The Local, an Italian news outlet, posted a shocking video of hundreds of brand-new Maseratis at Port Savona in Liguria, Italy, in flames. The cars, which were being shipped to the Middle East, were at the port when the tide started to rise, flooding the area where they were parked.
The fire began when salt water came into contact with the car batteries, which resulted in several explosions. This is the second fire at the site in two weeks. A blaze last week consumed a number of transport trucks and other vehicles. Liguria has been under a storm warning. Recent storms across Italy have left nine people dead. In Liguria, record high winds have been recorded with the highest registered at 180 kilometers per hour in Savona.
Local fire officials reported that the vehicles had lithium-ion batteries, which are known to be potentially explosive when they overheat. "Salt is a conductor of electricity so what happens is if the water goes over top of the battery it’ll create a positively charged sodium and negatively charged chlorine ions," automotive mechanic Barry Chant told the Weather Network. "So when those two chemicals mix together, they’re combustible."
The fire raged for several hours with more than a dozen fire crews struggling to extinguish the flames. Afterward, all that was left were the burnt-out frames of the Maseratis. A number of Fiat 500Ls were also caught in the blaze. There still hasn’t been an official estimate of the damage, but a brand new Maserati GranTurismo Coupe is listed at $137,445.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused flooding at a harbor in Newark, New Jersey, which completely submerged 16 brand-new Fisker Karma electrical vehicles in saltwater. The cars short-circuited and caught on fire. The vehicles, along with a number of other PHEVs/hybrid EVs (HEVs), were completely destroyed by the flames.
Maserati, an Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer, was founded on December 1, 1914, in Bologna by the Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto, who built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. World War I interrupted operations at Maserati, but after the war, the company was booming. One of the first Maseratis, which was driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Soon after, the company began making race cars with 4, 6, 8, and 16 cylinders. Today, Maserati cars and SUVs are manufactured in Turin, Italy, before being shipped around the world.