Action is now being taken so this never happens again.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two months, you'll have heard about the Felicity Ace incident. The abridged version is a carrier ship catching fire, taking 3,828 cars to the bottom of the ocean.
As you can imagine, there are enormous consequences for automotive manufacturers. Lamborghini has to restart Aventador production, while Porsche has to replace 1,000 cars. Luckily, these manufacturers are insured. Unfortunately, some vehicles that can never be replaced were lost as well.
While the cause of the fire will likely remain unknown forever, it's widely believed that the EVs on the ship contributed to the ferocity of the fire. According to Splash, this is the fourth big carrier ship fire since 2019.
As a result, the shipping industry is starting to implement new regulations and restrictions. It makes complete sense, considering the loss of the Felicity Ace cost around $500 million.
The Felicity Ace belonged to Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), which has already gone on record stating that it won't transport used EVs anymore. Hybrids are fine, but used battery-powered full-electric vehicles are no longer welcome.
"The number of used EVs we transport has been increasing recently, so we have decided to review our standards for accepting used vehicles and have decided to suspend accepting booking of used battery electric vehicles for the time being," a spokesperson for MOL said.
MOL operates one of the largest automotive carrier fleets in the world, so this decision is bound to have a significant impact on transport times and costs. Other car carrier firms haven't gone as far as banning EVs, but there has been a lot of noise regarding the reassessment of fire fighting equipment.
There has been a lot of misinformation regarding Felicity Ace. We've even seen some people name the Chevrolet Bolt as the culprit, even though it's built in the USA and had no business being anywhere near the Azores where the Felicity sunk.
London-based law firm, Watson Farley & Williams, recently released a report on the topic. It clearly states that there is no evidence to suggest that EVs are more likely to burn than ICE cars. But it is widely known that they burn a lot hotter and for much longer than an ICE car.
"If crews are not aware that fighting an EV fire requires a different technique to that employed in fighting a conventional fire onboard, it is easy to see how an incident could lead to a total loss. The evidence indicates that current suppression and drenching systems will not be sufficient for this new risk. New systems will need to be devised and incorporated into ship design," Watson Farley & Williams stated in the report.