Servicing an electric car: what you need to know

electric car maintenance

While not the main issue limiting widespread adoption of electric cars, the question of how to maintain them is an interesting one.

Obviously there are no oil changes, spark plugs or fuel filters. So what exactly needs to be looked at periodically on an electric car?

Electric car maintenance costs 

electric car maintenance

Powertrain maintenance should, in theory, cost a lot less for an EV than an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

Tesla’s website lists the following procedures under ‘recommended maintenance service’: cabin air filter (every two years), high-efficiency particulate filter (three years), brake fluid test (two years), air conditioning (between two and six years) and winter care (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 the car, Tesla can flag the issue up remotely and prompt maintenance as and when needed.

ClickMechanic highlights that electric cars usually make brakes last longer, too, given that regenerative braking saves on disc and pad use.

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 EV batteries?

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. With Model 3, a minimum of 70 percent retention for battery capacity over that period is claimed. 

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

“It’s clear that the demand for electric vehicles is growing and drivers can benefit exponentially from this”, said Andrew Jervis, co-founder and CEO at ClickMechanic.

“From lower servicing costs to a carbon footprint reduction, cars of a purely electric nature have a great deal of appeal to drivers in the UK, and could potentially shape the automotive industry and market for years to come.”