Electric vehicle maintenance cost compared to fossil fuel vehicles.

 








BY    AFZAL YOUSAF

One of the advantages of electric vehicle apart from greener and sustainable mode of transport is the less maintenance required. As world is in a beginning stage of a switch over from fossil fuel to electric vehicles, people are somewhat reluctant as they fear that maintenance cannot be done properly. Maintenance procedures of electric vehicles is not similar to conventional fossil fuel driven engine.

Here we are trying to analyse the maintenance cost of EV compared to conventional vehicles.

  • Fewer Moving Parts and Simple Mechanics
Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and their mechanism of operation is simple. Comparing to the parts of conventional fossil fuel vehicles, which consist of hundreds of moving parts like engine, radiator, piston, fuel pump, spark plug, timing belt and so on, thus a lot can go wrong in that complex operation. Electric vehicle mechanism is simple as mechanical elements and moving parts are limited and thus EVs have around 50%  less maintenance. 

Fewer fluid changes are there to worry about in EVs compared to periodic performing oil, transmission and coolant changes in IC Engine vehicles. In electric vehicles only fluid we need to change is the battery coolant in almost every 4 year.

  • Regenerative Braking
Every electric vehicles use some form of regenerative braking system. It allows motor to slow down and store some energy back to battery. Thus braking will be more efficient and less wear and tear on brake pads. Though brake disks and pads still need maintenance this need to be done less often compared to fossil fuel vehicles. 
  • Less Regular Maintenance
Electric vehicles does not need regular maintenance and service like conventional fossil fuel types. Some manufacturers suggest regular check on the battery, generally every year and usually parts like tyre, wipers, brake fluid change or maintenance is still needed. Also when time comes to service your electric vehicle, make sure you do it from a centre which offers trained staffs for EV maintenance. If you own a new EV, your local dealer should be able to handle your car's scheduled maintenance. Check your handbook if you are planning to do the work from your own garage.

  • Battery maintenance or Replacement
Electric battery is the most important component in EVs and largest possible maintenance or expense comes in EVs as battery replacement. Battery technology in electric vehicle is different from rest of the battery technology in laptop, mobile etc. Unlike these batteries, EVs have large and complex batteries that undergoes constant discharge and charging. Thus results in range loss and battery degradation over time. Battery management system (BMS) constantly monitors the battery and keep it healthy and efficient.

Avoid fully charging and discharging your vehicle battery regularly. It may lead to degrading your battery pack but fortunately now, manufacturers prevent full capacity charging to extend battery life. Though battery pack is equipped to withstand extreme temperatures, avoid using them regularly in extreme conditions.

Also avoid using fast chargers regularly as fast charging degrades battery faster that normal slow or moderate speed chargers.

Lifetime of battery in EVs is a matter of concern to customers and manufacturers are well aware of that. Most EVs comes now with a battery warranty/guarantee of around 8-10 years or 100,000 miles (approx). If your EV requires a battery replacement, cost is usually covered by manufacturers battery warranty but without warranty, you need to spend almost one third of the vehicle price to replace with a new battery.

  • Less maintenance required for Electric motor
Electric motor is the heart of EVs and it require very less maintenance compared to IC Engine. Though electric motors require little maintenance, they still need to be serviced according to the manufacturer's suggested schedule, which can be found in your owner's manual. 


Though it is still difficult to properly analyse or quantify maintenance cost of electric vehicles, manufactures and customers commonly accept EVs have at least 25% less maintenance than conventional IC Engine vehicles. 

Regardless of which type of vehicle you owns, proper maintenance and cost is inescapable and necessary for a smooth and safe ride, also to extend your vehicle life.

If you are an ELECTRIC VEHICLE user, please share your experience.  Keep Reading.
            


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