Electric vehicles are not 100 percent maintenance-free. However, the maintenance needs of these electric automobiles are considerably lower than the requirements of a regular, gas-driven car. Besides, electric vehicles do not have many movable parts that may wear out due to friction. Moreover, they do not consist of combustion engines that are often susceptible to tear and wear. Considering this, EVs are less likely to break down in the middle of nowhere, as it is the case with gas-powered cars.
Perhaps the only components that you have to worry about are the batteries, lights and the braking systems. But then again, most manufacturers provide an 8 to 15-year warranty cover on all their batteries, meaning that it will take you several years before you even consider changing your EV battery.
With that said, it is clearer now that maintaining an electric car is far much cheaper than taking care of a gas-driven car. According to various surveys done by industry experts, the maintenance costs of an EV is only one-third that of maintaining a regular car. In view of these developments, it is not surprising that more people are now switching to electric cars as their preferred type of vehicle.
Here is a rundown of how electric car maintenance differs from a normal car:
The battery is one of the most important parts of an electric car. EVs essentially draw their power from the battery pack just as gasoline-driven cars get their power from the fuel in the combustion engine. With this in mind, it is imperative to take care of the battery to make the most of your electric car.
The good news is that electric car batteries do not require regular maintenance. They can serve you for up to 10-15 years before requiring a replacement. You just need to charge it appropriately and avoid exposing it to overly hot or cold temperatures. Additionally, you should never allow the battery to go totally dead to maintain its overall health.
Electric cars come with a regenerative braking system that is highly efficient and only requires half the maintenance a normal car would need. This type of braking system utilizes the vehicle’s motor to convert kinetic energy lost when slowing down into chemical energy stored in the car’s battery. This minimizes duty levels consequently extending brake rotor life and reducing brake pad wear.
However, the terrain in your area coupled with the regeneration settings you use can take a toll on the brake pads. With this in mind, it is prudent that you avoid “hard-driving” to keep the need for brake service at a minimum.
Brake fluid service
Even though electric vehicles do not have mechanical brakes or movable parts that require oiling, you still need to lubricate the brake pads and discs. You need to top up the brake fluid regularly to ensure that the brake discs and pads do not absorb water from the air when pressing together. In any case, the presence of water particles in the braking system might lead to corrosion and cause serious damage over time. The only way to flush out the hygroscopic liquid that forms between the discs and brake pads is to lubricate these parts regularly using recommended fluids.
All cars require tire maintenance. Essentially, you need to replace your tires as soon as they wear out to ensure that your car is stable and roadworthy. However, unlike conventional vehicles, electric cars require regular tire rotation given that they have a low center of gravity, and they exert a lot of torque when driving. With such a heavy footing, it is inevitable for the tires to wear out quickly.
It is important to note that about 35 percent of EVs do not come with spare tires. For this reason, you should invest in good tires with low rolling resistance to save on the cost of buying new ones, every now and then.
Even though electric cars do not have a combustion engine, they still get hot especially when driven for long distances. This can be dangerous given that the hot temperatures might cause the battery to catch fire. For this reason, all-electric cars come with a coolant that keeps the battery cool.
As far as maintenance is concerned, you need to top up the coolant with the recommended coolant fluid to ensure optimal performance. However, replacing the coolant fluid is only necessary every four years or after driving 50,000 miles. This means that if you often drive 20 miles a day, it will take close to 7 years before you top up the coolant fluid.
Other electric car components that require regular maintenance are the windscreen wipers. Most EVs have standard windscreen wipers that are the same as those found on traditional cars. For this reason, you need to maintain them in the same way as for regular cars.
Depending on the weather patterns in your location, it is always a good idea to replace your wipers twice every year. The first replacement should come at the start of winter and the next replacement should be before winter. However, if your wiper blades wear out before this period, you may have to replace them sooner than anticipated.
The Bottom line
In addition to lower operational costs, electric cars are easier and cheaper to maintain. EV owners do not have to worry about tailpipes and exhaust systems, radiators, fuel injection systems, starter motors, and gears. The only parts that you need to service are the regenerative braking systems and the batteries. However, this depends on how you drive your car and how you charge and take care of your batteries.
Considering all these benefits, it makes much more sense to switch to electric cars, especially if you want to reduce car maintenance costs and make more savings. After all, most of the maintenance works are only necessary after several months.
So what are you waiting for? Enjoy your car ownership experience by acquiring an electric car.