Due to an increased risk of fire from electric cars, Norwegian shipping company Havila has decided to stop carrying e-cars on its own ships.
Havila faces ban on electric cars
Electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars are no longer allowed to be transported on board Havila Kystruten ships. The reason for this is the increased fire risk posed by the cars, according to a risk analysis by consulting firm Proactima AS. This is reported by the website BusinessPortal Norway.
Background might be at least also the ship accident of the Felicty Ace, which had sunk at the beginning of the year 2022 approximately 100 kilometers before the Azores after a violent fire. On board the freighter were several thousand vehicles from the VW Group – including electric cars and plug-in hybrids that were to be transported to the United States of America.
Although the reasons for the Felicity Ace fire are unclear, the incident apparently raised concerns for Havila Kystruten’s vessels, which is why they have now decided not to carry electric and hybrid cars, as well as hydrogen cars, from now on to protect passengers and crew.
According to CEO Bent Martini, a fire in such vehicles would require external rescue measures and would be a risk that the company did not want to take under any circumstances. However, the company wants to find new solutions internally that will minimize the risk in the future and thus make it possible to transport corresponding e-cars and similar vehicles again.
Meanwhile, Havila’s official FAQ states:“Electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars are prohibited on board.” However, e-bikes and electric scooters are still allowed, but battery charging is not permitted on the ship.
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Curious thing: Havila’s ships use hybrid propulsion themselves
The curious thing about this: Havila Kystruten’s ships use hybrid propulsion themselves and are equipped with large battery packs that allow them to run fully electric, at least some of the time.
According to BusinessPortal Norway, the fleet is equipped with the “world’s largest battery packs on a passenger ship”, making it particularly environmentally friendly. However, according to Martini, they follow a particularly strict safety concept, in which, for example, the batteries are placed in insulated and fireproof rooms with special fire protection systems.
Norway is considered a pioneer in the field of electromobility anyway and is regarded as the country with the highest proportion of electric cars in the world. Although the country has since moved away from a complete ban on cars with internal combustion engines from 2025, it wants to make gasoline and diesel cars financially unattractive, for example by significantly increasing taxes.