The crew has been rescued, but 4000 cars on board may be lost.
A tragedy like this couldn’t happen at a worse time for high-end dealers and buyers. The Felicity Ace, the cargo ship that is still smoldering in the Atlantic Ocean, has thousands of new vehicles from the Volkswagen Group on board. Many are now saying that electric vehicles may have had something to do with the incident.
Firefighting crews and salvage teams have had to deal with the massive fire, which could be more difficult to get under control with EV batteries on board. There is no confirmation yet that this is the case, but it is likely that EVs were part of the cargo. Both Porsche and VW import some vehicles from Europe to the U.S., but as VW only imports the GTI, Golf R, and ID.4 from Europe, the automaker most likely to be affected is Porsche, which imports the Taycan from the plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany. A Porsche spokesperson told Car and Driver, “It is too early to speculate on the cause of the incident.”
In a statement last week from a Porsche Cars North America spokesperson said: “Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew of the merchant ship Felicity Ace are safe and well. A number of our cars are among the cargo. We are in contact with the shipping company and the details of the cars on board are now known. Customers affected by the incident are being contacted by their dealer. While it remains too early to confirm what occurred and next steps, we are—along with our colleagues at Porsche AG—supporting our customers and our dealers as best we can to find solutions. Anyone concerned by this incident and the implications on the car they’ve ordered should maintain in contact with [the] dealer with which their order was placed.”
The car carrying ship was on the way from Europe to the U.S. with a load of new vehicles on board when it caught fire last Wednesday near the Azores.
The software company Skytek issued a short report today that claims the estimated market value of the Felicity Ace is $24.5 million, while the total value of the 3965 vehicles could be over $500 million.