Thursday, January 28

Cost and maintenance of an electric car: what you need to know

Smaller motor, no gearbox, batteries guaranteed for several years, less used brake pads … This is why electric cars do not need as much maintenance as combustion vehicles.

When we talk about buying an electric car, it’s not really the “cheap” side that comes out first. Indeed, electric vehicles remain, at equivalent segment and level of finishes, more expensive compared to thermal models. Fortunately, for the moment, government aid has succeeded in reducing this gap. Sometimes an almost imperceptible difference, especially if you choose to finance your car. Manufacturers and funding organizations regularly manage to offer certain electric cars at the same monthly payments as a thermal model. Several factors come into play, such as residual value or maintenance.

Indeed, when you finance a thermal car, you can usually include maintenance throughout the duration of the financing. As for electric cars, maintenance is not necessarily included in the financing offer for the simple reason that it is simpler and less expensive. The maintenance of an electric car is on average 30% less expensive compared to that of a thermal car. But why is that? This is what we will explain to you a little below.

Guaranteed batteries

The centerpiece of an electric car, it’s his battery. A battery that does not work properly in an electric car is like a punctured gas tank. Even though it is the most expensive part of an electric car, the battery is generally rather simple in its design. Manufacturers are generally quite attentive to the cooling system of these batteries, a concern already encountered on several electric cars in their early days, but now become quite rare. To date, lithium batteries are the most used. A well-worn and relatively simple technology that allows manufacturers to guarantee batteries for a fairly long period of time up to eight years for some manufacturers.

On the side of Tesla, for a few weeks now, the battery of a Model 3 Performance is, for example, guaranteed eight years or 192,000 kilometers, to one of the two expired terms. There is nevertheless a small downside, as everywhere, since the taking under warranty is validated only under a minimum retention of 70% of the battery capacity during the warranty period. Retention is sort of the health of the battery. Tesla nevertheless had to revise its warranty conditions downwards since the batteries were hitherto guaranteed without limit of kilometers, but only in years.

In addition, the warranty no longer covers performance drops due to updates intended to protect the battery.

Small engine and no gearbox

Electric car motors have much less components than a heat engine, the latter not necessarily needing, for example, a cooling or lubrication system. Electric vehicles do not generally have a gearbox, the latter being replaced by a transmission with one and only one report thus constituting a fairly clear simplification compared to a thermal car.

Nevertheless, some electric vehicles are gradually starting to become more complex, especially in sports models. We think, for example, of the new Porsche Taycan and its two-speed gearbox in order to widen the range of use of its electric motor. The fact remains that the Taycan’s powertrain remains much simpler today compared to its counterparts in the Porsche range.

Brake maintenance: few differences

As for the brakes, there are no big differences between an electric and a thermal. The brakes of electric models are connected to an energy recovery system which plays a lot on autonomy. To find all the details about regenerative braking, do not hesitate to consult our explanatory article. With this function, the traditional brakes are therefore used much less since the engine braking effect is amplified.

As a result, it is not uncommon for an electric car user to very rarely use his traditional brakes, only during stopping phases or in a situation requiring a little heavy braking.

Manufacturers of electric cars generally recommend checking the condition of the brake fluid every two years in order to replace it, if necessary. On a thermal car, small difference, it is rather recommended to check it more regularly and to replace it every two years.

As for the replacement of the brake pads, everything will depend on the use of the car obviously, but these logically last much longer compared to those of a thermal vehicle since they are less used.

What to remember about the maintenance of an electric car

You would have understood it, it is because of its design that an electric vehicle is easier to maintain. They do not require draining, replacing the belt, or replacing the spark plugs or the fuel filter. Some components such as brake fluid and pads are also less strained, so replacement is less common. The fact remains that an electric car still requires some recommended revisions..

Thus, the cabin air filter must be replaced every two years, a brake fluid check every two years is necessary, do not forget either the maintenance of the air conditioning or the replacement of the filter. with high efficiency air particles if your car is equipped with it, which is the case for example in certain Tesla. Obviously, tire maintenance is just as important, every 15 to 20,000 kilometers on average.

A little classic maintenance in winter will not be too much, especially if you live in a region where the climate can be freezing. In this case a small cleaning of the brake calipers and lubrication will be necessary once a year. Generally speaking, a lot of things will also depend on how you use your car. The information provided within this subject is valid for conventional driving.

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