How to Ship An Electric Vehicle

How to Ship An Electric Vehicle

If you own an electric car and need to have it transported across country or even across the world, you may be overwhelmed by the process. As opposed to regular, gas-powered vehicles, electric cars can be difficult to transport yourself by driving. While the overall network of superchargers is growing in major metropolitan areas across the country, it can be challenging to find a place to charge in rural locations along the route of a long-distance road trip. This fact can potentially make transporting your electric vehicle by driving it yourself, almost impossible.

This is where auto transport companies come in. It may seem like a daunting task to have your vehicle shipped by a professional vehicle transport company, but that is far from the truth. Of course, there are special preparations that you’ll need to do but overall, the process if very straightforward. It’s also not much different to ship an electric car than it is to ship a gas-powered vehicle to another state, city or internationally.

We’ve outlined everything you need to know to successfully ship an electric car. Let’s dive in.

What’s different about shipping an electric car?

The major difference involved in shipping an electric car, as opposed to any other vehicle, is their batteries. Similar to the rechargeable kinds found in many stores, electric vehicles use large batteries for power. However, the big rechargeable batteries used by electric cars are much heavier than their single-use counterparts. This causes the overall weight of an electric or hybrid vehicle to be much higher.

Because of the larger battery and increased weight, many vehicle transport companies will charge you more to ship a hybrid or electric car. These types of vehicles also may require the company to practice extra care, obtain more licensing, and have different equipment to safely move batteries that comprise of lithium ion.

What are the potential dangers associated with Lithium Ion batteries?

The extra care, additional licensing and specialized equipment required to move an electric vehicle is because of the potential hazards associated with their lithium ion batteries. You’re probably aware of the laptops and smartphones that contain these batteries blowing up or catching fire when overheated. It is because of this that may consumers have serious concerns about lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles.

When it comes to small devices such as laptops and cell phones, the ratio of energy production to great size can cause these batteries to catch fire. In a lithium ion battery, the fuel and oxidizer are both housed inside. A fire that is produced in this way cannot be extinguished easily and the resulting temperatures can melt aluminum or even cause the battery to completely explode.

However, in the case of electric vehicles, the batteries are much larger and potentially capable of producing a more intense explosion. Electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla Motors, have employed several advanced safety measures to prevent any dangers from occurring in their cars. These include:

  • Three-fuse layers
  • A liquid cooling system that is coordinated electronically
  • Specialized sensors that will disconnect the batteries if they reach a temperature that is too high
  • Battery protection for when collisions occur
  • Protection against overcharging

The decision to install several smaller-sized batteries as opposed to the larger variety was implemented as a way to ease safety concerns. In an electric vehicle, each battery is isolated and enclosed in a steel casing. For added safety, the entire system is sheathed in steel as well.

Unless a problem happens during the manufacturing process, the chances of something going wrong because of the lithium ion batteries is incredibly low. In general, you are completely safe both driving and shipping an electric vehicle.

Why ship an electric car?

Purchasing an electric car is an expensive investment in itself. The average price of a Tesla is between $40,000 and $90,000 and this significant investment certainly warrants extra protection.

Driving an electric vehicle across the country may not only be an option for you; it’s also difficult because of the lack of charging stations when compared to conventional gas stations. Undoubtedly, having your electric car shipped by an auto transport company is the safest, fastest and most affordable option to get your car to its desired final destination. Here are some other reasons why you should consider shipping your electric car:

  • Transporting an electric car by driving it yourself is inconvenient, presents potential dangers and results in unnecessary wear and tear to the vehicle.
  • The shipping standards of today guarantee that your electric vehicle will be safe and secure throughout its entire journey across cities, states or even across the world.
  • To ensure peace of mind and leave the logistics to the professionals, hiring a vehicle shipping company is the best route.

Do I need to drain the battery in my electric car before shipping?

The short answer is that no, you do not need to drain the battery on your electric car prior to transport. The vehicle will only be turned on when it is being loaded and unloaded from the transit truck, ship or airplane. However, the battery should be secured properly so that it doesn’t move or cause a short circuit.

Because of energy loss, you can expect that the battery may drain slightly during the shipping process. If you want to ensure that your battery has ample charge when it arrives to its destination location, fully charge the battery before it’s dropped off (or picked up) for shipment.

 How do I prepare my electric car for shipment?

Preparing an electric vehicle to be shipped by an auto transport company is essentially the same as any other gas-powered vehicle. You should do the following to ensure that it’s prepped and ready to go:

  • Clean the interior and exterior of your electric vehicle.
  • Remove any valuables or personal items.
  • Ensure that the lithium-ion battery is properly secured to avoid movement or short circuits
  • Thoroughly inspect the vehicle, note any existing damage and take plenty of photos for your records. These will come in handy should you need to file an insurance claim for damages that occurred during the shipping process.
  • Turn off any systems in the car such as vehicle alarms and automated toll passes.
  • Keep your set of keys and provide an extra to the representative handling the shipment of your electric car.

Does it cost more to ship an electric car?

The shipping process for electric cars is nearly identical to conventional gas-powered vehicles. In theory, you should not be charged extra for having an electric car. However, since the batteries in electric vehicles cause the overall weight of the car to be heavier, you may end up paying more.

Weight is one of the many factors that influence what you can expect to be charged by an auto shipping company. Therefore, you may pay a little bit more to transport a heavy, electric car.

More questions about shipping an electric vehicle?

If you have any additional questions in regards to shipping an electric car, you’ve come to the right place. Ship Vehicles has been providing quality auto transport for over 30 years, and this includes electric vehicles. Do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our electric vehicle transport experts today by filling out our online request form or phoning our office at (888) 231-0113. We can assist you with the electric car shipping process, answer any questions you have and give you a free, no-pressure shipping quote.