Electric vehicles 101: Frequently asked questions

From possible safety hazards to question marks over charging infrastructure, preparing to transport EVs via an ocean vessel can seem daunting. WW Ocean has the answers to all your electric vehicle transportation-related questions.

EV FAQ header 04 3

1. My old logistics provider didn’t have much experience with EVs. What makes you different?

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has 20 years’ experience transporting electric vehicles – we first shipped a Toyota Prius back in 2000. Since then, we’ve invested in infrastructure like charging stations at key terminals and extended our pre-delivery inspection and yard management services to support EVs. These services include battery charging, cooling liquid filling and movement of disabled units.

2. Do I need to fill in any special documents for transporting EVs on RoRo vessels?

New customers need to complete an Alternative Fuel Vehicle questionnaire. This will be shared by your WW Ocean contact. You must inform the shipping line of the EV model and type during the forecast and booking process. If available, you should also provide a rescue card.

3. What condition should EV batteries be in before shipping?

EV batteries must have a sufficient state of charge – with a maximum battery charge of 70%. Flat batteries must be avoided in port of load as this might be an indication that the battery and or its management systems are faulty.

Before lithium-ion batteries can be transported, they must have successfully passed pressure, temperature, crush and impact tests. These tests are described in the UN 38.3 code (certificate) for transport of lithium-ion batteries.

4. Is it necessary to cut off the electric power of an EV during ocean transport?

Most major OEMs don’t require auxiliary batteries to be disconnected during shipment, although auxiliary batteries can be disconnected as an additional service. Our experts review this on a case-by-case basis. The main battery cannot be disconnected by WW Ocean.

5. Do you use heat detection cameras when shipping EVs?

No. EVs don’t pose a higher risk of fire initiation than internal combustion engine vehicles. We won’t ship damaged units as this might trigger thermal runaway.

6. How do you determine if an EV is fit for ocean transport? Is there a standard pre-delivery inspection (PDI)?

The vehicle is acceptable for transit if in clean condition, fully functional, self-propelled, safe to drive and damage free. Our experts perform surveys before loading of vehicles to record any visual damage. Extended PDI services may include battery charging, installation and documentation.

7. Are any insurance adjustments required for shipment of EVs?

No. Insurance adjustments are not required for EVs.

8. Are EVs classified as dangerous goods?

If transported on Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessels, EVs are not considered hazardous cargo under the UN3171 Class 9 code, which includes lithium-ion battery powered vehicles.

9. Do you train your staff to handle EVs?

Yes. In co-operation with vehicle manufacturers, we train our staff specially to handle electric vehicles.

10. Are there any special firefighting procedures in place for EVs?

No. We have the same firefighting procedures in place for EVs as for the internal combustion engine vehicles we carry.

You might also like: