(Photo by The Netherlands Coastguard)
Toronto, Ontario — In an unfortunate turn of events, the still-burning cargo ship off the Dutch coast is actually holding nearly 500 electric vehicles onboard, as opposed to the estimate of 25 previously reported by Reuters.
A crew member is dead and 3,783 new vehicles, including 498 EVs, are likely unsuitable for sale following a fire that broke out on the Panama-registered Fremantle Highway cargo ship Tuesday night.
The Dutch Coastguard is still officially referring to the cause of the fire as unknown, however, Dutch broadcaster RTL released an audio recording Thursday in which an emergency responder can be heard saying “the fire started in the battery of an electric car,” according to Reuters.
The ship, which was on a journey from Germany to Egypt, is currently drifting about 17 kilometres from the northernmost tip of the Dutch coast, according to the coast guard.
K Line, the Japanese transportation company that chartered the ship, were able to confirm the number of vehicles onboard, but declined to specify the brands, according to Reuters.
Mercedes-Benz, however, did confirm to the news agency on Tuesday that about 350 of vehicles on the Fremantle Highway were theirs.