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Converted Nissan EV cause of fire onboard "Pearl of Scandinavia"

The fire at the Oslo boat "Pearl of Scandinavia" has left clear traces on the boat deck, where the smell of burnt rubber still hangs heavy in the air.
And DFDS said that the Oslo ferry "Pearl of Scandinavia" will probably not be able to sail again in six days.

Fire in electric car (Nissan Qashqai EV "Electric Conversions" from http://afutureev.com/)
Police technicians have determined that the fire originated in an electric car, which was charging on the car deck.

Only the skeleton is left, while a second car, which stood beside the electric car, probably not going to run again.
Police technical studies point so far that it was a technical error in the electric car that caused the fire.
Considering the possibility of charging
It has for quite some time been able to get electric car's charged on board the Oslo ferries, but if this is the caused the fire, DFDS will strongly consider whether they will still offer the service.
- If it has contributed to the fire, there will obviously be looking at it, says Gert Jakobsen, who is communications director of DFDS.
The decision would only be taken if police final survey is ready.

When the fire broke out around six o'clock this morning, they sleeping passengers was assembled in the ferry's restaurant, while smoke divers were sent down on deck.

Before they reached the the fire, the boat sprinkler had already beaten the flames and the ship could by their own power, dock in Copenhagen shortly after noon.

video in Danish
folow up artical about the car

Electric car that caught fire on the deck on the Oslo ferry 'Pearl of Scandinavia was a rebuilt car from Nissan.

The car was a Nissan Qashqai, which was converted into electricity by a private man in Holland.

But the company Afuture, even in years has had two rebuilt Nissan Qashqai on a 41,000 km long trip round the world 'Electric World Tour expedition in 2010', helped Dutchman trying to sell the car in Norway.

- Nissan has nothing to do with the fact that the car has been converted into an electric car, says Nissan in Denmark. Nissan has only one electric car in production and the currently-sold only in U.S., says Nissan.

Company 'A Future ev' are experts at converting gasoline and diesel vehicles to electric operation. Nissan Qashgai is particularly apt, because the car is high and there is plenty of room for batteries.

Business Developer Søren Ekelund from 'A Future ev' said to ekstrabladet.dk that he even drove the car and he was aboard the ferry when the fire broke out.

- The car is a private renovation project we will help you get approved. It is good craftsmanship, and there was no fault on the car. But the fire has probably arisen because there was a short circuit in the charging plug, "says Søren Ekelund to ekstrabladet.dk.

Unauthorized Plugs
He had been in Norway with electric car in an attempt to get it sold to a customer, but he failed.

- I take personal responsibility for what has happened. There was used an unauthorized jack to let the car from the ferry's power supply and therefore there was probably a short circuit, but it must determine the technicians, "says Søren Ekelund.

When the fire broke out, said Søren Ekelund on whether the fire could be started in the Nissan car:

- But it was only when I had spoken with technicians that I became aware of it, he says.

Police technicians have determined that the fire at the ferry began in Nissan car, which stood for charging on the car deck.

- There was no 'bad habits' in the car when I drove around in Norway, says Søren Ekelund. He said that once a fire breaks out in an electric car then torch batteries dramatically.

- There are actually very many electric cars with the Oslo ferry, he said.

Fire in the battery impossible to extinguish
An article in the journal 'Fire' which has just been published, it appears that fires in the battery itself in an electric car is impossible to extinguish.

- That which nourishes the fire comes from within, so it does not help to close the oxygen supply. There is nothing else to do but to let the fire burn out. This in turn should be done under controlled conditions where the burning battery is cooled down with water so as to prevent - or at least delaying - the fire from spreading, says engineer Kjeld Norregaard from the Technological Institute in Aarhus 'Fire'.

Batteries in EVs are hermetically sealed, as the electrolyte in the battery otherwise it will evaporate.

It was the ferry's sprinkler system was overcome with flames on the car deck.

At Firm A FUTURE EV's website reported that the company supplied the land-round trip two Nissan Qashqai converted to electrical operation.

'Qashqai Electric is the most flexible and comfortable electric car market, with room for five adults, 100% electrical operation, and a top speed of 130 kph. The cars are marketed with a range of 200 km at 80 km per hour, up to 300 km at slow city driving and 130 km of fast driving on motorways, "writes A FUTURE EV.

Daniel Bergsagel, Thursday 18th November 2010 at. 07:36

A short circuit in an unauthorized plug for an extension cord was the most likely cause of the fire at the Oslo ferry Wednesday morning. DFDS bans until further charging of electric cars on its ferries

A rebuilt Nissan needed power for its battery while it was on the ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen on Wednesday night.
The owner of the car Søren Ekelund was missing a cord for the purpose, and, according dr.dk bought a workable extension cord in a shop in Norway, so he could put the car to let up on deck. DFDS ferry has only ordinary sockets - not dedicated charging stations.
According to the technical authorities who have investigated the fire at the ferry that took place late in the night ondsag a short circuit in the unauthorized plug that had been set for the car, which ended with the torching of the electric car has a rebuilt Nissan Qashqai from Firm A Future EV. A company set up to convert conventional cars to electric cars.
The owner and driver of the electric car Søren Ekelund, is also founder of the company. He was in Norway to get the car approved for sale in the country. "The plug probably has not been tight because it could be moisture that has gotten into that short circuited. Boat connections are excellent and it is not the Oslo ferry's guilt in any way, "says Ekelund, however, could ask for dedicated charging stations on the ferries in the future.
Søren Ekelund says to DR.dk that he takes full responsibility, he put the plug up and regrets that his packed extension cord probably caused the fire.
The incident has so far been DFDS to prohibit the charging of electric cars on board the ferry company.
"We prohibit the charging of electric vehicles for safety reasons, until we have a conclusion from the authorities on fire cause," said company Chief Information Officer Gert Jakobsen dr.dk.

Bjørn Godske, Thursday 18th November 2010 at. 10:50

Owner and driver of the electric car, a rebuilt Nissan Qashqai, Soren O. Ekelund told ing.dk that it was perhaps a spark from a short circuit that started the fire at the ferry's deck late Tuesday night:

"The damp tires may have caused a short circuit and possibly having so come a little spark. If there was some oil on the deck, it can explain that there has been fire near the plug, "says Søren O. Ekelund. He estimates that the car was charging with about 1.5 kW as the fire occurred.

On the trip to Denmark, Søren O. Ekelund had used the car adapter that is good one-meter long extension cord, which in the end fit electric car charging points and at the other end can be connected to an ordinary extension cord. This he had put the extension cord and the linkage was located directly on the ferry's car deck:

"The line I had used several times during the trip to Norway, and it had worked well. But I had not taken account of the wet deck, "he says.

From plug, the fire can rapid spread upward to the car itself and once that happens, then it will go fast:

"Will the fire grab car batteries so they will short out and create a great arc. The fire is not to extinguish with water. One must simply wait for it to be cooled down, "he says. The batteries are of the type lithium polymer.

Søren O. Ekelund is the founder and owner of company A Future EV, which specializes in the rebuilding of Nissan cars to electrical operation:

"The fire on the Oslo ferry has taught us that we have developed some more types of standard connectors, so you have some more sockets to use. Now it happened here on a ferry, but we've also seen some rather creative solutions out of people home. We will now consider making the plug on the car so that it will only leave if the connector meets a certain standard and get a code. So one can hope that people will fail to improvise, which I unfortunately did so on the ferry, "says Søren O. Ekelund.

The fire will not affect Søren O. Ekelund confident the electric car. A copy has just returned from a trip around the world:

'It may also charge during some pretty creative conditions on the turn. Therefore, we have great confidence in the car itself, as it has done significantly greater hardships than a trip to Oslo ferry, "he says.


Aug 20, 2006
Last edited:


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
I shoulda been more clear. I realize it's the same model of Nissan. Curious if these are the guys that did the conversion for the Better Place trial. If so, you'd think they'd brag about it. They do have a single image of a vehicle that looks like it has a Better Place logo, though.


Aug 20, 2006
It does sound like Better Place contracted with an "outside firm" to do their conversions.

...The current test vehicles are converted Nissan Dualis SUVs, called Qashqai in some markets. Nissan is not involved in the scheme directly: an outside company has re-engineered the cars with batteries provided by U.S.-based A123 Systems ....


Electrics are back
Supporting Member
The Roadster can detect when an underspecified extension cable is being used to charge from by looking at the voltage drop as the load increases. It's this sort of stuff that separates conversions from manufactures products IMO. Today my MINI-E is getting a firmware update to increase the communication paths around the vehicle to increase redundancy in the overall system, do conversion developers have the time/resources/heterogeneous view to be able to match that I wonder.


Saving for a Model 3
Jan 22, 2010
The Roadster can detect when an underspecified extension cable is being used to charge from by looking at the voltage drop as the load increases. It's this sort of stuff that separates conversions from manufactures products IMO.

The voltage detection software/hardware is very important and something all manufactured EVs should be required to have. This would reduce, if not eliminate, charging-related EV fires.

Sorry for stating the obvious but fires like this one have the potential to cause extreme harm to Tesla (and EVs in general) because news outlets may mislead Joe Average into thinking this EV was a manufactured EV, not a conversion.

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