observa
February 18, 2022 8:00 pm

It doesn’t matter if an actual EV causes a fire on ro-ro car car carriers. It’s just sufficient that one of the EV batteries has a runaway event among a number of them and it’s been well recognized prior to the Felicity Ace-
Electric Vehicles and Maritime Transportation – Fire Hazards Identified (gcaptain.com)

Conventional water sprinkler systems to suppress general onboard fires are inadequate against lithium battery runaway and given the water damage that can occur they prefer water fogging systems- HI-FOG Water Mist Fire Protection for Ships – Ro-Ro Decks – YouTube
The same reservation would occur with a fire retardant foam system and again not applicable to these batteries as is CO2 fire suppression which is a cleaner option-
What is a CO2 Fire Suppression System and How Does It Work? (koorsen.com)

As you can see these systems can work with an ICE fire but not with runaway lithium batteries and their contagion WHATEVER their initial cause. That’s what the crew of the Felicity Ace recognized once an EV runaway event occurred. The ship was effectively doomed by its very open deck design and all the flammables onboard so they rightly abandoned ship.

That’s why this loss has huge ramifications for sea transport of EVs as well as ferry cars and passengers who will now be alerted globally to the risk as will insurers and Govt Regulators not to mention the car carrier investors. As one scribe mentioned elsewhere a Chernobyl event for EVs.

4E Douglas
Reply to  observa
February 19, 2022 4:57 am

Been around old airplanes, big radial engines, always had fire extinguishers handy.Co2 mainly. A couple of times actually used them to put out exhaust fires.The FAA is having a hard time certifying electric aircraft for passenger use. A Lithium fire in crowded hangar would not be good.

Dennis
February 18, 2022 8:03 pm

I trust that governments worldwide will now stop EV from being transported on passenger and vehicle ferries.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Dennis
February 18, 2022 8:26 pm

You mean like they did when an eagle was decapitated by a blade of a wind tower?
Oh, wait !!

Rick C
Reply to  Dennis
February 18, 2022 8:34 pm

Yes, they should simply drive EVs to their destinations. So now we can justify building more bridges.

Yooper
Reply to  Rick C
February 19, 2022 7:04 am

Hmmm….Do they still allow them in the Chunnel?

Hasbeen
Reply to  Dennis
February 18, 2022 8:48 pm

When I have to but small LiPo batteries from overseas for my remote control planes the freight bill is about 3 times the cost of the batteries, due to the necessary precautions for carrying the things.

Alexander Vissers
Reply to  Dennis
February 19, 2022 2:18 am

Give time ant the ferries will be batterie operated.

H B
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 7:01 am

Nuclear more like it

paul courtney
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 9:54 am

Mr. Vissers: Nice prediction, you could have said the same thing in 1900 AD and been just as wrong.
Did you know there was a 1900 AD?

Joao Martins
Reply to  Dennis
February 19, 2022 4:16 am

I don’t!

observa
February 18, 2022 8:25 pm

Experts noted even if the batteries had not caused the fire, that they are highly explosive and likely contributed to the spread of the fire on the vessel.
Photos: Fire-Ravaged Felicity Ace Adrift off the Azores (maritime-executive.com)

The crew were the first on the scene to recognize the ship was doomed by her cargo. Now she’s listing and likely going to the bottom unless they can tow it shelter before any bad weather. Scrap value in any case.

Devils Tower
Reply to  observa
February 18, 2022 9:09 pm

It is my understanding the crew (only 22) hit the life boats Immediatly and were picked up by tanker fortunately, and then boarded(hoisted) to helicopter later. Guessing they were not setup in anyway to fight much of a fire.

We may never here story if they even know where fire started. I gather they did not wait around to investigate. I am not sure what time fire started and when alarms went off. Probably will not hear…. for a long time

If interested do a search on interior pictures of ro ro car transport…

Dean
Reply to  Devils Tower
February 19, 2022 10:23 pm

One thing for sure is that the Blob will find a way to convince themselves this fire was entirely the fault of CO2.

Peta of Newark
February 18, 2022 8:27 pm

Quote:”The hazard likely grows as the battery ages,

I’ll never find the link but as I understand Lithium Batteries (Li-Ion batteries as opposed to LiFePO4 batteries) – the most hazardous part of its life-cycle is the first week.

It is then that any manufacturing faults show up – via the ‘mere’ fact that they spontaneously combust
Thus and my understanding was that a major part of the manufacturing process was to ‘let them sit’ – closely monitored and somewhere safe & out-of-the-way for at least 7 days after they’ve come off the production line. Let them ‘soak’ for a while ##

Is that what happened? Unsoaked batteries were built into a/some cars because of shipping shortages, chip shortages, trucker shortages and deadlines deadlines deadlines.
More haste = less speed and all that jazz

## That was A Theory about Flight MH370 – that some ‘unsoaked’ Lithiums were in the hold and especially were loaded first into cargo.
Then they’d have been directly under where the plane’s main computer was – the burning batteries took down the computer.

That being the one place on the plane that did not have a fire suppression system for fear of a false alarm flooding the computer and crashing the plane
A bit like why our brains don’t have pain sensors – if something is chewing up your brain you’re pretty well terminal so pain sensors up there are irrelevant.

Hence and why the hapless crate flew as far as it did but totally incommunicado and entirely out of control.
Bit like Alzheimer’s disease in fact = everything still works – apart from the brain.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 18, 2022 9:35 pm

Many years ago, as a youngster, I worked in a chemical plant (lab rat). On occasion, they would make some formaldehyde stuff and the air was filled with those fumes. If I caught a reasonable sniff of the stuff my lizard brain kicked in.
As a virgin, who only spoke to women’s breasts, I would have pushed naked females out of the way to get outside the building and the plant. It wasn’t even about survival, it was a total, insane feeling to get away. It was the uncoolest I have ever been.
 The ability to function when toxic gasses are involved can completely disappear. 

Last edited 7 months ago by Alexy Scherbakoff
observa
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 18, 2022 9:06 pm

Is that what happened? Unsoaked batteries were built into a/some cars because of shipping shortages, chip shortages, trucker shortages and deadlines deadlines deadlines.

It’s academic given the likely scattering of EVs among them all. No doubt we’ll hear what the likely fire source was once the crew are interviewed but it could get uncomfortable for VAG if as you say one of their cars spontaneously combusted. The ship’s insurers might be very interested in that but even if that comes to nowt the cost of shipping EVs is going to get a lot more unfriendly than it already is.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  observa
February 18, 2022 10:04 pm

It is a problem with battery manufacture. The quality control is very poor. Underspec. cells are not replaced. There is no system to remove/isolate the suspect cells as you would find with a Hard drive or SD. It just ‘reads’ and ‘writes’ full charge to inferior cells.
ICE vehicles don’t combust from just sitting there. I can accept a fire because of an accident that penetrated cells. I can’t accept an ‘accident’ from charging, discharging or just sitting there.

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 19, 2022 12:16 pm

If you lose the computer on these fly by wire systems, the plane doesn’t keep flying. It crashes, right away.
Secondly, I would be very, very surprised to find out that a fire suppression system, anywhere on a plane, is water based.

Bob
February 18, 2022 9:42 pm

Internal combustion engines rule. They are safe, clean and affordable.

Rod Evans
February 18, 2022 11:23 pm

I suspect a lot of EV owners are now parking their battery powered run abouts a little further away from the house, after seeing this latest “unknown” cause of fire among EV powered cars parked close to each other in a confined space.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 19, 2022 3:10 am

For an ICE vehicle the primary cause of fires is fuel leaks, mainly onto very hot engine parts. The second highest cause is electrical faults. The two vehicle close calls with fire I’ve been in close proximity to to were both electrical. One caused by an aftermarket radio and the other a faulty light switch in an old car. The latter was only saved because there was a fire extinguisher close at hand. Ever since the car radio incident I have an extinguisher in the car.

The EMF of a ICE vehicle is 12 or 24 volts. for an EV it can be as high as 800V as I understand it.

For a short circuit the wattage is V^2/R so for a 1 Ohm short that’s 640,000W, which is a lot in my book. Compared to 144W which is bad enough.

Unless I’ve got that all wrong??

Rod Evans
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 19, 2022 4:24 am

The important point you make obliquely in your comment is, you can carry a fire extinguisher and feel confident with that on board in an ICE vehicle. You have no mechanism that will provide that self help to put out a fire in an EV. You just have to hope you can get out and watch it burn for a few days. Just avoid breathing in the toxic products of lithium burning.

Jim Turner
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 19, 2022 8:42 am

Actually the primary cause of ICE vehicle fires is arson, see:
https://www.theaa.ie/blog/vehicle-fires/

Jake J
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 19, 2022 9:12 am

For those of us who don’t speak acronym, what is “EMF”?

Doonman
Reply to  Jake J
February 19, 2022 9:56 am

Electromotive force, abbreviated EMF, is the electrical action produced by a non-electrical source. A device that converts other forms of energy into electrical energy, such as a battery or generator, provides an EMF as its output. Measured in volts.

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Jake J
February 19, 2022 10:11 am

Voltage, or ElectroMagnetic Force.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 19, 2022 10:13 am

Fuel leaks are not the primary cause of fires in ICE vehicles. Mechanical and electrical faults are first and second. Once the fire starts it can use the gasoline as a fuel.

Devils Tower
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 19, 2022 10:50 am

Just remembered, a long time I had a car catch fire in garage from over heated head light switch. Shortly after arriving home I went back out to garage and noticed all the windows were hazed over. Opened garage door, got fire extinguisher, and carefully opened door. Glad I had extinguisher, dash burst into flames, put fire out. Had a hole melted in dash where light switch used to be. Car might have been 3 years old.

Rob
February 18, 2022 11:46 pm

When a ship or building are lost due to an EV fire, does this count as a carbon emission? How much carbon does it take to replace that ship and all of those cars?

ThinkingScientist
February 19, 2022 12:04 am

Noteworthy, Reuters clearly and specifically mention lithium ion batteries via quote from captain.

BBC also report story but omit any mention of lithium ion batteries or electric vehicles.

Lying by omission?

Imagine if that was a crude carrier on fire. Would the BBC have it as the headline on the 6 O’clock news along with Harrabin banging on about pollution and climate change?

Last edited 7 months ago by ThinkingScientist
Alasdair
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
February 19, 2022 1:59 am

Yes. The BBC now regularly follows the Communist modus operandi.🤯 and, what is more, getting away with it.

Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 2:06 am

I assume they ship the vehicles with virtually empty batteries? Like they ship combustion engine vehicles with empty gas tanks? Problem if EV are on board, cutting oxigen will not stop the fire. And that takes us tot the question, should the ship be salvaged or, after tapping the fuel, dbe sunk in a sport where i does little harm?

Vuk
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 3:28 am

AFAIK, it is not good idea to discharge lithium battery below 25%, but normally they should be kept charged at about 40%

Devils Tower
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 19, 2022 10:56 am

The battery has to be charged to drive off boat. Ro ro, roll on roll off. Years ago a bunch of teslas showed up with dead batterys, in the days before they could be towed. Big embarrassment at time

February 19, 2022 2:38 am

Interesting, we’ve just had a fire on a ferry close to here, wonder if electric vehicles had anything to do with that.
Greece: Search continues for 12 missing in ferry fire (msn.com)

observa
Reply to  meltemian
February 19, 2022 3:21 am

Yes as they report-

The fire broke out three hours after the ferry left the port of Igoumenitsa in northwest Greece for the Italian port of Brindisi. The vessel was transporting 153 trucks and 32 cars.
The cause of the blaze was unclear. The Italy-based company that operated the ferry said the fire started in a hold where vehicles were parked.

But notice also the ferry caught fire in the Ionian Sea while en route to Italy and continued burning for a second day.
and ferries would have some of the best fire protection and suppression measures.

Richard Page
Reply to  meltemian
February 20, 2022 10:23 am

It might not. This story seems very similar to that of the Grande America, in the bay of biscay – also of Grimaldi lines. Like this one, the fire started in a cargo hold also like this one, the fire was mostly darker, not the white smoke associated with EV fires. The cause of the Grande America fire was identified as a flammable, dangerous or unstable cargo being carried in a container. Don’t forget that fires of every sort are the single biggest cause of ship losses, responsible for about 1/3rd of all maritime disasters.

TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 2:46 am

I would not be surprised if in the future, once insurers understand the hazard, owning an EV could make your home uninsurable

Insurance is all about the odds. And for EV fires the odds are incredibly low so I doubt premiums will even be different.


observa
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 3:10 am

Not so as the Felicity Ace is the big wake up call with any EV battery fire dooming the ship-

“The shipping industry has seen its safety record improve significantly over the past decade with the number of total losses now at record lows,” said Captain Rahul Khanna, Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting at AGCS.
“However, fires on car carriers, Roll-on/Roll-off ferries (RoRos), container ships and other vessels remain among the biggest worries for the sector, as demonstrated by the recent rise in incidents.
“RoRo and car carrier vessels in particular can be more exposed to fire and stability issues than other vessels, and require additional emphasis on risk management. To facilitate carriage of automobiles the internal spaces are not divided into separate sections like other cargo ships. The lack of internal bulkheads can have an adverse impact on fire safety and a small fire on one vehicle or battery can grow out of control very quickly. Vehicles are not easily accessible once loading has been completed.
“The large volume of air inside the open cargo decks provides a ready supply of oxygen in case of fire. At AGCS, we look deeply into the risk management of operators and have worked with a number of companies operating ro-ro vessels to agree a robust risk management program,” he added.
Burning car carrier Felicity Ace could be $500m cargo loss, says Skytek – Reinsurance News

The industry has been aware of the increasing fire risk of ro-ro EV carriage-
EU funded project LASH FIRE aims to improve ro-ro ship fire safety | lashfire.eu
Car carrier fires and the associated risks with Electric Vehicle transportation – SAFETY4SEA

No hiding the growing risk anymore or the cost per vehicle of trying to ameliorate that risk to the whole ship and cargo. I notice our intrepid media aren’t picking up the phone to have a chat to some of the crew members about the specifics yet.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  observa
February 19, 2022 5:26 am

Not so as the Felicity Ace is the big wake up call with any EV battery fire dooming the ship

That applies to all batteries including all of our phones and many goods. Its not even certain it was an EV battery that caused the fire. It could have been any other battery onboard if it was a battery at all.

Oh and “Yes so”, the suggestion I disagreed with was about insuring homes, not ships.

observa
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 6:18 am

You’re misreading the problem here. Yes as Samsung found and probably GM with their Bolt and Hyundai found using LGchem battery tech they can sometimes get the matrix wrong with all the design parameters and safety in mind. They can pay the price with causing a few isolated fires and subsequent recalls to sort that.

What the Felicity Ace shows us is no matter what the cause of a single runaway battery fire having all those other EV batteries stacked together in close proximity is a recipe for disaster. That’s when we’re not even shipping 100% EVs by 2030 or whenever or our high rise car parks etc are full of EVs. Get the picture? The crew of the Felicity Ace sure did and pronto.

Janice Moore
Reply to  observa
February 19, 2022 1:09 pm

TimtheTT, you do, indeed, mischaracterize the issue:  “It’s not even certain it was an EV battery that caused the fire.”

As observa observes, the issue is fire suppression: “no matter what the cause.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 1:28 pm

Or containment if it’s deemed warranted. Putting the car in a shipping container would contain a fire. Then of course you need good ventilation to minimise smoke damage. All doable of course and maybe this incident will bring some of that about.

MarkW
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 3:28 pm

Since cost is apparently no object, why not just ship one car per vessel?

paul courtney
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 4:27 pm

Mr. ToolMan: Or maybe this incident will finally revive common sense and kill the EV nonsense-on-stilts. ICE cars don’t require all your “doable” stuff with increased expense, along with all the other patently obvious disadvantages for EVs. If they weren’t favored by government subsidies etc., the EVs wouldn’t have been on that ship to destroy it.

Richard Page
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 20, 2022 10:28 am

Putting the car in a container will not contain the fire – witness the 2 Grimaldi lines ferries that were lost due to fires starting in shipping containers. The fires will go straight through the container and spread. Last bit deleted as MarkW beat me to it!

Last edited 7 months ago by Richard Page
Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 10:21 am

Do you have some numbers? There is a huge fleet of ICE vehicles which do not spontaneously combust and if there is a fire it can be extinguished easily. There is a very small fleet of EV which has had some cases of spontaneous combustion. I’m sure the odds of a fire due to a parked EV is much higher than the odds of a fire due to a parked ICEV.

MarkW
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 12:34 pm

The average age of EVs on the road, is only a year or two.
The average age of ICEs on the road, is a lot more.

Many fires are the result of old and or poorly maintained vehicles.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 1:21 pm

Lithium ion batteries catch fire more frequently (estimate: by a factor of 2) than conventional batteries. …

(Source: https://maritimesafetyinnovationlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/BMBVS-Study-on-fire-safety-in-connection-with-the-transport-of-vehicles-with-electric-generators-or-electrically-powered-vehicles-on-ro-ro-and-ro-pax-ships-2013.pdf at 24)

(from my comment on this thread on February 19, 2022 at 10:48 am)

Richard Page
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 20, 2022 10:34 am

‘By a factor of 2’ is a highly conservative estimate, when I worked out the figures from London vehicle fire statistics, I got a factor of about 6-7. That’s for relatively new cars, up to about 1 year old. Older EV’s increase the risk by about a factor of 11.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Richard Page
February 23, 2022 4:48 pm

I’m late to acknowledge, Mr. Page, but, better than never…🙄 Nice work! Thank you for sharing that.

Janice

Janice Moore
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 1:35 pm

And, remember, the key is not so much which is more likely to start the fire, but that the lithium-ion battery fire is inextinquishable.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
February 19, 2022 6:43 pm

Do you have some numbers?

Its not a question on any home insurance policy I’ve seen. Have you seen any questions relating to electric vehicles in particular? That is all the evidence you need that its not even a blip on the claim costs.

MarkW
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 7:53 pm

EVs and their issues haven’t been around long enough, in large enough numbers, for insurance companies to take notice.

Paul C
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 20, 2022 11:07 am

Thank you for pointing out another indirect subsidy of electric vehicles. If taxation on ICE vehicles did not provide the infrastructure, electric vehicles would have no roads to run on. If vast numbers of ICE vehicles did not provide profits to insurance companies, expensive EVs would have to bear the full cost of their insurance, and danger to third parties.

Willem post
February 19, 2022 3:40 am

My theory is: Russia did it, because Germany is politically stalling Nord Stream2

Richard Page
Reply to  Willem post
February 20, 2022 4:54 pm

North Korea.

Joseph Zorzin
February 19, 2022 4:06 am

As I expected- the Boston Globe’s article on the boat fire failed to even mention that the fire might have started in an EV battery. The article mentions that many of the cars are high end- but no mention that many are EVs.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/02/18/metro/heres-latest-ri-bound-cargo-ship-that-caught-fire-sea-with-thousands-new-cars-aboard/#comment-132271236

Speed
February 19, 2022 4:30 am

I can see home-owners insurance companies requiring that EVs be parked outside or in a garage not connected to the house. For now, anyway.

Gasoline is dangerous but so far does not self-ignite.

This is a developing story.

Speed
February 19, 2022 4:32 am

We’ve had hybrid cars for some time now. Do those batteries the same chemistry as EVs?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Speed
February 19, 2022 5:14 am

Depends on the vehicle. The original Toyota hybrid synergy drive used a nickel metal hydride battery. The newer plugin-hybrid models use lithium-ion. Standard hybrid models also have much smaller batteries than pure EV’s: typically 1.6 KWh or so.

NIMH batteries are much safer, but still subject to restrictions in airline transport (may not be carried in checked luggage).

John Hardy
February 19, 2022 4:38 am

Fair comment, and for sure the problem must be fixed: but statistically petrol vehicles have a higher chance of fire. Imagine the fuss if someone proposed introducing petrol powered vehicles into an eco-system of EVS

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  John Hardy
February 19, 2022 5:31 am
ATheoK
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 19, 2022 5:59 pm

From the report with 2018 being the latest year with data.

There are 113,000 gas stations in the USA.
In 2018 there were 4,150 fires at gas stations.

2,340 of those fires were vehicle fires. 2.0% gas stations were affected by a vehicle fire in 2018.

“Only 2 percent started at the fuel tank or fuel line. The small percentages associated with the exterior and fuel line suggest that the refueling process was not a major factor in these fires.”

Plastic fires are the most common item that burned first. A substantial number of the fires are caused by owner/operators apparently fumbling smoking equipment or materials. Similarly, mechanical failures and electrical fires contributed a third or more of the vehicle fires.

283.8 million vehicles are currently on the road. Making the percentage of vehicle fires ridiculously small.
These vehicles travel 267 billion miles in 2021.

Reducing vehicle visits to gas stations and their percentages for incredibly infrequent fires at gas stations infinitesimally small.

The only vehicle fires that I remember as causing structural damage are extremely infrequent ones, like when a gasoline tanker rammed an overpass support.

That is, very few vehicle fires come anywhere near the damage caused by a lithium ion battery fire that are becoming much more frequent. Fires that harm human health via toxic combustion products or direct burns.

MarkW
Reply to  ATheoK
February 19, 2022 7:56 pm

The only time I’ve witnessed a fire at a gas station, was when an elderly couple had a flat tire on the interstate and decided to drive their vehicle to the nearest exit. By the time they reached the exit and the gas station, the tire was fully engulfed.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  John Hardy
February 19, 2022 8:35 am

Given that there are around 1.4 billion ICEVs in the world compared to c 13m EVs there are obviously going to be more fires in ICEVs

lee riffee
Reply to  Dave Andrews
February 19, 2022 11:13 am

You nailed it! That is like stats that say Labrador Retrievers rank at the top of the list for dog bites. So yes, that is true – but it also fails to mention that Labs are one of the most popular breeds and there are a heck of a lot more of them than other reputedly aggressive breeds. Certain other breeds are a heck of a lot more likely to bite, but there are far fewer of them.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  John Hardy
February 19, 2022 10:30 am

Most vehicle fires involve older, poorly maintained vehicles (from the National Fire Protection Association). Considering the average vehicle in the US is over 11 years old, that is a large number of vehicles. How many EVs are there on the road that are over 11 years old? Adjust your stats for age of vehicle and see what result you get. But since you are an EV junkie, I’m sure facts don’t matter.

MarkW
Reply to  John Hardy
February 19, 2022 12:38 pm

I’m wondering if the EV enthusiasts will ever be able to make honest comparisons.
1) Average age of ICE vehicles on the road is much older than the average age of EVs on the road.
2) Almost all ICE fires occur after a collision, self ignition is very, very rare.
3) Most ICE fires do not start in the fuel system.
4) ICE fires can be put out.

GaryD
February 19, 2022 5:40 am

Apparently electric cars fires are not at all uncommon on freighters.

“Now, after what it describes as the “umpteenth case” of a fire breaking out in vehicles transported by cargo vessels, Grimaldi has called for tighter regulations on what can be transported at sea.”
https://theloadstar.com/latest-containership-fire-leads-grimaldi-to-demand-tighter-regs-on-ocean-cargo/

Jim Gorman
February 19, 2022 5:45 am

Who would like a Powerwall or two or three installed in their house?

observa
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 19, 2022 6:22 am

Not this bloke anymore although apparently he mightn’t have maintained it properly (chuckle)-
Warning about maintaining solar panel batteries after Adelaide house badly damaged in fire – ABC News

Doonman
Reply to  observa
February 19, 2022 10:19 am

How does a homeowner “maintain” a lithium battery storage system in his house?

My house is connected to the grid. I “maintain” that with a phonecall, which I have done twice in 30 years.

Dean
Reply to  observa
February 19, 2022 10:31 pm

These battery advocates are using the Chernobyl defense line.

Nothing at all wrong with the design, it was all because of the operators…

Eric Porter
February 19, 2022 5:47 am

If this keeps happening, I wonder how long until the batteries are send separately.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Eric Porter
February 19, 2022 1:55 pm

Probably, never. Your idea makes sense, but, the cost of doing that would likely make the price too high to market.

Meh. What am I saying? EVs’ costs are already too high to market. And yet, these rolling hazmat-mobiles are out there ready to burn down parking garages already — thanks to Big G.

So, I guess the answer is: when the EV scammers get the government to force taxpayers to fund the cost.

Ebor
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 19, 2022 2:53 pm

I know the answer (cribbing from an earlier post) – just put each EV in its own shipping container – viola, problem solved! /s

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ebor
February 19, 2022 4:30 pm

lolol

Richard Page
Reply to  Ebor
February 20, 2022 10:45 am

Only if you send them as components, to be assembled at destination. The fires get hot enough to go straight through the containers. The Grimaldi lines ship ‘Grande America’ was likely sunk by a fire started by dangerous cargo in a cargo container. The accident investigators couldn’t be 100% sure because the evidence is at the bottom of the bay of biscay, but by cross-checking the fire fighters reports with the cargo manifests, they were able to narrow it down to a few containers, a couple of which contained highly flammable substances.

DonK31
February 19, 2022 5:52 am

Please excuse my ignorance, but are batteries for in home electrical storage such as Tesla Walls similar to EV batteries? Are they just as vulnerable to fire as EVs are? Are houses with Tesla Walls insurable? If such storage should not be placed in an attached garage, how far away from the main house must the battery storage shed be placed?

observa
Reply to  DonK31
February 19, 2022 6:45 am

Same deal as Tesla cars and plenty of videos around on them-
Tesla Powerwall Teardown – Taking a look inside a new Tesla Powerwall thats been stored for years – YouTube
Tesla Battery Teardown – Model 3 Standard Range Plus – YouTube

Yes they can torch houses like ships-
Warning about maintaining solar panel batteries after Adelaide house badly damaged in fire – ABC News
or lots of busses with them stacked together-
Electric bus bursts into flames, sets nearby vehicles on fire in China – YouTube
or anything else in close proximity to them that burns and firies basically have to wait until the batteries have burned themselves out. The problem gets bigger the more of them you stack together once a battery runaway begins.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  DonK31
February 19, 2022 7:58 am

The cells are identical. They are made in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.

DonK31
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 19, 2022 9:34 am

Thank you.

Rich Lambert
February 19, 2022 6:05 am

People should be cautious even with hand tool batteries. Store and charge them where if they catch fire they don’t cause secondary fires. Ditto gasoline cans and propane tanks.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 19, 2022 6:17 am

The ignition source of the 2019 fire on the dive boat MV Conception was never positively established by the Coast Guard inquiry, but it likely started on the salon in an area where passengers left their camera and dive light batteries charging overnight. Fire there blocked access to the stairway to the upper deck. All 33 passengers and one crew member sleeping below died.

The NTSB expected to conclude its investigation and declare a cause after twelve to eighteen months of investigations.[68] One of the surviving crew members theorized the fire may have started in the salon of the ship, where cellphones and cameras had been plugged in to charge overnight. The designer of the vessel speculated the fire may have begun in the bunk area, possibly sparked by a lithium battery.[16] Boats made at the time the Conception was built were not installed with electrical systems that could handle the number of rechargeable devices carried by current passengers, who often bring cell phones, cameras, and lighting systems for their dives. The sheer number of devices charging at once may have overloaded circuits, or the devices’ lithium-ion batteries may have overloaded.[69] In October 2018, two passengers aboard the sister ship Vision saw a battery and charger catch on fire in the aft portion of the salon; one unplugged it and dunked it in a bin of rinse water, and the other emptied a fire extinguisher onto the aft bookcase where it had been plugged in.[70][71]

Duane
February 19, 2022 7:02 am

It really makes no difference, practically speaking, when a dense concentration of motor vehicles – whether powered by gasoline, diesel, or battery – ignites.

We had a situation here in SW Florida where I live a couple years ago, there was a huge densely packed parking area near SW Florida International Airport, where rental cars were densely packed, much like they are in typical vehicle transport ships. The fire must have started somewhere in the middle of the dense pack, because by the time firefighters from all over the area came to respond, it was too late – more than 5,000 cars, mostly gasoline fueled, burned up, and all the firefighters could do was make a fire break around the conflagration to keep it from spreading offsite.

Much here at WUWT rails on and on about EV battery fires … but anyone who has ever witnessed a gasoline fueled motor vehicle on fire on the highway, or off, knows that those fires cannot be put out either, once underway. The fire may not burn as long, but the end result is the same – a charred hulk of a vehicle, and possibly dead human occupants.

After all as the EV haters readily acknowledge, the chemical energy content of gasoline or diesel is far more dense than that of any existing chemical battery.

It’s the energy content, stupid! As political consultants might say.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Duane
February 19, 2022 7:27 am

It is not the energy content per se, Duane. It is the inability to extinguish the fire even if just one EV short circuits and burns. The other issue literally, is the toxic gasses produced for the hours/days the EV fire takes to burn itself out. I would welcome an electrical drive vehicle and as soon as a major car company produces a fuel cell to power the motors in each wheel that can be recharged with methane I will happily buy one.

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Duane
February 19, 2022 10:52 am

It’s only the energy content if you include the oxidizer.There is zero combustion energy in gasoline if you deny the oxygen, as in the petrol tank in a typical car (there’s very little air in the gas tank; it’s mostly a non-combustable mixture of gasoline fumes) You have to burst the tank or make it leak to get a fire, and then only if there is an ignition source.

Car manufacturers learned a few decades ago that gas tank placement should be protected in a collision and not under the rear (trunk, boot). Lower liklihood of having a Pinto scenario.

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Dan DeLong
February 19, 2022 11:39 am

Also, if you have an under hood fire in an ICE car, you shut off the engine with your key and the fuel pump stops feeding fuel to the fire. That’s one reason why car manufacturers put the fuel pump inside the gas tank, as any downstream fuel line failure is shut off. (Resistance to vapor lock was the primary reason)

Newer cars that don’t have a key? I guess the software removes power to the fuel pump – somehow – sometime. Personally, I don’t like the idea of relinquishing direct control over the engine start/stop, and this is one of the reasons.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Dan DeLong
February 19, 2022 1:58 pm

I don’t like the idea of relinquishing direct control over the engine start/stop, 

Same!

MarkW
Reply to  Duane
February 19, 2022 12:47 pm

ICE cars are only shipped with enough fuel to drive them onto the ship and off again.
Most firefighters come with equipment for putting out gasoline fires and usually do within a minute or two of arriving on the scene.

I love how you assume that anyone who points out some of the many problems with EV’s is now listed a a EV hater? Do you often use inaccurate insults in an effort to shut down debate?

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
February 22, 2022 8:36 am

He’s a leftist, so of course he does.

Geb
February 19, 2022 7:05 am

If so it’ll be virtually impossible to extinguish.

menace
February 19, 2022 7:59 am

Somehow I don’t think that they ran into the kitchen to dig out some towels and wet them in the sink to put over their mouths…

Tom.1
February 19, 2022 8:08 am

While not intending to dismiss battery fires as inconsequential, I think the risks may be overstated by posters on this forum. I’m not saying the stats in the link are the last word, or even accurate. I’m just saying that people should look to the data, which is what people here expect and demand from the climate alarmists. Let’s not approach things the way they do. Do Electric Cars Catch Fire More Than Gas-Powered Vehicles? – Larson Law Firm P.C. (ndakotalaw.com)

lee riffee
Reply to  Tom.1
February 19, 2022 11:24 am

The article you linked says they are much harder to put out – I think that is the main issue. Regarding the boat fire, they may have been able to put it out if it had started in a gas powered car, or maybe not. If something happens fairly often, but is fairly easy to remedy, that’s different from something that happens less commonly but is far more catastrophic.
An analogy – minor earthquakes are quite common, but it is the rarer big ones that do most of the damage.

Janice Moore
Reply to  lee riffee
February 19, 2022 2:53 pm

(Given several other comments on this thread…🙄)

This bears repeating, with emphasis:

THEY ARE much harder IMPOSSIBLE TO EXTINGUISH.

🙂

Dan DeLong
Reply to  Tom.1
February 19, 2022 12:22 pm

General Motors sent a letter to all 140,000 Chevy Bolt BEV car owners, asking them to park 50 ft from other cars. Has any manufacturer ever said this about any ICE car?

https://www.theday.com/article/20210916/BIZ07/210919553

paul courtney
Reply to  Tom.1
February 20, 2022 6:32 am

Mr..1: Thank you for (once again) expressing your concern for posters on this forum. From the first, the concern of posters here has been the catastrophic result of an EV fire, which is not overstated at all. We also notice that the more EVs (on roads and at sea!), more fires. I don’t see anybody counting more EV fires than ICE fires, maybe you could direct your tender concern toward an identified “poster” on the forum.
Any concern for the ship? If USA didn’t encourage EVs, that ship would have none on board. The crew could stay on board, put out the fire, and even reach destination if not for battery fire (regardless of how it started, right?).
The “numbers” you insist we see are not material to the point made by the overwhelming majority of posters at this forum. There is absolutely no cause to gaslight posters here by suggesting we are “approaching” things like climate alarmists. You are the one using immaterial number-of-fires data to obscure the point, that the EV fires are catastrophic. Just like CliScis.

Philip
February 19, 2022 8:47 am

If we are imagining possible nasty things, how about someone hacking into the (for example) Tesla remote programming system and “adjusting” settings such that every one of them simultaneously had a battery fire?

Richard Page
Reply to  Philip
February 20, 2022 5:01 pm

How? I don’t think that would be possible. It would be like hacking a phone to try to get the battery to explode – it just doesn’t quite work that way.

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Page
February 22, 2022 8:41 am

Philip must have watched one too many tv shows where people (for example Captain Kirk) cause computers to blow up/meltdown by catching them in a logic contradiction. Doesn’t happen in the real world.

Vuk
February 19, 2022 9:29 am

Lithium fire burns at around 2,000 degree C, while iron melts at 1,500C, and steel loses most of its tensile strength, turning into glowing white colour.

Ray Swadling
February 19, 2022 9:56 am

Additional issue on a ship is you can’t just pump thousands of gallons of water into the ship to put it out. Otherwise it will become a submarine. That would probably put tbe fire out for good mind🙂

ResourceGuy
February 19, 2022 10:29 am

Thankfully one of those EVs didn’t end up in a parking deck in lower Manhattan.

Sturmudgeon
February 19, 2022 12:37 pm

Is this danger applicable to the hybrids?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Sturmudgeon
February 19, 2022 1:34 pm

See earlier reply upthread. Much less so.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 19, 2022 3:08 pm

Only, IIRC, if they use nickel cadmium batteries. Many (most?) of the newer models now use lithium-ion batteries.

February 19, 2022 2:48 pm

Diesel is the safest – the fuel doesn’t burn easily

observa
February 19, 2022 4:05 pm

Once you delve into the demise of the Felicity Ace and what we already know about lithium battery fires you realize it’s a modern day Titanic moment and something the ship’s 22 crew members now fully comprehend. Why is it so?

Well put yourself in the ship’s Master’s position along with his senior officers. They’re sitting on a 300M by 30M wide floating multi-level carpark and each car needs around a 6Mx3M space to be lashed down. You know 8 or 9 cars across and end to end for that 300M on a number of decks. Unlike your local land based car park they don’t need traffic lanes around them all as they park them in one after the other and it will be last on first off all at once and not at various times at our convenience as parking owners.

Now the Master and officers know the ship’s manifest includes say 20 or 25% EVs amongst ICEs stacked together like that and an alarm goes off that there’s a fire onboard amongst them all. Now up on the bridge they’ll have access to fire and smoke sensors and complete camera vision of their cargo. Once they realize an EV lithium battery is now immolating and spreading to the 4 or 5th lithium battery and no amount of sprinkler water/water fogging/foam/ CO2 fire suppression can stop it they know the ship is doomed to become a pile of melted plastic and metal at the bottom of the ocean.

So it’s abandon ship and take to the lifeboats (in the middle of the night I understand) safe in the knowledge the lesson of the Titanic will see them right. Of course modern global communications and fossil fuelled helicopters are a comforting thought for them and they are in busy shipping lanes with GPS location at all times as they watch the glow of the ship from a safe distance.

Now do you get what they all got? That wasn’t with a ro-ro full of 100% EVs by whenever the brains trust can manage it but likely only 1 in every 4 or 5 incendiary battery cars. But they knew what we all know about situations like 911 and Grenfell Towers and lithium battery cars and busses going up and firies can only cool their surroundings and wait for the lithium batteries to burn themselves out.

Welcome to their Titanic moment and you don’t think a whole lot of people with a vested interest in battery vehicles for all aren’t going to go into denial about that? I haven’t seen any interviews with any of the ship’s crew yet and are some very strong vested interests signing them up to non-disclosure agreements or what? Do your job media lackeys.

Am I worried about being forced in future to have EVs in my carport and driveway? Not really as I have a double brick wall between us and them and we sleep on the other side of the single storey home with alarms between us and these potential incendiaries. I can still understand this Titanic moment for many however.

Richard Page
Reply to  observa
February 20, 2022 10:53 am

Especially when you consider that the exact same thing happened to the sister ship, the ‘Sincerity Ace’ on New Years Eve 2018. The company must have learned that you can’t put the fire out from that example.

observa
Reply to  Richard Page
February 20, 2022 6:05 pm

Yes they’re not exactly rushing out with a report on the fire cause with the Sincerity Ace or I can’t find mention of it on the net-
Panama to probe cause of Sincerity Ace blaze – Ships & Ports (shipsandports.com.ng)
and others are wondering about that too since the report was apparently submitted on 14 feb 2021 but not available for download at present-
Sincerity-Ace-No-Report.jpg (1282×537) (gcaptain.com)
Curiouser and curiouser with actual fatalities involved and no media interviews yet with any crew of the Felicity Ace? Smells of cover up with the risks.

observa
February 20, 2022 4:14 am

Still skeptical about a Titanic moment here? Take a tour of a ro-ro car carrier and you’ll see the overhead sprinklers and the occasional fire extinguisher and hose reel particularly at the end climbing the steps-
Roro Ship car ship vessel tour and walk around inside a Glovis roro vessel car supply chain – YouTube

But imagine one day they’re all supposed to be EVs packed in like that including on the ramps between decks and for whatever reason one catches fire like so-
Watch This Severe Electric Car Fire And Explosion At A Charging Station (insideevs.com)

The Felicity Ace might have only had 20 or 25% EVs but once the crew realized you can’t put out lithium batteries they knew the ship was doomed like it was-
Photos show Felicity Ace, the burning cargo ship loaded with luxury cars, smoldering at sea (yahoo.com)
The clear lesson is massed EVs are a serious catastrophic threat to property and life.

Reply to  observa
February 20, 2022 7:52 am

Don’t you want to save the planet? Even at this price?

Richard Page
Reply to  Curious George
February 20, 2022 10:56 am

This is an object lesson to us all that sometimes the price is far too high, and not worth paying. You want to save the planet without killing people? Buy a horse.

Mark D
February 20, 2022 7:17 am

So….. I just bought a smoke detector with a 10 yr non replaceable lithium battery.
Is it’s battery of a different config/chemistry? Should I take it back?

February 20, 2022 10:24 am

Call me cruel, but I hope the fire WAS started by a battery pack because if those batteries caught fire while charging in a garage someone could have died. Of course I won’t bet getting a $150,000 Porsche next week. I had ordered three, in different colors, to match the wife’s shoes.

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 22, 2022 8:44 am

Lucky you, your wife only has 3 different shoes to match. Imagine having to buy matching Porsches for women who have many more than 3 😉

RobR
February 20, 2022 11:46 am
MarkW
Reply to  RobR
February 20, 2022 2:31 pm

CNN doesn’t even pretend to be an honest news organization anymore.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
February 22, 2022 8:46 am

James Earl Jones needs to add an incredulous/disdainful inflection to the statement “you’re watching CNN”.

observa
February 20, 2022 4:12 pm

Well it’s not just the large lithium battery EV cargoes that are the problem-
Lithium-ion Batteries From Electric Vehicles Aboard The Felicity Ace Are Keeping The Fire Alive (gcaptain.com)

The rush to save the planet has seen large lithium-ion batteries appear in the very vessels themselves-
Fire and Gas Explosion in Battery Room of Norwegian Ferry Prompts Lithium-Ion Power Warning (gcaptain.com)

But they’ve been ignoring the warnings about large lithium ion battery safety (and the consequences of amassing them together) and churning out such unsafe cheap-jack batteries without the proper safety mechanisms they’ve known about (read the summary)-
Can a lithium-ion battery fire be put out on a vessel? (lithium-news.com)

And apparently these unsafe runaway incendiaries will be mandated in future to sit in the basement of hi-rise apartments multi-level carparks and the like. What is going on here with all these Felicity Aces of the future?

WBrowning
February 22, 2022 4:27 am

I call Tesla’s and other EVs Portable Carbeques and Super-sized Golf Carts.

RobR
February 22, 2022 6:33 am

Look at the damage to the superstructure.

Screenshot_20220222-082914_Google.jpg
Ed Zuiderwijk
March 2, 2022 8:58 am

The vessel sank on March 2.

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