Find out all about electric car maintenance

Published by on 11.26.2019 - 5 min

One of the advantages of owning an electric vehicle lies in its easy maintenance. With a small number of parts to keep an eye on, upkeep for this type of car is minimal, making for lower maintenance costs.

What are the particularities of electric car maintenance?

Few consumable parts and little purely mechanical maintenance

Though its design and development necessitate a manufacturer’s expertise, the electric motor  requires far less maintenance than a combustion engine. Without friction between moving parts or exchanges between liquids and gases, it needs neither lubricant nor exhaust. That means no oil, filter or exhaust system replacements, cutting the car’s maintenance costs accordingly.

A small number of parts

The electric motor’s design makes it possible to considerably reduce the number of parts needed in its construction. None are what is known as “wear parts”, which can affect the running of the motor. So, in an electric vehicle there’s no timing belt, no cylinder head gasket and no cooling hose – which can cause engine breakdown when worn. As for their traction, these cars are reliable over hundreds of thousands of miles.

Less wear on the brakes

Electric cars use two braking systems: first, regenerative braking, which uses the motor as a generator to charge the battery from time to time, and standard braking, with discs or drums and brake pads, which are activated afterwards. This lightens the load on the mechanical braking system, which means that parts like the brake pads need to be replaced less frequently.

A more simplified transmission system

With no manual gearbox or clutch, the transmission system of an electric vehicle is much simpler. Unlike a combustion engine, an electric motor delivers direct drive. This obviously bypasses any related parts failures and cuts the system’s maintenance costs.

Standard inspection points

Maintenance work on the chassis, bodywork, tires, steering and suspension of an electric vehicle is carried out in the normal way, as are checks on the air-conditioning system, comfort features and windshield wipers. So on an electric car, the tires, windshield washer fluid and brake pads are the only parts that need to be changed regularly.

Reduced routine maintenance

On an electric car, the levels of brake fluid and coolant need to be checked and possibly changed or topped up. Tire pressure should also be monitored regularly. Another easy maintenance operation is the 12-volt battery – such as the one on the Renault ZOE – which powers the lighting and electronics and should be replaced every three years.

Do electric vehicle batteries require maintenance?

New ZOE on the road

The battery of an electric vehicle is one of its most important components. The motor is powered by what’s known as a traction battery. This is what gives the vehicle a range of several hundred miles (depending on the model).

On Renault electric vehicles, the traction battery can be leased at a cost corresponding to the desired mileage. That means that if the battery’s performance declines due to wear, it will be replaced. This way, the maintenance of an electric car battery is ensured over time at a specialized Renault dealership, where they manage the life cycle of this crucial car part and make sure that Renault ZOE and Renault Kangoo Z.E. drivers have functioning batteries in their cars.

How much does electric car maintenance cost?

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Given that an electric car doesn’t have wear parts that have to be replaced regularly or big engine repairs to be carried out, the maintenance cost of an electric car is far lower than that of a combustion engine car. You can expect to save 20 to 30% on the amount you’d usually pay for repairs, servicing and fluid/oil changes on a standard car.

It is generally advisable to have your vehicle checked by an accredited professional every 30,000 kilometers, compared to 15,000 kilometers for a gas engine car and 20,000 kilometers for a diesel engine car. This affordable procedure is designed to verify that everything is in good working order. Other maintenance costs to expect are those of tire replacement (at intervals depending on the degree of wear) and brake pads, which need to be replaced depending on the mileage covered.
Running costs for the steering, suspension and shock absorbers will also be part of the total maintenance budget, which will depend on how often the car is driven. This partly accounts for the low cost of using electric cars, and makes it possible to accurately calculate what savings you can make with this type of vehicle.

RENAULT KANGOO MAXI Z.E.

Professionals trained in electric car maintenance

For several years, the automobile market in general has been introducing onboard advanced technologies which require qualified professionals to carry out checks and eventual repairs. This is particularly the case for electric vehicles. Working with relatively high voltage and amperage in the traction system calls requires impeccable safety measures for ensuring meticulous maintenance.
So, when having your vehicle serviced, or even when carrying out routine maintenance tasks, it’s highly recommended that you enlist an accredited technician who is qualified to take care of your vehicle. To make life easier, manufacturers offer packages that include maintenance; guaranteeing that your electric car will be cared for in a fully outfitted garage.

Compared to diesel and gas engine cars, maintaining electric traction vehicles is easier and more manageable. This gives the driver guaranteed peace of mind!
This advantage adds to the other usual benefits of all-electric mobility, such as zero emissions*, which is good for countering both global warming and pollution. Drivers also make energy savings due to not having to fill up at the fuel pump, enjoy a dynamic driving experience without engine noise, and more.

 

* Zero atmospheric emissions of CO2 or pollutants while driving (excluding wear parts)

Copyrights : gilaxia, Jean-Brice LEMAL

 

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