Electric vehicles transportation

What is electric vehicle transportation?

Electric vehicle transportation by train or truck is a major logistical step, that starts when the cars come out of large factories owned by renowned manufacturers established in France and finishes at the car trader’s. Traders either have their own garages or manage dealerships sponsored by the transported car brand. It also serves as a transport solution for foreign brand cars left on the docks (car parks or areas) of a foreign or French port.

The fleets specific to electric vehicle transportation include trucks able to carry small or large quantities of vehicles. Alternatively, some trains have car-carrier wagons which can transit via the freight network or combined with passenger trains.


Specificities of electric vehicle transportation

Manufacturers call upon logisticians to transport their electric vehicles. These logisticians enable manufacturers to deliver vehicles made in one place to stakeholders located somewhere else:

  • Either directly (from the factory to the dealership);
  • Or after a phase so there are more vehicles to deliver at once. Some references originate from different locations, and are sorted in a dedicated area. This last solution is preferred by certain brands, as costs are lower thanks to rationalised deliveries.

Logisticians also offer additional services such as installing accessories, cleaning inside or outside the cars, etc.


Examples and practical applications

Conditions to be met for electric vehicle transportation

Electric vehicle transportation can be done either on a car-carrier wagon or a car-carrier truck. Car-carrier wagons are flat and generally open-roofed. They are referenced as UIC-L. These open-air wagons sometimes have a wire grid protection. In France, they can accommodate cars on two levels only, whereas in other countries they sometimes have three levels.

Though the cost of transporting an electric vehicle only represents a small percentage of its final price, consumers who have agreed to pay several thousand euros want their vehicle to arrive in a timely manner. This requires high quality in terms of logistics, to ensure a timely delivery and comply with the customer’s specifications.

In looking to ensure perfect logistics, or at the very least the most reactive possible, logisticians have started creating platforms right next to car manufacturer factories. is therefore immediately available, and loading can start straight away. A push flow strategy is an excellent choice in the face of tight deadlines required by customers.

Logisticians that transport electric vehicles optimise distribution channels in real time to boost their competitive advantage. In such a competitive market, the logisticians’ goal is to ensure material availability, with short lead times and irreproachable quality. Logistics officers work on simulations to determine the ideal distribution model, which will be the most profitable for everyone.


Electric vehicle transportation in figures

  • 42,763 electric vehicles for private individuals were manufactured and sold in France in 2019.
  • 7,958 electric utility vehicles were delivered in 2019


Regulatory cornerstones

  • The decree no. 2020-845, dated 3 July 2020, updated the type of contract applicable to public road transport for on-road vehicles via car-carriers.


Source of the figures: