In the April edition of our Famous Last Words, I looked at the story of the ‘Felicity Ace’ cargo ship which caught fire on 22 February 2022, just off the Azures in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The ship’s saga gained world-wide media attention, due to the fact that it’s estimated cargo of more than US$400 million of luxury cars heading to America (including many electric cars) caught on fire and was difficult to extinguish. Consequently, on March 2nd it sank more than 3,000 metres to the ocean floor, taking with it the ability to find answers as to how the fire started.
I guess it’s not surprising that this incident has initiated much discussion based around the transportation of not only motor vehicles, but cargo in general.
The biggest question being asked by many experts now is, as the ‘Felicity Ace’ fire is believed to have started in the ships hull that housed electric vehicles, and as the fire was difficult to extinguish due to the high volume of lithium-ion batteries, in future how can electric vehicles be transported safely?
This Autoweek article looks at this question and in particular, if as some suspect the fire may have started by “a runaway thermal event in an electric car somewhere in the darkest confines of a parking area below deck”, could the same event happen on any form of electric car carrying transporter?