Given that the technology used in electric cars is a lot more advanced than the one in combustion engine cars, one would naturally expect that electric car maintenance is costly. However, this is a complete contrast to the reality of things, as an electric car has lesser mechanical components within it, which means that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
It is also important to note that this doesn’t mean that an electric car doesn’t need to be taken care of occasionally, with a total body checkup, to make sure that it’s in perfect condition. In this blog, we shall see exactly what it takes to maintain an electric car, and how to do so.
Maintenance of electric cars gets relatively simple with the fact that they have lesser mechanical moving parts when compared to petrol or diesel cars, as electric cars have an electric engine, in place of internal combustion engines (ICE). This means that one would have to worry less about maintaining certain parts or replacing them, as is the case in case of petrol or diesel cars.
While lesser moving parts might mean that your electric car is a low maintenance car, things can get tricky with the complex electrical components found in electric cars, which include:
1. High voltage (HV) relays
2. HV air conditioning pumps
3. HV inverters
However, this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have to maintain other parts of your car, like tyres, brakes and wipers, as they would need maintenance no matter what kind of car you’re using.
As mentioned earlier, electric cars do have lesser moving parts when compared to their petrol or diesel counterparts, because they do not have a combustion engine, and run on a purely electric engine. Electric cars do have their own parts to maintain, and some common car parts, which are found in every car, irrespective of whether they are electric or combustion.
Look at the difference between the parts in a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric engine.
ICEs have hundreds of moving parts, which could be as many as 2,000 moving parts. Some of the parts include as follows:
|Internal Combustion Engine Parts||Electric Car Parts|
|ICEs have hundreds of moving parts, which could be as many as 2,000 moving parts. Some of the parts include as follows:||An electric car could have as many as 20 or fewer moving parts. Electric car parts include:|
Electronic power control modules
Car parts common to all vehicles:
No matter which car you end up choosing to drive, every car has something in common with the others. Some of the most common car parts, which are also found in EVs, include:
An electric vehicle maintenance is a lot simpler than the maintenance of a regular car, as you have a lot less to take care of. If done right, you wouldn’t encounter any major problems and can go on for a very long time without major problems. Here's what you must take care of, in case of electric cars:
While the traction batteries of EVs have proven to be very robust and trustworthy, they do need to be well taken care of, to make sure that they do not encounter any major problems. You'll generally have to make sure that the car battery doesn’t completely run out and that the battery is charged according to the owner’s manual.
Regenerative braking, as well as conventional brakes are used in electric vehicles. The energy that is lost when the car is slowing down, is converted back into stored energy in the battery, which makes braking more efficient, thus reducing the wear and tear on your brake system. Of course, you’d still need to occasionally replace the brake pads and discs, and brake fluid.
On a general note, the tyre maintenance for any car is the same, but EVs may sometimes have specific tyres to cope with additional weight and more accelerating power. They also have reduced rolling resistance, which create less noise. Make sure you rotate your tyres according to the owner's manual, keep the tyre pressure topped up, and replace the tyres when worn.
Battery temperatures are managed via coolant in most electric car engines. From car to car, the necessity for changing the coolant or topping it up keeps varying, depending on the owner’s manual. Electric cars generally have cooling systems that are sealed. Hence, they should be checked/topped only by a qualified technician.
Springs and dampers can be worn out with increased weight on your car. These are easily replaced or repairable though, as they are checked as part of any major normal or electric car repair.
Air conditioning pumps, cabin filters and wiper blades are some of the parts that would need replacing over time, as is the case with any other car.
Electric cars don’t use engine oil in the traditional sense, but do use oil inside reduction gearboxes, which may need to be changed with time. Thus, there’s no concept of electric car oil change in a typical sense here. This is one thing that doesn’t need to be worried about in the case of electric cars, which also don’t need spark plugs or timing belt changes.
Unlike petrol or diesel cars, electric cars do not need a lot of maintenance, which makes it easier and simpler to maintain these cars. As the instance of repairs is very less, maintenance for electric cars is very less.
In the repairs or breakdowns that are observed in electric cars, most are caused by punctures or issues with the 12v battery. Additionally, the cabin air filter might need maintenance or replacing, in an electric car, along with brake fluid or air conditioning.
According to a 2018 study, it has been found that electric cars cost 23% less than their petrol or diesel counterparts to maintain, meaning that an electric vehicle maintenance is very cheap. Apart from that, using manufacturer recommended tyre specifications will avoid accelerated tyre wear in electric cars, and parts like the braking system will last longer because of innovations such as regenerative braking.
As with regular combustion engine cars, your electric car needs to be serviced at regular intervals, with a similar duration between services as regular cars.
Given that electric cars have lesser parts than a normal car, electrical car services take less time than normal ones, and would also require fewer repairs.
While smaller and more localized garages do not have electric car mechanics in abundance right now, more and more are getting trained to work on electric cars. Bigger repair shop chains offer electric car services, and it wouldn't be very long before everyone else does too.
For the most part, electric cars are highly reliable, and there’s little to worry about. However, in the rare and off chance that an electric car does breakdown, it can’t be towed, as the tyres of the car are linked electrically to the rest of the system.
This is when a breakdown cover comes in handy, as a breakdown cover makes sure that your car is recovered, wherever you may be stranded in the UK. In case of an electric car breakdown, these cars are picked up entirely by a breakdown service, as their tyres wouldn’t function.
Overall, EV repairs and maintenance are very easy tasks if done right. They require less attention than a normal car, but this doesn't mean that they can be neglected altogether. Make sure that you give your car enough attention and get it checked regularly. Warranty Direct offers electric car maintenance and repair, and even replacement of any parts, if required, as part of its warranty.
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