Flaming Cargo Ship Contains Many More EVs Than First Reported

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

flaming cargo ship contains many more evs than first reported

An enormous vehicle carrier that caught fire at sea earlier this week appears to have far more electric vehicles on board than first suggested.

This ship, christened the Fremantle Highway, was first reported aflame off the Dutch coast a couple of days ago. Initial information hinted there were at least 25 EVs on its manifest and that the conflagration likely began at or near one of those cars. Now, reports are surfacing that there could be nearly five hundred electric cars in the ship’s hold, a realization that adds a lot more gravitas to a situation that has already claimed the life of one person and injured scores of others.

A spokesperson for the vessel’s charter told Automotive News their records show 3,783 vehicles in total aboard the ship, about a thousand more than first reported, including 498 battery-electric vehicles. Specific brands were not mentioned but information already in the public sphere tells us at least 10 percent of the total are Mercedes-Benz units, though it is unclear how many – if any – of the EVs are Mercs. BMW has also told some outlets they have vehicles aboard the Fremantle Highway.

Astute readers know fires involving lithium-ion batteries are notoriously difficult to extinguish, often burning with ferocious intensity exceeding that of a blaze fuelled by traditional materials. It is worth noting local authorities have yet to pin down the fire’s exact cause, so it would be irresponsible to say with certainty that a faulty EV is on the hook for this disaster. What can be said with certainty is that any fire, regardless of its source, in a confined space containing hundreds of electric cars has the potential to be one hell of an inferno.

Information on MarineTraffic.com says the Fremantle Highway departed a port in Germany’s North Sea around 5:00 pm local time on Tuesday. Records show it was planning a sail to Port Said in Egypt, near the Suez Canal, a journey of about a week’s steam. The ship was built about 12 years ago and is a big’un, over 650 feet long.

[Image: Andrey Sharpilo/Shutterstock.com]

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  • RHD RHD on Aug 03, 2023

    Some say he knows the truth about some things. And others say that he actually does know who the losers are, and is compelled by evil spirits to tell us about it every day.

    All I know is... he's called the Tassos.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 18, 2023

    Any update on this story? No? Ok. 🙂

  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.