The sales of electric vehicles in Europe are expected to grow 35 percent in the first nine months of 2020, a rate much higher than North America and China, according to BloombergNEF. Europe’s automakers are gearing up to make 2020 the year of electric cars, with a wave of new models launching as the biggest automakers in the world scramble to take advantage of the growing demand for EVs.
However, there are still many people in Europe that are reluctant to switch to EVs. One of the main reasons for this is the fear of not being able to properly maintain EVs. Maintenance procedures for EVs vary from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, which is why you need to understand these differences before investing in one.
One of the main reasons why EVs are easier to maintain than ICE vehicles is that there are fewer fluid changes to worry about. With an ICE vehicle, you have to perform periodic oil, transmission fluid, and coolant changes, all of which vary depending on the make and model of your car. An oil change, for instance, is typically required once per year for most vehicle models, with some requiring more frequent changes. The price of changing your car’s oil varies depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the type and amount of oil needed, and where you get the service from.
You also have to change the transmission fluid and engine coolant after every two years to keep your ICE vehicle running smoothly. When it comes to EVs, the only fluid you need to worry about replacing is the coolant. Just like an engine, EV battery packs tend to heat up when in use which can lead to fire without proper cooling. Coolant system-flush intervals vary widely; for a Tesla Model 3, you’ll need to do it every four years.
Battery replacements – Universal maintenance procedures
While EVs generally require less maintenance than ICE vehicles, they are not without expenses. The largest possible maintenance expense for EVs is when you have to replace your battery pack. Unlike conventional batteries, EVs have large, complex batteries that are constantly drained and recharged, leading to range loss and degradation over time. If your EV battery needs replacement, the cost is usually covered under the manufacturer’s battery warranty. However, without a warranty, you can spend upwards of 10,000 euros, which is more than twice the amount you’d need to spend if you had to replace your engine in an ICE vehicle.
There are some maintenance procedures you have to do whether you own an EV or an ICE vehicle. The tyres, for instance, are one of the common denominators between both types of vehicles. To ensure that all tyres wear evenly, you need to rotate them every six months or even more often for EVs due to the added weight of the battery pack. Other universal maintenance costs include brake changes and structural repair if, for instance, you get into a minor accident.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you have, maintenance costs are inescapable and necessary if you want to extend the life of your vehicle. However, you will find that there is a huge imbalance of maintenance costs in favour of EVs, especially when you have a good EV warranty to protect your battery.