Car Carrier Felicity Ace blaze in the Atlantic:

Yet another car carrier fire:

They catch fire and tip over a lot. What’s not to love?

I bet the crews family members don’t feel that way!!!

Emden to Davisville RI, probably high-end German cars.

They used to be.

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gCaptain has a photo of the Felicity Ace, photo in the Splash article is the Sincerity Ace which burned in 2019.

Just idle curiousity; does the batteries get removed from electric and hybrid cars when they have been load?
If so; where are they stowed in transit?
Or are the batteries removed before transport from the car manufacturing plant?
If no batteries, how are electric cars loaded/discharged?

The RORO’s I’ve worked EV and Hybrid vehicles are treated like regular cars. The only vehicles we took special precautions for were Humvees. Humvees have the batteries disconnected and typically the front passenger seat removed (which sits above the batteries).

Sal Mercogliano of the “What is Going on With Shipping?” YouTube channel did a good video on this late last night.

Mercogliano video’s are good for an overview but this Felicity Ace video has the same errors as did the video about the car fire aboard the Höegh Xiamen, the one that had the fire alongside in Jacksonville and injured 9 shoreside firefighters.

It’s not correct that the inside of a car ship is like a giant parking garage. There are of course subdivided into zones which are protected by a fixed CO2 system.

Here’s a typical layout:

Here it looks like 7 deck is the freeboard deck. At sea below that deck the zones D and E are separated both watertight and gas-tight. Above 7 deck A, B and C Zones are separated by gas-tight boundaries while at sea.

With a full load in the car deck a direct attack with a fire team is most likely not going to be practical.

A successful firefighting operation would require that the fire is detected early, it’s location correctly determined, that the ventilation is shut down and vents closed, that the cargo holds have been properly buttoned up, that the fixed CO2 system is deployed correctly, boundary cooling etc.

Possible to extinguish a car hold fire but lots of different possibilities for things to go wrong.


Vehicles transported aboard ships classed as “Vehicle Carriers” are not legally considered to be “dangerous cargo” so there are no requirements to disconnect the batteries.

In practice they are not disconnected, doing so would add significantly to load / discharge times and costs.

Electrical faults in new cars are rare. More common in used cars but the risk is considered greatly reduced two hours after loading. Thinking being a short large enough to start a fire would drain the battery within that two hours.

Question was about electric (EV) and Hybrid car with large Lithium-Ion battery banks.
AFAIK there are restrictions on air transport and storage of such batteries (??)

Here is an article about the potential dangers from Lithium-Ion batteries used in EVs:

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EVs are treated no different than any other type of vehicle.

The only special instructions I’ve seen wrt to fire fighting is hydrogen power cars because of the nature of the flames.

Actually, that is not correct. Cars with battery recalls have the positive side disconnected and a red, rubber sleeve put over the terminal. It can be anywhere from 0-say 50 cars each voyage.

I’ve not seen that. Is that the traction battery or the 12 V battery?

Of course if we are given instructions wrt specific vehicles we follow them, EVs included.

Perhaps instructions are lacking?

12 V Batteries.


Lithium battery hazard seems to be an ugly beast.

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Felicity Ace is not fitted with CO2 for cargo holds. Fixed Foam system is fire protection for all cargo decks.

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It seems the fire is extinguished and the ship is still floating. I wonder why the crew abandoned the ship. I assume the engine and steering gear rooms are intact so with a lookout on the focsle it should be possible to take her to any port nearby.

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