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Electric Auto Transport Services
Electric Auto Transport Services

Electric Vehicle Shipping

Are you planning to move and unsure of how to ship your electric vehicle? Like normal cars, you can ship your electric car virtually anywhere in the United States using the same shipping methods.

Electric cars are treated the same as normal cars when it comes to regulations. However, there are certain things you should be aware of before shipping your vehicle.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the auto shipping process and understand how to protect your vehicle during transit.

What Are the Differences When It Comes to Shipping an Electric Car?

An electric car uses batteries similar to the rechargeable ones you can find in most stores. They are far bigger, but the materials they use are the same.

Rechargeable batteries are far heavier than single-use ones. This makes these batteries even heavier in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Because of this, some auto transport companies charge more for hybrid/electric vehicle shipping. They argue it’s because of the need for more licensing, extra care, and more equipment when moving batteries containing lithium ion.

Potential Dangers of Lithium Ion Batteries

You may have heard of smartphones and laptops using lithium ion batteries bursting into flames from overheating. Because of this, many people are concerned whether such batteries are safe for use in electric vehicles.

Batteries using lithium ion are preferred by cell phone and laptop manufacturers because of their great size to energy production ratio. However, because such a small object contains so much energy, they sometimes catch on fire.

This occurs when the oxidizer and fuel are both contained inside the battery. And unlike a normal fire, you cannot extinguish flames produced this way. The temperatures generated can even melt aluminum, and the batteries may explode.

When it comes to electric cars, the batteries are bigger and capable of a much larger explosion. Some companies, such as Tesla Motors, place the batteries, capable of taking a vehicle to 60 mph in 4 seconds, right behind the passengers. This is the root of most electric vehicle shipping companies’ concern.

However, Tesla Motors and similar companies have implemented several high tech safety mechanisms, including: 

  • Creating a liquid cooling system controlled electronically
  • Three fuse layers
  • Sensors which cause the batteries to disconnect if it reaches too high a temperature
  • Protection in case of collisions
  • Overcharging protection

Even the decision to use several  smaller batteries stacked together instead of a larger, single battery was motivated by safety concerns. Every battery is isolated and covered in a steel case. For further protection, the entire system is encased as well.

The chances of something going wrong are extremely low. Unless a problem happens during manufacturing or multiple safety precautions get corroded over time and fail to work, you should be safe driving an electric vehicle.

Can You Ship an Electric Vehicle?

Electric vehicles have different shipping standards from regular vehicles. In the past, transporting an electric vehicle has been a difficult and expensive process. As the market has developed, the car industry has shifted towards newer technological standards. Demand for electric cars has gone up, and the car shipping industry has adapted to meet consumer standards.

Today, most transportation companies ship electric cars for about the same price as regular vehicles. Modern safety procedures for vehicle shipping are tailored to both gas and electric cars. It’s easy to find a reliable way to ship your electric vehicle with A-1 Auto Transport, where we provide some of the cheapest vehicle transport services in North America.

Should you Pay More to have your Electric Vehicle Shipped?

Are auto transporters who charge more for electric vehicle shipping justified in doing so? The short answer is no.

Besides all the precautions electric car manufacturers take to make sure their products are safe to drive, we must also remember most risks associated with lithium ion batteries come from overheating during their use. 

During transportation, vehicles are not turned on, but are instead resting in a truck, ship, or airplane. This means there is no chance of the vehicle overheating.

The batteries may burst into flames in case of a collision, but considering the electric vehicle is inside a truck or ship, the impact on the vehicle and batteries will be cushioned greatly. Also, as explained above, the batteries are designed with safety measures in case of a collision.

You shouldn’t worry about shipping your electric vehicle. The entire auto shipping process is safe, predictable, and is designed to keep your vehicle protected.

Gasoline vs. Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Shipping

The chances of an electric vehicle bursting into flames when driven are few, and the chances of one exploding when transported are even fewer. Most often, companies who charge extra or refuse to transport electric / hybrid vehicles altogether, do so due to insufficient information. Because electric and hybrid vehicles are still in the minority, many auto shipping companies and mechanics haven’t encountered them.

Gasoline, hybrid, and electric vehicle shipping is done the same way. All automobiles, regardless of type, must be loaded, transported and unloaded safely. The necessary safety measures are the same regardless of the type of vehicle.

Are There Any Regulations For Shipping an Electric Vehicle in the US?

Electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which have strict shipping regulations in the US. Proper packaging must be used to prevent explosions during transport. Before transport, the battery must be secured to prevent movement and short circuits.

Aside from the battery, the shipping regulations on electric vehicles are the same as normal cars. The increased battery regulations shouldn’t inconvenience you as a customer at all: it’s the responsibility of the shipping company to make sure your vehicle is secure and safe during transit.

Should I Ship My Electric Car?

Electric cars are an expensive investment. The average Tesla ranges from $40,000 to $90,000. While you can ship your electric vehicle, you should take extra precautions to ensure that your vehicle is prepared properly. 

If you’re moving across the country, driving thousands of miles may not be an option. Shipping is the fastest, safest, and most affordable option to get your car where it needs to go anywhere in the United States.

  • Driving your car to its destination is inconvenient, can be dangerous, and causes unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Modern shipping standards guarantee that your vehicle will stay safe throughout its journey.
  • Getting your vehicle shipped by a professional vehicle transport company is the best way to make sure it gets where it needs to go without you needing to worry about it.

Is it Safe to Ship My Electric Car?

Yes! Your electric vehicle will be turned off during the entire shipping process, which means it isn’t any more dangerous to ship it than a regular car.

We recommend that you inspect your vehicle, remove personal belongings, and document any damage before shipment starts. This will help you make an insurance claim should anything go wrong during your shipment.

Do I Need to Drain My Electric Car’s Battery Before Shipping?

As long as the battery is secured against short circuits and prevented from moving, there’s no need to drain your car’s battery before shipping it. The car will not be turned on throughout the shipping process except when it’s being loaded and unloaded from a truck, boat, or airplane.

The battery may drain during the shipping process due to energy loss. If you want your car’s battery to still have life in it when it gets to its destination, it’s best to charge your car battery before shipping.

How Should I Prepare My Electric Car For Shipping?

Preparing your electric vehicle for shipping follows the same process as any vehicle:

  1. Clean out the valuables in your car.
  2. Visually inspect your car, and take pictures for your records in case damage is incurred during the shipping process.
  3. Verify that your insurance policy covers the potential damages your vehicle may incur during shipping. These damages can be expensive, and some auto insurance plans don’t cover them
  4. Deactivate systems such as the car alarm and automatic toll passes before shipping.
  5. Present your car to be picked up by the shipping company at a predetermined time. Provide an extra set of keys to the shipping company representative who picks up your car.

After these steps, all that’s left is to wait for your electric car to arrive at its destination!

Do Electric Cars Cost More to Ship?

Yes and no. The shipping process for electric vehicles is identical to regular vehicles, and your shipping company should not be charging you any premiums for having an electric vehicle. 

However, electric cars tend to be a little heavier than their gas counterparts. Since car shipping companies charge by weight, you may have to pay a little more to get your electric car where it needs to go.

Have More Questions About Electric Vehicle Shipping?

A-1 Auto Transport provides reliable shipping services for your electric vehicles. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team if you have any questions at all.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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