Though electric vehicles may still cost more to purchase than their conventionally powered counterparts, they’re generally cheaper to keep running via affordable home charging. Electric vehicles also save their owners cash on an ongoing basis via lower long-term maintenance costs.
That’s because EVs eliminate over two-dozen mechanical components that would normally require periodic service. An EV owner avoids having to pay for things like tune-ups, oil changes, cooling system flushes, transmission servicing, and replacing the air filter, spark plugs and drive belts. Sources suggest electric vehicle owners spend roughly a third of what conventionally powered auto owners do for regular service.
Still, an EV is not maintenance free. All automakers insist owners follow a series of periodic checks and services in order to keep the vehicle’s warranty in effect. If you don’t follow the recommended schedule, your car may not be covered if it requires repairs.
Aside from tire rotation, replacing the cabin air filter and wiper blades, and topping off the washer fluid, much of this comes down to various mechanical inspections. Automakers advise, and appropriately so, that aside from simple tasks like checking the air pressure in the tires, topping off the windshield washer fluid, and perhaps changing the wiper blades, these procedures should be performed by a trained technician at the dealer’s service department.
As an example of what’s typically required, here’s a look at the maintenance schedule for the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV:
Monthly (performed by owner):
Check the tire pressure and adjust as necessary. Examine the tires for excess wear. Check the windshield washer fluid and fill as necessary.
Every 7,500 miles:
Have the tires rotated. Check the coolant level for the battery, cabin heater, and the power inverter, accessory power, and charger modules. Visually check for fluid leaks. Inspect the brakes. Visually inspect the steering, suspension, and chassis components for damage. Inspect the power steering, halfshafts and drive shafts for excessive wear, leaks, or damage. Check the restraint (airbags) system. Lubricate body components (door locks). Check the accelerator pedal for damage, high effort, or binding and replace if necessary. Visually inspect the gas struts (suspension) for signs of wear, cracks, or other damage. Check the tire sealant expiration date, if equipped (this is used to temporarily seal and inflate a damaged tire).
Twice a year:
Flush corrosive materials (i.e. road salt) from the underbody using plain water.
Every 15,000 miles:
Replace the windshield wiper blades.
Every 36,000 miles:
Replace the cabin air filter (more frequently if necessary).
Every 75,000 miles:
Replace the hood and/or body lift support gas struts.
Every five years:
Drain and fill the vehicle coolant circuits. Replace the brake fluid.
Every seven years:
Have the air conditioning desiccant changed. (it absorbs and holds moisture in a mobile air conditioning system to help prevent corrosion).
For its part, Nissan gives two separate maintenance schedules for the Leaf. Schedule 1 is for more severe operating conditions that include frequent short trips of less than five miles in normal temperatures or 10 miles in freezing weather, stop-and-go driving in hot weather, low-speed driving for long distances, driving in dusty conditions or on rough, muddy or salt spread roads, or using a car-top carrier.
Schedule 2 requires less-frequent maintenance, but applies only to highway driving in temperate conditions. The bottom line here is that most Leaf owners will require Schedule 1 service.
As with the Bolt, this comes down to assorted periodic mechanical inspections, having the tires rotated every six months or 7,500 miles, and changing the cabin air filter every 12 months or 15,000 miles. In addition, the brake fluid should be replaced every 24 months or 30,000 miles, and the coolant changed after 15 years or 120,000 miles.
Now affording less maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean an electric vehicle is bulletproof. EV owners will eventually need to replace the tires, have the brakes serviced, and could be required to replace steering and suspension components, hoses, headlamps, taillights, and so on. As with any other type of vehicle, a wheel alignment will be necessary if the car pulls to one side or is exhibiting uneven tire wear.
And then there’s an EV’s battery pack to consider, which is by far its costliest component. All electric vehicle batteries will degrade over time and lose some of their ability to maintain a full charge, though this happens gradually. It’s more of an issue with older EVs that could barely muster 80 miles on a charge than today’s crop of 200-mile-plus models. At that, only a relative handful of electric cars manufactured to date have reportedly degraded to the point where they needed to be replaced. Still, if you own an EV long enough you’ll see its range decline, and if it falls short enough to become an inconvenience, you may need to swap out the battery pack or trade the vehicle in for a new one.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE:
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Summit White 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier FWD 1-Speed Automatic Electric Drive Unit Bolt EV Premier, 4D Wagon, Electric Drive Unit, 1-Speed Automatic, FWD, Summit White, Dark Galvanized Gray Leather, 2 USB Charging-Only Ports For Rear Passengers, 2 USB Ports & Auxiliary Input Jack, 3-Spoke Leather...Price: $20,593 Mileage: 27,576 Location: Greenville, NC Above average: $242 Total Range: 238 Mi Trim: PREMIER Range 238 Mi Mileage 27,576 Location Greenville, NC Trim PREMIER Price $20,593 Above average $242
2015 BMW i3 Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery and an electric motor. However, like gasoline vehicles, PHEVs also have a gasoline tank and an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Visit -- dgdg.com/inventory/CAR2312 -- to compare and customize payments and buy this i3 completely online with DGDG's exclusive No Brainer Checkout. This DGDG Certified 2015 BMW i3 with Range Extender with only 51,443 miles (under 8k miles per year) was meticulously inspected and reconditioned by o...Price: $16,950 Mileage: 51,443 Location: San Jose, CA Above average: $346 Total Range: 150 Mi Trim: Deka World REx Range 72 Mi Mileage 51,443 Location San Jose, CA Trim Deka World REx Price $16,950 Above average $346
2019 Nissan LEAF Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
If you are looking for alternative-fuel transport with a range somewhere between a bicycle and a high end Tesla, the 2019 Nissan Leaf SV is the way to go, with a range from 150 miles on a single charge, it's the perfect commuter car. Nissan was the first company to take the full-electric car to the...Price: $20,499 Mileage: 40,013 Location: Boulder, CO Below average: $2,109 Total Range: 150 Mi Trim: S Range 150 Mi Mileage 40,013 Location Boulder, CO Trim S Price $20,499 Below average $2,109
2018 Porsche Panamera Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery and an electric motor. However, like gasoline vehicles, PHEVs also have a gasoline tank and an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Certified, One Owner, Clean Carfax. Premium Package, Assistance Package, Sport Exhaust. You are looking at a one owner 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. It is a non smokers vehicle with 10,868 miles. The options include Heated Front Seats, Premium Package, Navigation, Lane Change Assist, Comfort...Price: $84,490 Mileage: 10,868 Location: Newtown Square, PA Below average: $1,354 Total Range: 480 Mi Trim: 4 E-Hybrid Range 16 Mi Mileage 10,868 Location Newtown Square, PA Trim 4 E-Hybrid Price $84,490 Below average $1,354
Change Your Location
FREE ONLINE APPRAISAL