Everything you need to know about maintaining and servicing your EV
Do electric cars need servicing? Are electric cars easy to maintain? And how much will all this cost? These are just some of the common questions people have when buying an electric car.
You might think that with all that modern tech, maintaining an electric vehicle is a complex and pricey business. But, with servicing up to 43% cheaper and fewer car parts to maintain, the upkeep of an electric car is usually much cheaper and simpler than fuel vehicles.
Keen to learn more? Let’s find out what’s involved in electric car servicing and the potential costs involved in ongoing maintenance.
What servicing is required on electric cars?
Properly cared-for cars last longer, and it’s no different with your EV. To keep everything working smoothly you’ll need to make sure it's regularly serviced and properly maintained. Here’s some of the main electric car parts that will need ongoing care and attention:
1. Electric motor and car battery
Unlike fuel cars, electric motors have very few moving parts. This means they won't need much in the way of ongoing maintenance and repairs.
An electric car battery is also impressively long-lasting, with some having a battery life of up to 20 years. The great news is that most car manufacturers offer guarantees of 10-plus years. So, you can be confident your electric battery won't need replacing any time soon. This is especially true if you’re charging your EV efficiently.
During a routine service, a technician will plug your car into a diagnostic machine and run a few tests. They’ll check your battery health, including the performance of individual cells, and make sure there are no fault codes that need attention. They’ll also have a good look at your electrical cables to check for any loose connections or damage.
2. Coolant and oil
Electric cars have a cooling system that chills the battery and keeps it working at an optimum temperature. The liquid coolant might need a little top-up every so often, a quick visual inspection during a routine service will pick this up.
Oil is used in transmission, as well as wheel bearings and some other mechanical parts.
You won’t need to have your oil checked in the traditional sense, but oil-lubricated parts will need a once-over to make sure there are no leaks and there’s enough lubricant to keep everything working smoothly.
Most EVs use regenerative braking (aka recuperation braking), which means less harsh wear and tear on brake pads and discs. As with any car, brake fluid will need to be checked and changed regularly to keep it functioning well. Although likely to last longer, brakes will wear out and need to be replaced periodically.
As with traditional combustion engine cars, suspension springs and dampers will wear out over time. The increased weight of an electric battery might mean these have a slightly shorter shelf-life, but they’ll be checked as part of your routine service.
As with non-electric vehicles, there will be other car parts that need to be checked and replaced regularly, like wiper blades, cabin filters and tyres. Given the extra weight of the electric battery, tyres do wear down slightly quicker, but a good lease agreement will include regular tyre replacements as part of your maintenance package.
How often should an electric car be serviced?
Generally, your electric car will need to be serviced less than your old petrol or diesel car, but it will definitely need regular servicing! There are no hard and fast rules and each car manufacturer has its own recommended schedule based on time or distance.
For example, Nissan advises Leaf owners to get their cars serviced every 18,000 miles or once a year. Volkswagen recommends that its ID.3 and ID.4 drivers carry out their first service after two years, once a year, or every 18,000 miles after that. Porsche recommends its Taycan owners follow a slightly less frequent servicing schedule of once every two years or 20,000 miles.
If in doubt, check your manufacturer’s guidelines and any warranties to keep yourself right.
Where can I get my EV serviced?
Although mechanically much simpler than your average petrol or diesel car, properly servicing and repairing an electric vehicle is a job for an EV specialist. A lot of local independent garages might not offer this service just yet, so your best bet is most likely an authorised dealership. These typically have EV specialist workshops with all the expert knowledge and professional equipment you'll need.
If you don’t want or need to use a dealership, then the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Alliance provides an up-to-date list of independent accredited EV specialists. As electric vehicles become increasingly popular, you’ll likely see more independent garages offering these EV services.
Keep in mind that your warranty may only be valid if you use an authorised dealer, so make sure you check the terms of your warranty before booking your service.
Is maintenance included when I lease an EV?
Typically yes, most leasing companies will offer a maintenance and service package with electric car hire. With Octopus Electric Vehicles when you lease an electric vehicle we’ll throw in routine servicing, maintenance and repairs, and breakdown assistance, as standard. Plus, tyre replacements every 20,000 miles.
If you have a lease with Octopus EV, your annual servicing is included. If your car is ready for a service, drop a call to the Driver line on 020 3322 2601 and we can help book you in.
So, you’ll get to drive a top-of-the-range electric car without the hassle or worry of any extra maintenance costs. Sound good? Why not look at our electric vehicle personal lease options to kick-start your electric vehicle journey today?