Maintaining and Electric Vehicle: A Comparison

February 29th, 2024 by

If you’ve owned a conventional gas-powered car, you’re familiar with the typical maintenance that is required to keep it on the road. There are engine oil and filter replacements every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, tire rotations, and new tires when needed, the brake pads, and eventually, rotors. You often have to check all the fluids including the brake, power steering, transmission, and coolant. You also have to check and sometimes replace the hoses, belts, and seals, replacing the windshield wipers and even the battery every few years.

Compare all of that with what is required for an Electric Vehicle, which is both cheaper in maintenance costs over the long haul and more affordable to keep running when charging at home. With an electric vehicle, you don’t have to pay for tune-ups, oil changes, cooling system flushes, spark plugs, drive belts, transmission and differential servicing. There’s no fuel pump or water pump to go bad, no radiator to service or replace, no leaking engine gaskets, no gummed-up fuel injection system. Electric cars are quite simple to maintain and cost roughly one-third of what you’d typically spend to keep a gas-powered car serviced.

You’ll follow a different mileage schedule than the traditional 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 services of gas-powered cars. Servicing can also be much less expensive for electric vehicles.

Here are the items you should take care of every 30 days:

  • Check tire pressure
  • Examine tires for excess wear
  • Check the windshield washer fluid and fill if needed

At/every 7,500 miles you should:

  • Have the tires rotated
  • Check the coolant level of the battery
  • Check the cabin heater, power inverter, accessory power, and charge modules
  • Check the power steering and drive shafts for wear
  • Lubricate the door locks and inspect the gas struts for signs of suspension wear
  • Check the vehicle’s bulbs and replace if needed

At/every 15,000 miles you should:

  • Replace the windshield wiper blades

At/every 36,000 miles you should:

  • Replace the cabin air filter

At/every 75,000 miles you should:

  • Replace the suspension gas struts
  • Drain and service the coolant circuits

The vehicle’s main battery is also one of the most important parts, but there isn’t generally anything important to do to maintain it. EV batteries are currently estimated to have service lives of between 12 and 15 years if used in moderate climates.

Generally, the only thing an owner should consider when trying to prolong this battery’s life span is to avoid using fast chargers all the time. Fast chargers degrade battery packs at a quicker rate than a slower 120 or 240-volt charging station.

EV batteries are the costliest component to replace, but the manufacturer’s warranty is generally 8 years or 100,000 miles. Most EV owners will likely never end up replacing the battery in their car, which can cost over $5,000.

Electric Vehicles use regenerative braking systems. This means they use the kinetic energy from the car under braking to charge the battery. These systems last longer than conventional braking systems because they are much more gentle on the brake pads. Despite this, it is still important to keep an eye on your brake pads. They will still wear and are vital to driving safely.

The last topic worth mentioning is that tires may need more frequent replacement in electric vehicles, thanks to the added weight that EVs tend to have due to large batteries. So as mentioned above, check your tires for wear once a month and have them checked by a technician when you get them rotated regularly.