September 2, 2020

How to Maintain an Electric Vehicle

How to Maintain an Electric Vehicle

What we know as electric cars today are a relatively recent phenomenon, though the roots of electric cars goes all the way back to the 1820s, with the first “electric vehicle” debuting in the United States around the late 1880s. Electric cars looked to be the hot new mode of transport until Henry Ford’s Model T took the nation by storm.

The 1970s saw a rebirth of the concept, and today the technology has made traveling in an electric vehicle fully feasible.

However, many motorists familiar only with combustion-engine cars and trucks, who are considering their first purchase of an electric car, have questions.


Pros and Cons of Electrics

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become an attractive alternative to gas-powered vehicles, for a number of reasons.

They are better for the environment, run quietly, require less maintenance, can provide owners with tax credits, and other pros. Disadvantages include a higher purchase price, having a shorter range than gas-powered cars, waiting while recharging the battery, having trouble finding a charging station while on the road, and having fewer options of car models to choose from.

Even though the price tag on an electric car may be higher, it typically is less expensive to operate them than it is to pay for gas. Long-term maintenance costs also tend to be lower for electric vehicles, because many EVs need less maintenance in general.


Types of Electric Vehicles

Some EVs are all-electric vehicles (AEVs) while others are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and maintenance needs differ for the two. Each requires scheduled maintenance for electrical systems. This includes the electrical motor, battery and electronics.

AEVs use fewer fluids, such as oil and transmission fluid, and do not have as many moving parts as gas-powered cars do, so oil changes, spark plugs, and fuel filters won’t be among an owner’s concerns. However, PHEVs actually use gas engines, so maintenance for them is not unlike it would be for a “regular” car.


Braking Systems

EVs have regenerative braking, which makes the braking system last longer than it would on a conventional car. However, they still also have traditional brakes, which require periodic maintenance, such as replenishing brake fluid and replacing pads and rotors.


Battery Life

EVs use advanced batteries that are designed to last a long time, but like a conventional engine, they won’t last forever. Luckily, the length of warranty time periods and mileage are often higher than for conventional vehicle warranties. For example, Tesla warrants its battery and drive unit for eight years or up to 100,000 miles.

Though EV powertrains generally require less maintenance, they do require some upkeep, such as replacing battery packs and electric motors, which can be expensive. The good news is that these powertrain elements can last for tens of thousands of miles and several years.

Drivers can prolong battery life by taking care, such as avoiding extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) if possible, avoiding regularly fully charging and depleting the battery, and not using fast chargers often.


Other Maintenance

Like any vehicle, an EV’s tires will require rotation at regular intervals. Other items that need attention as they would on a traditional vehicle include lights, wipers, suspension, air filters, and suspension.

Even though a car-buyer will pay a little more on the front end of owning an EV, maintaining such a car comes with far fewer headaches.

If you have any questions about the maintenance schedule for your electric vehicle, speak to your local Milex Complete Auto Care professional today.

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