If you’re like many others considering an electric vehicle for your next car, you probably have a lot of questions. Owning an EV has several benefits, like saving money and avoiding the gas pump, but electric vehicles also require far less maintenance.
But do they really? It’s a common question and comment thrown around in the debate between gas-powered cars and electric vehicles. No matter what type of ride you’re about to buy, maintenance and repairs is something everyone needs to consider.
So, with that in mind, below, we’ll go over a few things you need to know about EVs and maintenance costs.
Is Maintenance Cheaper on EVs?
Regular EV Maintenance
Is Maintenance Cheaper on EVs?
Electric vehicles don’t have nearly as many mechanical parts or components as a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) car. As a result, maintenance is absolutely cheaper on an EV. According to the Department of Energy, it’s easier to own an EV, a plug-in hybrid vehicle, or even a regular hybrid-electric vehicle than their gas counterparts.
Another report from the Department of Energy explains that the savings are nearly 40% if you buy an EV. Most gas-powered vehicles end up costing around $0.10 per mile when you consider maintenance, gas, new tires, etc., over the vehicle’s life. On an EV, it’s closer to $0.06, if not less.
There are over 20 commonly serviced components of a regular car engine that EVs don’t need. We’re talking about tune-ups, engine filters, oil changes, spark plugs, drive belts or chains that squeal like crazy, emission (EVAP) system hoses, leaks, O2 sensors, transmission flushes, failing catalytic converters, and more.
And those are just the common ones. If you look at the bigger picture, most gas vehicles have hundreds and hundreds of moving parts.
A Consumer Reports study suggests that people with regular vehicles will often spend upwards of $4,600 more in repairs and maintenance over the vehicle’s life. Of course, repairs on an EV can be expensive and time-consuming as well, but that goes for any car. Overall, you’ll have less to maintain, repair, and worry about with an EV.
They don’t call dealerships the “stealership” for nothing. That’s because the average maintenance repair on a regular gas-powered vehicle often costs upwards of $600 per visit, if not more when you take it to a mechanic or the dealership. If your transmission goes out, you’ll spend several thousands of dollars on a hefty repair bill.
Fun fact, EVs don’t have transmissions. The single electric motor doesn’t have to change and shift gears as speeds increase. As a result, there are no moving parts from the transmission, no tranny fluid, and far fewer things to go wrong. And that’s just when we’re talking about repairs, let alone maintenance.
The battery, motor, and all electronics to handle the entire system in an electric vehicle require little to no maintenance. You don’t have to check or change the oil, there aren’t nearly as many fluids or hoses, and as we said earlier, there are simply fewer moving parts.
But what about the brakes? EVs are fast and have tons of power, torque, and speed, and won’t you spend a ton of money on brake pads and rotors? Nope. In fact, brake wear is significantly less in an EV thanks to regenerative braking. And while the system reduces braking, it also recharges the battery, saving you money and allowing for more driving range per charge.
Regular EV Maintenance
Even though electric vehicles don’t have nearly as many moving parts doesn’t mean you won’t have to do anything. EVs aren’t entirely maintenance-free, and there are a few regular things you’ll want to do as you would on any vehicle.
A prime example is new tires or the occasional tire rotation. Then again, you should be rotating the tires with somewhat frequency on any vehicle. Or, in some situations, getting a tire alignment.
Aside from that, you’ll also want to do a few other regular maintenance tasks. These include changing your wiper blades when necessary, adding more windshield washer fluid, and cleaning or replacing the cabin air filter. Electric vehicles do have a lot of fuses, so that could be a maintenance issue. Then again, so does a regular car.
Perhaps the biggest “maintenance” aspect of an electric vehicle is its battery. All EV manufacturers suggest keeping the battery between 20-80% charge for optimal health, which will occasionally be a challenge for some owners. And yes, a battery could fail, but that’s what the warranty is for. All EVs in the United States come with an 8-year or longer battery warranty, as required by law.
Electric vehicles have heat pumps and cooling systems to keep the batteries at optimal temperatures. Still, most of those are entirely internal, built into the battery pack, and won’t require maintenance by the owner.
As you can see, electric vehicles don’t need those frequent oil changes every 3,000 or 5,000 miles, tons of fluids topped off by the kid at your nearby auto shop, and there’s generally far less to worry about.
In closing, it’s important to remember that any vehicle, gas or electric, will have wear and tear over time that you may need to address. We’re talking about replacing tires and brake pads, worn-down seats or cloth, cracks in the windshield, and potentially suspension issues.
No vehicle is perfect, but the amount of time and money you’ll have to put into maintenance or repairs is significantly less when it comes to electric cars.