Electric Cars: Service & Maintenance

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Yes, indeed this is the case. Battery electric vehicles (BEV) have far fewer components compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. For example, a petrol car could have up to 30,000 components if you count every bolt, screw etc.

Some of these parts include the engine block, pistons and valves for the combustion engine, carburettor, fuel injection, fuel pumps and fuel filters for the fuel system. None of these components are required for an electric car. In fact, an electric car also has significantly less moving parts compared to a petrol car. An average petrol car has hundreds of moving parts while an electric car (EV) has one moving part, the motor. This means there are fewer parts that are potentially in need of servicing and maintenance.

Electric Vehicles Are Cheaper To Service & Maintain

Yes. According to CAP HPI, a leading supplier of automotive data, EV’s cost on average 23% less to service and maintain over three years / 60,000 miles, compared to internal combustion engine cars.

These were findings from research carried out by CAP HPI in 2018. The research also highlighted that the the gap increases for smaller cars. For example, a Renault Zoe is 35% cheaper to maintain compared to a Vauxhall Corsa!

Similarly, the research found that a Nissan Leaf costs £1,197 to maintain over three years, compared to £1,429 for the Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 110 SE, a saving of 19%.

The lower costs for maintenance are due to a combination of fewer moving parts and lower levels of wear and tear. Findings from KeeResources, another leading automotive data supplier, supports the conclusions above. According to KeeResources, over a period of four years / 60,000 miles, plug-in electric vehicles can deliver significant savings compared to petrol and diesel cars.

What Other Advantages Does An EV Has Over Conventional Petrol & Diesel Vehicles?

For a start, you do not need to worry about maintenance as much with electric cars. EVs do not require the frequent oil changes, filter changes, tune ups, exhaust system repairs etc that combustion engine vehicles do. It is a much simpler and cleaner maintenance experience with electric cars. The reduction in components has resulted in increased space within the vehicle too, and who wouldn’t want more storage space?

Which Externally Visible Component Differentiates An ICE Vehicle From An EV?

It is rather easy to recognise an EV. A 100% BEV will have no tailpipe (exhaust), more commonly associated with conventional petrol and diesel cars that spew harmful emissions and gases. Moreover, EVs do not need a muffler to reduce noise pollution as they don’t make noise.

So Are EVs Maintenance Free?

Not exactly. Like conventional automobiles, EVs do have the following potential maintenance issues as part of the normal operation of the vehicle:

  • Tire wear and tear
  • Brake fluid maintenance
  • Coolant maintenance for the battery
  • Brake pads and discs maintenance
  • Battery maintenance

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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