Skip to main content

EV batteries could complicate recovery of burning cargo ship with thousands of cars

EV batteries could complicate recovery of burning cargo ship with thousands of cars

/

The ship contains thousands of Audis, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys

Share this story

Photo: Portuguese Navy

A bunch of burning lithium-ion batteries could complicate the recovery of the massive, abandoned cargo ship in the Atlantic Ocean containing thousands of Porsches, Volkswagens, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis.

The batteries of an unknown number of electric vehicles have caught fire aboard the ship, captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas, which is the nearest port to the ship’s location, told Reuters. It’s unclear at this time whether the batteries are what sparked the fire. Experts in putting out battery fires will be needed to extinguish the blaze.

“The ship is burning from one end to the other... everything is on fire about five meters above the water line,” Reuters quotes Cabeças saying.

“The ship is burning from one end to the other... everything is on fire about five meters above the water line”

The Felicity Ace was heading from Germany to a port in Rhode Island when it issued distress signals Wednesday morning, reporting a fire in one of its cargo decks. All 22 crew members were successfully evacuated and did not need medical attention, according to a statement by the Portuguese Navy.

The owner of the vessel is now developing a plan to recover the abandoned ship. Towing boats are en route from Gibraltar and the Netherlands and are expected to arrive at the ship’s location next week.

Around 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys were on board, as well as an unspecified number of Audis. According to Importinfo.com, the electric vehicles may have been Audi E-tron Sportbacks. All told, the number of vehicles lost in the fire is likely to exceed $150 million — though the automakers declined to provide an estimate.

“We are aware of an incident involving a third-party cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic,” a VW spokesperson told The Verge. “The vessel was on its way to North America. At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident.”

The fire is another blow to VW at a time when the global semiconductor shortage and supply chain disruptions are roiling the auto industry. The automaker recently disclosed that it would likely cut some night shifts at one of its German factories as a result of the chip shortage. VW says it expects to be able to ramp up production in the latter half of the year.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 28 minutes ago Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma Roth28 minutes ago
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothAn hour ago
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma Roth5:52 PM UTC
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.