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Servicing an electric car: here’s what you need to know

Motoring Research logo Motoring Research 4 days ago Ethan Jupp
a plane sitting on top of a car: electric car maintenance © Provided by Motoring Research electric car maintenance

As electric cars become more popular, many people have questions about maintaining them

Obviously there are no oil changes, spark plugs or fuel filters to worry about. So what exactly does servicing an EV involve? And will it be cheaper than a conventional petrol or diesel car?

Electric car servicing costs 

a car parked in front of a building: electric car maintenance © Provided by Motoring Research electric car maintenance

Powertrain maintenance should, in theory, cost much less for an EV than a combustion car.

We looked at Tesla’s website, which lists the following procedures under ‘recommended maintenance service’:

  • Cabin air filter (every two years)
  • High-efficiency particulate filter (every three years)
  • Brake fluid test (every two years)
  • Air conditioning (between two and six years)
  • Winter care (every 12 months or 12,500 miles)

It also says these checks are non-essential, even for maintaining the warranty. If there’s an issue with a car, Tesla can flag the issue up remotely and prompt maintenance as and when needed.

Car servicing website ClickMechanic highlights that electric car brakes usually last longer, too. That’s because regenerative braking, used to top up the batteries, saves on disc and pad use.

Electric Volkswagen Beetle © Provided by Motoring Research Electric Volkswagen Beetle

Electric car maintenance essentials

  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Wipers
  • Tracking
  • Suspension
  • Cabin filtration

What electric cars don’t need

  • Oil changes
  • Spark plugs
  • Belt changes
  • Coolant changes
  • Air filters
  • Transmission oil changes

What about electric car batteries?

a close up of a car: Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’ © Provided by Motoring Research Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’

Here’s the big question for many people. The reality is that EV batteries seem to be holding up well. The battery and drive unit in Teslas is warrantied for eight years or at least 100,000 miles.

For the Model 3 – now one of the UK’s best-selling cars – Tesla claims a minimum of 70 percent battery capacity retention over that same period. 

Early Nissan Leaf owners, some of whom bought their cars nearly 10 years ago, are reporting more than 90 percent battery capacity retention.

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Gallery: Every question about electric cars answered (Autocar)

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