When we talk about the benefits of electric vehicles, one of the critical benefits for the user is always highlighted as the cheap maintenance costs. However, it is frequently mentioned as a benefit in a general sense, without mentioning specific amounts. As a result, we will attempt to explain if the maintenance of an electric car is cheaper and whether it is a deciding factor in choosing whether it is worthwhile to purchase an electric car.
A priori, and according to technical theory, an electric vehicle must require less maintenance than a combustion vehicle. As you may know, combustion engines are cuckoo clocks composed of thousands of moving pieces. To avoid the early aging of a combustion engine, we must take care of the circumstances in which it operates. Therefore, maintenance is necessary regularly. That is why changing the oil and the oil, fuel, and intake air filters every 10-15k kilometers or periods is required. The goal is for these fluids to retain their qualities so that the engine can continue to operate in the best possible circumstances.
Even if you follow all maintenance procedures to the letter, some parts may wear out and need to be replaced sooner or later. They are parts with a limited lifespan that must be changed once or numerous times over the car's usable life. We're talking about things like the timing belt, clutch, and spark plugs, among other things. That is when we, as users, must go to the workshop and check out.
Things have altered with the introduction of all-electric vehicles. If they are notable for anything, it is because of their simplicity. We no longer have many wearable products. Furthermore, as novel as they may appear, electric automobile propulsion systems are time-tested technology. Electric propulsion has been around for over 100 years and has been utilized (and continues to be used) in a variety of applications; nevertheless, it was not until a decade ago that it was desired to be recovered for the automobile industry.
The essential components of the electric drive, such as the electric motor, power electronics, and onboard charger, do not require any maintenance. And it is true that with an electric vehicle, heat, vibrations, and moving parts are kept to a minimum, and as a result, maintenance is kept to a minimum.
Although the battery is likely one of the weaker aspects of the electric car, this is related to deterioration and usable life rather than maintenance (lithium-ion batteries do not have them). Therefore, little can be done except to adhere to a set of best practices to extend battery life and capacity as much as feasible.
Of course, it is crucial to remember that once the motor system and battery are removed, the differences between an electric automobile and a combustion car vanish. However, the running gear, suspensions, and interior of an electric automobile are identical to those of a combustion car; thus, we will be unable to avoid some maintenance.
What activities must be performed during the maintenance of an electric car?
Car maintenance refers to the necessity to replace certain parts, liquids, or components that need to be replaced in a scheduled manner due to wear or deterioration. Unforeseen failures of elements that, in theory, should survive the whole usable life of the vehicle or that do not have a planned replacement during the car's life are not covered. But, of course, this does not exclude them from being broken.
Unlike that of a combustion car, the manufacturer plans the maintenance of an electric car in the vehicle manuals. A priori, equipment such as windshield wiper blades, tires, the 12V battery, and suspensions are susceptible to identical wear and tear as in combustion automobiles and will need to be replaced sooner or later in electric cars. The main exception is the brakes, which have less intensive usage due to regenerative braking, considerably prolonging the usable life of discs and pads.
One of the most essential and distinguishing features of electric car maintenance is verifying the correct insulation of all the car's electrical connections, particularly those that affect the high voltage wiring, that is, all those that enter and leave the car's battery. This necessitates the use of specialist equipment and the services of an electric car technician. It is common for companies to require dealers to educate their mechanics in after-sales care if they wish to sell electric cars or plug-in hybrid cars.
When it comes to automotive maintenance, the vehicle's standards are crucial. People of all types can be found: from those who prefer to carry out all car maintenance to the letter according to the brand's recommendations and in the official technical service to those who never visit the workshop and like to do the various performances independently.
It is crucial to note that the maintenance you perform on your automobile is entirely up to you and is not required in any circumstance. Promotions in which the brand extends the warranty in return for passing through the official workshop are widespread.
It should also be mentioned that discussing uniform prices is a complicated process. Passing the evaluation in one technical service might result in significant variances, so it is essential to request many budgets and choose the most suitable one. After all, the dealers are brand-independent businesses with some leeway in determining their prices.
We must also be conscious that the sample size and age restrict the conclusions we may draw. In ten years, when there are many electric cars on the road and reach a particular age, we will learn more about electric car maintenance and, most importantly, their dependability and potential recurring problems. Unfortunately, according to sales figures, a few electric cars in Europe are more than ten years old, not providing a clear picture of their dependability.