Electric vehicles enable you to (almost) forget about repair shops
Electric motors use state-of-the-art technology and they also have fewer parts than combustion engines. So, servicing your electric vehicle will be plain sailing… And cheaper.
When one considers the advantages of purchasing an electric vehicle, it normally comes down to two: less consumption and emission-free driving. Savings and environmental issues are, therefore, significant reasons. There is, however, a third reason, which is closely related to the previous two: maintenance. For a start, maintenance is cheaper than with an equivalent combustion engine car. As electric vehicles have fewer parts, they require fewer resources, in terms of construction and maintenance. Therefore, they are more sustainable.
This may surprise many readers. Understandably, electric vehicles represent the future, and therefore one tends to think of extremely complex technologies that obviously must entail extremely expensive repair costs. There is no doubt that electric vehicles are extremely sophisticated machines. But the technology employed is not new, it has simply made incredible progress. Electric vehicles were invented over a century ago, in fact, they were invented before combustion engine vehicles. And in terms of the batteries used today, lithium-ion batteries were invented more than 25 years ago.
The bonnets of electric vehicles are home to significantly less components than diesel or petrol engine vehicles. And, above all, there is no friction between the various parts, which leads to inevitable wear and tear. There are no mobile elements, or belts, or any rods, or spark plugs, or cylinders, or constant explosions taking place within a metal casing (which is why electric vehicles don’t vibrate or rattle). Instead, they have an electric motor, similar to that found in so many electrical appliances in your home, but much bigger of course. This motor is installed on a small transmission box without gears, and the set is connected to the wheels of the vehicle.
That is why the oil does not need to be changed as with conventional combustion engine vehicles. There is simply no friction; there are no parts that require lubrication. The gearbox oil does not need changing either. You won’t even have to check the air, oil and fuel filters, or change the timing belt. Electric vehicles don’t have any of these things. What they do have in common with combustion engine vehicles, is the interior filter (to prevent bad smells or harmful substances entering), the brake and refrigerants. With regard to the latter, while in heat-engine vehicles it must be virtually constant and of course undergo periodic services, with an electric vehicle, it simply has to be refilled every six years.
You are probably asking yourself what about another essential component of electric vehicles: the batteries. Very simple: they do not require maintenance. And many brands already offer an independent and longer-lasting guarantee than for the rest of the vehicle, and even a rental service, so if the battery’s capacity reduces, they immediately change it.
The maintenance intervals and the costs for an electric vehicle will vary depending on the model However, as announced with various studies conducted recently, on a yearly basis, expenses are reduced to even less than half, compared with a combustion engine vehicle with a similar size and power. There are certain elements, such as the tyres, the brakes or the air conditioning system, which do function in a similar way to any other vehicle and, therefore, the maintenance is the same. Although, as outlined later, in the case of the brakes, they last much longer.
In terms of faults, electric vehicles are in their initial stages, therefore it is too early to establish their reliability. But according to users of models currently seen on our roads, they hardly every have to go to the repair shop. The reason for this is purely an odds ratio: if the motor is made up of fewer components and there is no friction, there is much less chance of an element suffering wear and tear or going wrong.
When first servicing an electric vehicle (we insist, this may vary depending on the model), the first maintenance service will probably consist of checking to ensure everything works correctly and the garage may refill a liquid, for example the windscreen wiper liquid. During the second service, for example, when it reaches 30,000 kilometres, the interior filter may be replaced. During the third service, at 50,000 kilometres, the brake liquid levels may have to be checked, together with the brake pads. But they will have probably suffered significantly less wear than in an equivalent combustion engine vehicle. Electric vehicles use motor retention to brake, while also generating a little electricity, which charges the battery, so, very often, the brake pads and discs do not have to work. Therefore, some models last twice as long as those of petrol or diesel engine vehicles.
As illustrated, when servicing your electric vehicle, you will practically only pay for labour costs and you can forget about expensive new parts.