Auto Industry Criticised For Battery Safety
According to an article in The Loadstar, the automobile and battery industries have been criticised by ocean safety agencies for not taking the safety issues involved in moving electric vehicles seriously enough.
Concerns have been raised that an electric vehicle fire on board a ro-ro ferry would present more serious challenges than a normal fire. Lithium-ion batteries are known to burn at high temperatures and the need to douse a blaze with water may cause a ferry to become unstable.
However, one major industry expert, who had attended two major conferences for the battery industry recently, suggested safety issues were “apparently not on the industry’s radar”.
The Loadstar reported that the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders have since replied “Safety is the number-one priority, and all vehicles, electric or otherwise, imported into and exported from the UK must comply with applicable legislation.”
One roro operator does not accept any used electric vehicles on their vessels, due to the unpredictability of the vehicle’s condition. However, most other operators treat all vehicles the same.
The safety involved with moving lithium batteries is a hot topic right now. The British International Freight Association recently warned their members of the risks, while IATA has made changes to the rules for air freighting them.
While Lithium batteries are considered safe to users, when installed in devices like mobile phones or electric vehicles, they can actually be punctured and can ignite or even explode. When handled or stored together, this can can lead to fires, which is why they are considered dangerous goods.
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