EV Maintenance Cost: What You Need To Know
The automotive industry is becoming increasingly electrified, and within the next 10 to 15 years, virtually all new passenger vehicles for sale are expected to be an EV. They’re comparatively less expensive to operate since the cost of electricity per mile traveled is only about one-quarter the cost of gasoline for a comparable ICE vehicle, and electric car maintenance is said to be significantly less involved as well.
Still, EVs require certain services to keep them operating properly, and most of them are shared with gas-powered cars and trucks. Read on to learn about electric car maintenance costs compared to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine and the services you can expect to perform.
How Expensive Is EV Maintenance Compared to Gas Vehicles?
According to a Consumer Reports analysis, EVs cost roughly half as much as a similar internal combustion engine-powered vehicle for routine maintenance. Over the first 50,000 miles, an ICE vehicle averages nearly three cents per mile in maintenance, rising to almost eight cents per mile between 100,000 and 200,000 miles. Over its lifetime, each mile driven costs just over six cents in related maintenance and repairs for an accumulated cost of $9,200.
Electric vehicle maintenance costs almost exactly 50 cents on the dollar compared to ICE vehicles. Over the first 50,000 miles, BEVs can expect to spend only 1.2 cents per mile, rising to just over four cents per mile during the 100,000 to 200,000-mile stretch. The lifetime average is just 3.1 cents per mile with an overall lifetime savings of $4,600.
Naturally, the savings in maintenance needs to be tempered with the higher purchase price for EVs, but lower service-related expenses bring electric cars a lot closer to parity with lifetime ownership experiences.
What Does Electric Vehicle Maintenance Include?
What maintenance does an electric car need? Compared with non-EV models, the services an electric car requires are fewer and a lot further between. Taking one of the most popular recent models into consideration, the Ford F-150 Lightning, these are the items scheduled for routine maintenance and how often they’re required:
- Vehicle inspection. A multi-point vehicle inspection is due every 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. It checks the brakes, cooling system, halfshaft boots, tires, steering, and suspension components for wear or damage.
- Tire rotation. To promote even wear across all tires, a tire rotation is scheduled once per year or every 10,000 miles.
- Brake fluid change. Every three years, regardless of mileage, the brake fluid must be replaced to remove moisture-contaminated fluid from the system.
- Cabin air filter. Every 20,000 miles or less, the cabin air filter should be replaced.
- Transmission fluid change. The transmission fluid must be drained and refilled every 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Not all EVs have serviceable transmissions, though.
- Coolant change. The cooling fluid for the battery pack must be changed, typically every 150,000 to 200,000 miles or five to 10 years.
What Other Services Need to Be Done?
Aside from the routine scheduled maintenance, are there any other common services an EV needs? Some maintenance items will need to be performed as required on an inspection, but not necessarily on a schedule such as:
- Wheel alignment. Driving over potholes or hitting a curb affects EVs just like any other vehicle. A wheel alignment might be necessary from time to time to center the steering wheel or correct a pull.
- Tire replacement. Since EVs are heavier than a comparable ICE vehicle, the tires experience more wear and tear. You can expect to replace the tires more often, and specialty EV tires are currently more expensive than your average tire.
- Brake jobs. Like any other vehicle, EVs have brake pads and rotors that will wear as they’re used. Although regenerative braking reduces the amount of wear they experience, an EV’s brake pads and rotors will need to be replaced in time.
- Wiper blades. Roughly once per year, the wiper blades will need to be replaced to keep a clean, clear view of the road.
- Bulb replacement. While LEDs are much more prevalent in EVs, any incandescent bulbs are still susceptible to burning out and may need to be changed every few years.
- Battery pack balancing. If the range begins to deteriorate, battery balancing might be required to regain battery health.
Of course, how you drive and maintain an EV affects its life and the costs to keep it working properly, just like any other car. When you need parts or fluids to maintain or repair your electric car, AutoZone has what you need. Shop by year, make, and model to find fluids, filters, and more in stock to pick up today or ready for delivery. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.
FAQ/People Also Ask
Compared to an ICE vehicle, electric vehicles cost about half as much to service and maintain over its lifetime.
With fewer moving parts and serviceable components, an EV typically costs an average of three cents per mile for maintenance. Over a typical distance of 15,000 miles per year, it averages to around $450 per year in maintenance.
While there are fewer service items, EVs do require maintenance. It includes tire rotations, fluid changes, wiper blade replacements, and cabin air filter changes.
Properly maintained, an EV can easily last 200,000 miles or longer. Generally, that’s longer than the average ICE vehicle at 150,000 miles.
Electric cars do not have engines, so there’s no need to change engine oil ever. However, there are other fluids like brake fluid, coolant, and transmission fluid that may need to be changed.