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Why do cargo ships carrying electric vehicles often burn and sink?

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular these days as a step towards sustainability, but transportation of electric vehicles The authorities are a bit concerned about it.

of batteries fire protection, It stands out as one of the biggest risks encountered during transportation.

So what’s the real deal?

Felicity Ace brand electric vehicle

Until a few years ago, ship fires were a rare occurrence. But especially lately Fires on ships with electric vehicles started to be seen more often.

What does this problem have to do with electric vehicles? If we go through the example; The Felicity Ace ship is an unquenchable ship in 2022 after car fire It sank off the coast of the Azores and in August 2023 the ship Fremantle Highway was similarly destroyed. In flames on the North Sea Remained.

The fires on both Felicity Ace and the Fremantle Highway are believed to be exacerbated by the presence of electric vehicles.

FelicityAge

There is currently no evidence that electric vehicles cause fires. Although it has no proven effect insurer Allianz, warned against the transport of electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries.

Fremantle highway

The lithium in lithium-ion batteries is not elemental because it is very reactive, instead, it is mixed with a metal oxide such as cobalt oxide.

For example, water absorbs heat; carbon dioxide, oxygen; foam eliminates both heat and oxygen. Lithium-ion batteries, however They burn so intensely Extinguishing them requires a huge amount of water.

Therefore, it is incredibly difficult to extinguish even one electric vehicle.

Tesla vehicle fire

United Kingdom Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, About 4,000 liters of water is needed to extinguish a normal burning car, but for every electric car 10,000 liters of water has published a guide stating that this may be necessary.

Furthermore, just retaining water on the vehicle is not enough; it is also sufficient Water is also supplied to the battery pack It is needed.

Lithium, when combined with a metal oxide such as cobalt oxide It actually produces oxygen during the combustion process. So no matter how much carbon dioxide the deck is filled with, the batteries will only produce more oxygen.

Of course, we should not forget that the issue we are talking about is just a claim, just like batteries It is not known whether he is actually guilty or not. and we need a solid scientific basis to understand the risks.

As the popularity of electric vehicles increases, the maritime industry must adapt to this new reality. However technological advancement, faster than the development of safety standards…

Sources: Casual Navigation, Bloomberg, euronews

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