One of the main selling points of electric vehicles is that they’re significantly easier to maintain. After all, there are fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle. They don’t need engine oil or gasoline, they don’t have the belts and hoses required by a conventional engine, and they mostly just need to be plugged in overnight to run completely normally the next day.
But, is it accurate to say that electric cars actually need less maintenance than their conventional cousins? Let’s take a look at the facts.
EVs work on a different paradigm than traditional vehicles. Combustion engines require a lot of moving parts to transfer energy from gasoline into forward momentum. From pistons to belts and axles, cars have a lot of components under high heat and constant motion. This requires lubrication in the form of engine oil, a cooling system in the form of coolant, and cleaning in the form of regular tune-ups.
None of this is the case in an electric vehicle. They don’t need oil changes, there are no belts that could wear out, and you don’t have to keep nearly as many fluids topped off with an EV. In fact, there are only a few things to worry about maintaining on an EV.
The two main components to consider in an EV when you’re thinking about long-term maintenance are the brakes and the tires. These two components are essentially identical to their conventional vehicle counterparts, with the slight exception that many EVs use braking systems that also gather energy for the battery.
This means that the only maintenance you’ll be worried about on a semi-regular basis is getting your tires rotated and your brakes checked. As long as these two components are functioning properly, there’s only one other system in the car you need to worry about long-term.
Every battery, no matter how large, has a certain number of cycles it’ll stay good for. That even applies to the massive batteries seen in electric cars. After a certain (usually very high) number of charges, an EV’s battery will be completely unable to hold a charge. A few EVs use a liquid coolant system to keep the battery from overheating, too, which could require regular maintenance, depending on the vehicle.
If your car’s battery goes out, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer to figure out what their recycling policy is. Often, you can pay to have the manufacturer rotate in a new battery and recycle the old one, allowing for your car to keep going even after its original battery is spent!