Is shipping an electric or hybrid vehicle different from shipping conventional cars? Yes, and here are 6 best practices you should know to make sure they are shipped safely.

Key Takeaways:

  • American drivers are making electrics and hybrids more popular than ever
  • The need for shipping these alternative models will increase dramatically over the next 20 years
  • Electric and Hybrids come with shipping risks
  • Shipping these vehicles takes awareness of potential hazards and U.S. regulations
  • Working with an experienced auto broker can help find the right carrier

 

Electric vehicles are certainly causing a buzz in the American auto market with a 75% increase in sales year-over-year and Bloomberg predicts 58% of global auto purchases to be electrics by 2040. Big names like Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen have all brought models to market in an attempt to provide more cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport.

Hybrids are also gaining popularity with more than 5 million models sold as of 2019 – the most recent data year available from the Bureau of Transportation statistics. Electrics and hybrids have a lot to be proud of, but they can pose serious dangers during transport.

This issue will become increasingly important for motorists in the years to come. This guide will highlight the built-in risks involved with any electric vehicle shipping and how to avoid them for a safer delivery.

Why electric and hybrid vehicles need extra care

The primary shipping oversight made by electric and hybrid owners is forgetting how combustible these vehicles can be. This is understandable where lithium-ion batteries are concerned because flames are more commonly connected with gas or petroleum-powered models. While the odds of a lithium-ion fire are low, overly hot or damaged/pierced electric batteries can be just as incendiary as their fossil-fueled cousins.

The damaging aspect is a vitally important consideration. This is because vehicles can undergo rough treatment during transport if the carrier is complacent or underqualified. The careful shipping of lithium-ion batteries of any size is governed by strict regulations in the U.S. that carriers must follow to safeguard the vehicle. Electrics and hybrids must be firmly secured to prevent any excessive battery motion or short circuits in transit.

Only auto carriers that have experience shipping electric vehicles have the tools to appreciate both the expense of the vehicles they’re handling and the fragility of their components. With the proper precautions, these models are no riskier to ship than gasoline or diesel car — provided both the carrier and the customer do the right things.

6 Steps to safe electric vehicle shipping

Hybrids and electrics are special vehicles that aren’t cheap. Even the most affordable model on the market costs upwards of $30,000. Taking the utmost care to protect that investment during transportation will only add to the long-term value these models provide. Here are the main things to put on your electric vehicle shipping list:

  • 1. Be prepared for extra expense: Shipping your electric or hybrid vehicle will be a heavier and more care-intensive job no matter the size of the vehicle. This is due to the onboard battery’s weight. It is also due to the added bulk of the charger, inverter, and, to a lesser degree, the motor. Weight is a primary factor in auto transport bills. Therefore, don’t be too surprised if your delivery costs a bit more.

  • 2. Charge the battery: The beauty of a sufficiently charged battery is that it won’t make it any heavier! Shipping your car will involve at least some kind of trip after it reaches the drop-off point. This may be the auto carrier bringing it to you or self-driving it away from a pickup terminal. It is essential to have enough juice in the battery for this last leg of the journey. Therefore, discuss with your carrier how far the car will have to drive after drop-off.

  • 3. Contact an electric car mechanic pre-ship: Have a pro give your vehicle the once over before it ships — this is always best practice. It takes a little more effort with an electric/hybrid model. This is because owners may have to do more research before choosing a mechanic. You’ll be glad you did because a healthy car in transit is better than a compromised one with exacerbated issues.

  • 4. Prep properly for transport: Almost all the golden rules for shipping a standard vehicle apply when preparing an electric or hybrid for transport. The significant difference is keeping the battery sufficiently (but not overly) charged. Also, make sure you’re only dealing with mechanics and auto carriers who are well-versed in electric and hybrid vehicles.

  • 5. Be ready to scrutinize at the other side: Item three on this list helps get your electric/hybrid safely on its way, but it’s equally important to study the vehicle closely when it arrives. Knowing what to look for before and after shipping can turn a 10-minute walk around into time well spent when you spot interior/exterior damage or odometer discrepancies.

  • 6. Get a reliable auto broker on your side: There are important differences between auto carriers and auto brokers, with the second group being responsible for pairing you up with a trustworthy transport team. The best auto brokers take the burden of carrier research from the customer’s shoulders by providing a pre-approved list of carriers and keeping lines of communication open at all times.

Let the Mercury team take care of your electric vehicle shipping

Electric and hybrid vehicles need transportation like every other car. Also, they will need it much more often in the coming years. Owners need to know their investment is being handled with care and awareness while it’s out of their hands. Mercury Auto Transport is a nationwide, full-service auto shipping company that connects buyers with reliable vehicle carriers anywhere in the country.

We can help you find companies from our list of FMSCA-licensed and insured carriers with experience in electric vehicle shipping. This is so that you can gain peace of mind. We guarantee the price you’ll see on the service agreement with no hidden fees or charges. Our process is transparent and trustworthy, and we’re always working to get you the best deal. Call us today for a quote!

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FAQs

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.