Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Image courtesy of Netherlands Coastguard.


Guided by Fear of the Unknown — Ship Ablaze, The BEV Has Done It

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Guided by fear of the unknown, the news about a ship ablaze is that the BEV aboard is the cause or likely cause. And only better news sources are not convinced that the BEV must be the cause.

Just beyond the Dutch coasts, in the shipping lane north of the country, a big ship with over 2,800 cars is ablaze. The ship was on its way from Germany to Singapore, going through the Suez Canal. It is not uncommon that ships catch fire. A few hundred ships worldwide are encountering that situation each year. A dozen of them each year are ships transporting cars!

There is a suspicion that transporting electric cars is riskier than transporting ICE vehicles, mainly because battery fires are much harder to control than gasoline fires. Originally, it was reported that about 25 of the 2,800 cars were BEVs. And that the battery of one of those must be the culprit because … batteries are scary. But we do not know what is the cause of the fire. It could have been lightning, for all we know. Or anything else that can set a ship ablaze.

If it was a car, the risk of a car catching fire spontaneously is 10 times more likely with fossil fuel vehicles than battery electric vehicles. With less than 1% of the cars being electric, statistically, the chance that a BEV was the source of the disaster was less than 0.1%. But all the news agencies and the coastguard pointed to the BEV.

Update: Now it’s been revealed that more cars were onboard and a larger contingent of them were BEVs. The Fremantle Highway had 3,285 ICE vehicles onboard and 498 battery electric vehicles. That makes the chance that it was a BEV that caused the fire a whopping 1.3%. That is, unless the cause was not the spontaneous combustion of one of the vehicles in the cargo, something most likely.

A big fire goes on the front page. When it bleeds, it leads — that’s still the most important guideline to sell the news. For 4 days, we have been bombarded with how scary BEVs are. Setting a big ship ablaze and destroying thousands of valuable cars? When the investigation into this fire is publicized in a few weeks or months, if the fire was indeed not caused by an EV, what caused the fire will be a three-line news item on page 14 if not ignored completely.

I understand the urge at news organizations to publish the FUD that gets the most eyes or clicks. But the authorities should be more careful with a new technology that the public must learn to trust because it will be the future standard for all transport on land.

Featured image courtesy of Netherlands Coast Guard.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

EV Obsession Daily!

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.
Written By

Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you don’t go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since. At the end of 2019 I succeeded, I replaced my Twingo diesel for a Zoe fully electric. And putting my money where my mouth is, I have bought Tesla shares. Intend to keep them until I can trade them for a Tesla car. I added some Fastned, because driving without charging is no fun.


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News! Positive Cash Flow for Fastned In the recent...


Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News! In the Netherlands, 45% of new car sales...

Air Quality

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News! The Northern Hemisphere is slowly approaching the end...


In the Netherlands, 38% of new car sales were plugin car sales in July. 25% were full electrics.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.