Electric vehicles house significantly fewer moving parts than internal combustion engine vehicles.
Theoretically, this means EVs are more reliable and cheaper to maintain.
But do electric cars still need regular maintenance and is it really cheaper to service in reality?
Do EVs need servicing and maintenance?
Yes, electric cars still need to be serviced, but potentially not as regularly depending on the car manufacturer requirements. However, what is maintained differs compared to a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.
EVs don’t require any check and replacement of spark plugs, engine oil and filters, multiple gears, clutch fluids, exhaust system, fuel lines and hoses to the tank, and so on.
Instead, electric cars have unique parts that need inspection, including: the high voltage battery pack; electric motor/s; charging port condition; and the battery management system (BMS) liquid cooling tubes, fans and software. EV models often only have a single gear, while high performance models like the Porsche Taycan may have two gears to maintain.
Both electric and combustion vehicles share the same consumables that require routine checkups, maintenance and replacements, such as:
- Brake (fluid, discs and pads)
- Gear fluid
- Cabin air filter
- Air conditioning
- Tyres (pressure, tread wear, balance and rotation)
- Suspension joints
- Parking brake
- Steering rack and power steering system
- 12-volt auxiliary battery
- Electronic systems, vehicle and infotainment software
- Lighting, wipers and other accessories
- Airbags and seatbelts
How often do EVs need servicing?
Although EV hardware and engineering is theoretically simpler, car manufacturers often require similar servicing intervals as combustion powered models.
However, some carmakers such as Tesla, BMW and Mini adopt a condition-based servicing schedule to undergo specific routine maintenance tasks when needed.
Other brands like MG, Audi, Porsche, Volvo and Polestar demand less frequent service visits.
For example, electric car models require the following scheduled servicing intervals:
- Tesla Model 3/Y: Condition-based
- Polestar 2: 24 months/30,000km
- MG ZS EV (pre-facelift): 24 months/20,000km
- BYD Atto 3: 12 months/20,000km or 12 months/12,000km
- Hyundai Kona Electric: 12 months/15,000km
- Kia EV6: 12 months/15,000km
- Mercedes-Benz EQA: 12 months/25,000km
- Volvo XC40 Recharge/C40 Recharge: 24 months/30,000km
- Porsche Taycan: 24 months/30,000km
Is it cheaper to service an EV?
Unfortunately, not all automakers set significantly cheaper capped price servicing costs for electric cars compared to their combustion engine equivalents.
Brands BMW, Mini and Mercedes-Benz sell upfront prepaid servicing packages to reduce total maintenance costs over time.
Meanwhile, Polestar, Volvo, Genesis and Jaguar even offer free servicing for up to five visits to entice the switch to zero emission models.
Based on some analysis we did in this comparison, electric cars on have on average 5% (per 12 months) and 35% (per 10,000 km) lower costs compared to petrol cars.
You can view how EV servicing costs compare across brands in a comparison we published.
Figures by Danny Thai
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