Are Electric Cars Easy to Maintain?

Ellie MacKenzie, 17 days ago

5 min read

  • Electric vehicles
  • Maintenance
An electric vehicle charging.

WhoCanFixMyCar sets about answering whether electric vehicles are easy to maintain.

It has been estimated that electric vehicles (EVs) are around £150 cheaper to maintain annually than traditional combustion engine vehicles. Since most people are in agreement that EVs are also better for the planet, just one question remains: are they easy to maintain? Find out in this guide.

Contents

Electric cars are easier to maintain

What are the key components of an electric car?

How often should you service an electric car?

What are the most common problems with an electric car?


Electric cars are easier to maintain

A yellow EV at a charging station.

Unlike their fuel-powered cousins, electric cars don't have an engine - this is the main reason they are easier to maintain. Instead, they have an electric motor powered by a battery made from lithium-ion. 

This means that there are fewer moving parts in an EV that are subject to wear and tear. While an average petrol or diesel engine has up to 10,000 moving parts, an electric vehicle typically has less than 100.

For instance, an electric car doesn’t contain:

These are all relatively high-maintenance parts that have the potential to land a fuel-powered car in the garage.

The average cost of an electric car service is £174.86, according to WhoCanFixMyCar's data. Below is a breakdown of these costs for some of the most popular car makes.

MakeAverage
Audi£168.66
BMW£258.48
Citroen£220.00
Ford£140.50
Mercedes£185.75
Nissan£163.41
Peugeot£180.11
Renault£148.54
Vauxhall£128.36
Volkswagen£138.15

What are the key components of an electric car?

EV repairs.

There are a few parts that are exclusive to an electric car. They boast advanced technology and are built to last you a lifetime, but it's essential to maintain each component properly to avoid any issues and a potentially expensive repair.

Unlike a traditional car powered by an internal combustion engine, an electric vehicle contains:

  • Electric Motor - turns the wheels

  • Electronic Power Control - controls the transfer of electricity from components

  • Inverter - converts electrical currents

  • Charger - takes and transfers the energy from the power supply

  • Battery - stores the energy used to power the motor

However, they also share a few fundamental parts with traditional cars, such as brakes, steering and a suspension system, which will need maintaining just the same.


How often should you service an electric car?

An electric car needs servicing just as often as a fuel-powered car. Routine maintenance is crucial for keeping it in good condition and running smoothly. As with any other vehicle, you'll need to book an MOT test every year once your car has reached a certain age, and you should also book an annual full service.

This guide explains what happens during an EV MOT.

Theoretically, an electric car is much cheaper to service than a petrol or diesel car as you’re less likely to uncover problems requiring a repair. The key to keeping your electric vehicle healthy is to keep on top of its condition by having a full annual service and, ideally, an interim service every six months.

Find out the difference between a full and interim service.


What are the most common problems with an electric car?

Even though electric cars have fewer parts sensitive to wear and tear, they are still prone to certain problems.

Common issues stem from:

  • The high voltage system

  • Regenerative braking

  • The battery

  • Fluids

Servicing, repairing and maintaining these components sometimes involves plugging in the car's computer and analysing data rather than getting under the bonnet. So, it often requires the help of a trained expert.

Electric cars can also suffer from the same problems as fuel-powered cars. Issues with braking, steering and suspension could crop up, as could tyre punctures and bodywork problems. 

Overall, the most significant benefit of an electric car, from a maintenance point of view, is that there are fewer opportunities for something to break or need to be replaced. However, it's important to continue getting your car serviced just as often as a traditional vehicle to avoid more complex issues in the long run. 


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