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Seatrade Maritime News readers back dedicated vessels for electric vehicles

Photo: Dutch Coastguard Fremantle-Highway-fire-Dutch-Coastguard.jpeg
A spate of fires involving ro-ros with electric vehicles onboard has raised alarm over the risk that lithium-ion batteries pose.

Many fires involving Li-ion batteries have been traced to manufacturing faults and damaged batteries. While the batteries in the electric vehicles may not always be the initial cause of the fire onboard ro-ros once the fire spreads and Li-ion batteries in EVs ignite they are extremely difficult extinguish.

In Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s (AGCS) Safety and Shipping Review 2023 noted most ships lack suitable fire protection, firefighting capabilities, and detection systems to tackle EV fires.

One suggestion made by AGCS in the report was that there should be dedicated, purpose-built vessels for carrying EVs which are designed sustainably to reduce the risk of fires. We put this suggestion to our readers on Seatrade Maritime News, as well as our LinkedIn channel, over the last month and readers came out overwhelmingly in favour of dedicated, purpose-built vessels for carrying EVs.

Yes - 67.9%  

No – 19.5%

Don’t know/No opinion – 12.6%

Clearly though designing and building such dedicated vessels would take several years at least so in the meantime other methods of fire safety prevention will be paramount.