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All measures are aimed at reducing the risk of serious incidents that could endanger the safety of passengers, crew and ships.

The increasing popularity of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles brings new challenges in the shipping sector. Recognizing the need for safe and convenient transportation options for these vehicles, the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy has issued guidelines for ferry companies.

These guidelines aim to prevent and limit possible risks associated with the transport of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by ship. They are based on studies by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and take into account international experience to date in this area.

According to the guidelines pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that have accumulators (batteries) and vehicles that use liquefied and compressed gas fuels must meet specific conditions for safe transport. The guidelines emphasize that the batteries of pure electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles should be monitored for temperature, while the charge level should not exceed 40% of the total capacity. For vehicles using liquid or compressed gas fuels, the tanks shall not contain more than 50% of their total capacity.

In addition, passenger drivers must immediately inform ship personnel in the event of an alarm from their vehicle. Vehicles with a malfunction in the fuel system, tanks or batteries may not be loaded onto the ship unless these malfunctions have been resolved. The responsibility for ensuring that the vehicle has no malfunction or damage to the fuel system, tanks or batteries lies solely with the owners of the vehicles, while the ferry company can ensure this in any way it wishes.

In addition, it is strictly prohibited to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the ship. It must be ensured that these vehicles are not connected to any source of electricity during transport.

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Anek lines
Photo: © Pitane Blue - Anek Lines

The Ministry of Shipping and Insular Policy Making and the Coast Guard consider the safety of life at sea as their top priority. The guidelines for the safe transport of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) serve this purpose, without hindering the free movement of green vehicles to our islands. We ask operators of AFVs to follow the guidelines and show their understanding so that we can all enjoy safe travels on our seas.

The problem of safe transportation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by ship is an issue that has concerned the international maritime community in recent times. Experiences from other countries have shown that compliance with strict rules and continuous training of ship personnel is necessary to prevent accidents.

The need for new guidelines also arises from the increasing number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on Greek roads. The European Union has set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of clean vehicles. In this context, it is vital that these vehicles can be transported safely by ship.

The cooperation between ferry companies, administrators and the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policymaking is crucial for the successful implementation of the new guidelines. With the correct information and the application of the proposed measures, the transport of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by ship can be carried out safely and effectively, contributing to sustainable mobility and environmental protection.

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