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Norwegian shipping line decides not to carry electric cars due to fire risk

Norwegian shipping company Havila Kystruten will not carry electric, hybrid, or hydrogen cars, for safety reasons.

Havila Kystruten, one of Norway’s leading shipping lines – Norway is the country that sells most electric cars in Europe with an 80% market share – has announced that it will no longer transport these types of vehicles because of their fire risk.

“The decision was taken following an external risk analysis conducted for us. The result of this analysis means that we have decided not to ship this type of vehicle for safety reasons,” confirmed Lasse A. Vangstein, head of communication at Havila Kystruten.

, Norwegian shipping line decides not to carry electric cars due to fire risk
The ship Felicity Ace before sinking (Photo internet reproduction)

The main concern is that a fire in a vehicle that does not use fossil fuels threatens the safety of passengers, crew, and ship.

Thus, a fire in an electric car poses a greater risk of explosion and the release of toxic gases.

That could force immediate evacuation of the ship and, in a worst-case scenario, could lead to total failure of the vessel.

Vangstein acknowledges that although fires in electric cars are statistically less common than in combustion cars, they can be more difficult to extinguish.

If a fire breaks out in an electric car’s battery pack, it takes large amounts of water and a long time to extinguish the flames.

The shipping line says they have not given up on being able to carry electric cars in the future, but that supply is currently being reduced.

“We will never jeopardize the safety of passengers and crew. If we get such a clear conclusion on the risk assessment, the decision is very easy, even if it is difficult for some,” the company explained.

The shipping company’s decision came months after the Felicity Ace freighter sank in 2022 and burned at sea with 4,000 vehicles on board.

The lithium batteries of the electric cars on the ship prolonged the fire and made it difficult for emergency crews to extinguish it.

With information from LGI

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