The first ferry line announced that it will not allow cars with electric, hybrid and hydrogen propulsion on board. Norway’s Havila Kystruten justifies this ban on safety grounds. Concerns relate to the outbreak of a possible fire on the ship and difficulties in carrying out firefighting operations.
The Norwegian ferry line Havila Kystruten, which operates between the cities of Kirkenes and Bergen, has announced that electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles will not be accepted on board its ships, but only cars with internal combustion engines. The company’s chief executive, Bent Martini, said the decision was made following a risk analysis by external firm Proactima.
No electric cars on board the ferry
The decision of the Norwegian shipowner is related to the risk that electric cars may cause in the event of a fire on the ferry. The battery of such a car is supposed to burn at such a high temperature that extinguishing the resulting fire is extremely difficult, which may endanger people on the ship.
– A possible fire in electric, hybrid or hydrogen cars will require external rescue efforts and may pose a threat to people on board and vessels. We take security seriously and that is obviously a risk we are not willing to take under any circumstances.
Havila Kystruten is currently working on solutions that could help minimize the risk of transporting non-combustion vehicles in the future.
Fires that are difficult to put out
Last year A fire broke out on board a ferry from Emden, Germany to Davisville, Canadawhich resulted in the destruction of nearly 4,000 aut. There were electric cars on board, which prevented the emergency services from taking effective action. Eventually, 22 crew members were evacuated and the fire was allowed to extinguish itself. It is not known whether this event was the immediate cause of Havila Kystruten’s risk assessment, but since then concerns have increased in the industry about the safety of transporting electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles.
The company’s decision may be particularly problematic for the Norwegians themselves. In early January, the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) reported that the share of electric vehicles sold increased to 79.3 percent. of all registered cars in Norway in 2022 with 65 percent. in 2021. This means that Norway leads the world in terms of the share of electric cars in the total number of all vehicles on the road. The inhabitants of the country are encouraged to buy such cars by generous state subsidies.
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