Consultation for the carriage and charging of electric vehicles on Ro Ro ferries is now open

The consultation seeks your views on the draft Marine Guidance Note MGN 653(M) Electric Vehicles Onboard Passenger Ro-Ro Ferries. The increase in electric vehicle (EV) numbers in the UK has led to increasing demand for transit of EV onboard passenger Ro-Ro ferries (Ro-Pax). Currently, there are limited requirements specific to the charging of electric vehicles onboard UK vessels. However, noting the increasing popularity of electric vehicles it has become apparent that there is a potential for users of these vehicles to expect charging to be available onboard, and for operators of such vessels to consider offering this facility. This marine notice provides guidance for the safe carriage and charging EVs.

As increasing numbers of EVs are being transported on Ro-Pax ferries there is a need to provide guidance on the safety aspects associated with their carriage. This includes fire safety elements, electrical hazard risks, the increased risk from carriage of damaged EVs (accident recovery) and the safe charging of electric vehicles while onboard Ro-Pax vessels. The guidance focuses on the charging of EVs on board which is the most novel aspect of the guidance. Further risks from EVs on Ro-Pax vessels are explored and the MGN gives guidance on how to manage these risks effectively.

This MGN has been developed following discussions with domestic Ro-Pax operators and in consultation with international marine authorities. It is expected that international legislation from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will be developed to advise or regulate on the carriage and charging of alternatively fuelled vessels in time however it is the opinion of the MCA that UK guidance is required in the short term to ensure the safety of Ro-Pax vessels, passengers, and crew.

This consultation is now open and the deadline for responses is 23:45 on 20 December 2021.

Click here to read the consultation document and find out how to make your comments.

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