Nov 23

UK Chamber issues guidance on carriage of EVs and lithium-ion batteries

The UK Chamber of Shipping is pleased to release to industry its new guidance, “Carriage of Electric Vehicles with Lithium-Ion Batteries – Information for Masters and crew”

Developed by the ad hoc working group established set up under the auspices of the Health & Safety Sub Committee, the group comprising members and experts gathered knowledge of the fire and explosion hazards associated with lithium ion batteries (LIBs); considered what information, training and equipment should to be provided to seafarers; and examined what national and international research and future regulation will be required for safe carriage of LIBs, as cargo or in electric vehicles.

The guidance, freely available as a pdf and suggested for use either as an A4 booklet or A3 poster for display on ship or ashore aim to provide a succinct summary for the safe carriage of LIBs.

Specific areas include:

  • how lithium ion batteries differ from other types of fire,
  • the status and control of EVs on board,
  • how fire and explosion risk can be reduced,
  • aims and practices for the first response,
  • risks from other LIB containing devices on board ships,
  • how to protect crew, passengers and the vessel
  • actions for different journey stages

The guidance has been developed in conjunction with operator and professional members of the Chamber of Shipping, alongside external assistance from welcome partners including the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, academia from Newcastle University, National Fire Chief’s Council and fire-fighters, and Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Intervention and Salvage.

The Chamber gives its sincere thanks to those who’ve supported its development and hopes this simple guidance will be of value to members and the wider shipping industry in risk mitigation for carriage of LIBs on board ships, in particular ferries.

The guidance is the first output from the working group, and the Chamber fully recognises the need for ongoing sustained efforts to further mitigate the risk from carriage of new and evolving battery technologies. Further work is already underway, with the Chamber seeking funding for scientific testing and experimentation to be carried out to further understand the risks associated with vapour cloud explosions and best means of risk mitigation.

Interested parties, or those with queries or comments, should direct them to Tim Springett, tspringett@ukchamberofshipping.com, or Robert Merrylees, rmerrylees@ukchamberofshipping.com.

Carriage of Electric Vehicles with Lithium Ion Batteries