🚒 Nope, there's no indication that electric cars caused the ship fire

🚒 Nope, there's no indication that electric cars caused the ship fire

Many media outlets reported at the end of July about a major fire on a ship with 500 electric cars on board. They speculated and in some cases claimed that the electric cars were the cause of the fire. Now, as the ship is inspected, it turns out that the electric cars were unharmed.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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A large number of media outlets reported at the end of July about a large fire on a ship that was transporting nearly 4000 cars, among them about 500 electric cars.

There was speculation, and in some cases, it was stated, that it was the electric cars that caused the fire and also made it harder to extinguish (due to the lithium-ion batteries.)

But now that doesn't seem to be the case, at all.

The head of the company that salvaged the ship, Peter Berdowski, told DPA Agency that about 1000 cars were fine, including the 500 electric cars.

The fire affected the top eight decks, out of a total of 12. It was on the lower four decks that the electric cars were located.

It would, therefore, be strange if the fire started in an electric car and then left all electric cars untouched.

Did the news media report this?

I randomly picked a few news outlets that wrote about the fire. CBS, DailyMail, Automotive News, Euro News a ndReuters. All except Reuters pointed out in the headline that electric cars were on board. DailyMail stated in the headline that the electric cars were the cause. All speculated in the main text that an electric car was the cause and made the fire worse.

Did these media outlets follow up their reporting and state that it was probably not an electric car that caused the fire, and that the electric cars on board were unaffected by the fire? No.

The only ones who seem to have reported this are the German news agency DPA, which has since been picked up by several electric car websites.

Electric cars don't catch fire as often

We have previously reported that statistics show that electric cars seem to catch fire less frequently than combustion engine cars.

πŸ”₯ Fewer fires in electric cars compared to fossil-fueled cars (in the country with the highest share of electric cars)
β€œElectric cars rarely catch fire, and much less frequently than gasoline and diesel cars,” says Kjetil Solberg from the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB).
πŸ”₯ Electric cars catch fire less often than fossil fuel cars
The fires in electric cars have been steady in the last three years, although the number of electric cars has almost doubled.