EV - Maintenance

Do electric cars require a lot of maintenance?

Some people still wonder if maintenance costs differ from conventional engines. Let’s look into it.

A conventional engine is made of hundreds of moving parts, that’s hundreds of reasons why your car might need fixing some day. An electric motor consists of only a fraction of non-moving parts. No mechanical components also means no changing of engine oil, oil filters or drive belts at all. Which makes electric cars more reliable, easier to fix and cheaper in the long run. Literally, because every time you step off the gas, the recuperation system automatically turns spare kinetic energy into additional electric energy that causes less stress on expendable parts like tires and brakes. And most importantly, less stress on your wallet.

With Kia Electric Vehicles, your car and its battery are even covered by an 8-year warranty(1) in any case. Despite all of this good news, we still recommend a regular annual check-up to make sure your electric driving experience is always seamlessly reliable.

Maintaining your electric car: lower costs, less hassle

The simple answer is: Electric vehicles require considerably less maintenance than fuel-powered cars. That’s mostly due to the fact that their “inner workings” are a lot simpler in many ways. And this can only be a great thing, as lower maintenance means fewer servicing costs and less hassle having to head to your local mechanic.

In fact, according to a new study into the average servicing and maintenance costs for electric cars by automotive data experts Cap HPI, EVs cost, on average, 23 percent less to run than petrol vehicles over a three-year/100,000 km period.

(Cap HPI, October 16, 2018)

Why do electric cars require less maintenance?

The one main reason is: The electric motor in your EV contains perhaps slightly more than a dozen moving parts, whereas a conventional combustion engine typically has hundreds of moving parts. And quite simply: the fewer the parts, the less that can go wrong. Moreover, even when a part of an electric motor does wear out, it is relatively simple to replace.

Secondly, there are also much fewer fluids (such as oil and transmission fluid needed for combustion engines) that need to be changed or topped up on a regular basis. And thanks to regenerative braking, brake systems on EVs usually last for longer than on conventional vehicles as they enjoy extended brake wear intervals.



Minor maintenance required. Major savings guaranteed

Although EVs come with fewer maintenance issues, it is required that you arrange an annual scheduled check-up for your EV for minor maintenance to its electrical systems, which can include the battery, electrical motor, and associated electronics. Here is a list of the main things you will want to keep in mind.

First all of though, we recommend that you read carefully through the owner’s manual for your specific EV. Here you will find all the information you need to make sure your electric car stays in top working condition for longer.

Caring for your battery

Caring for your battery

Just like ICE vehicles, EV vehicles and especially batteries don’t live forever – and their lifespan depends on the way they are treated. For example, your chosen method of charging will affect the battery’s ability to prolong or not high voltage and capacity range.

Many electric car manufacturers also provide warranties that cover the battery and all other components for a period of many years (click here to find out, for example, about Kia’s 8-Year Warranty).

And there are several other things you can do to get the maximum mileage from your battery pack:

  • Your battery’s capacity range is sensitive to extreme temperature. So make sure your EV isn’t left in overly hot or cold temperatures for too long. Some manufacturers, such as Kia, provide additional features such as Winter Mode – designed to improve range and durability in cold weather
  • Make sure the battery charge doesn’t run out completely. The most efficient range for charging is between 20% and 80% of the battery capacity
  • Make sure the battery isn’t charged too much or too often. DC Charging should be kept to a minimum to help prolong your high-voltage battery life
  • (Again, refer to your owner’s manual for specific guidelines here)
Monitoring the brake system

Monitoring the brake system

The regenerative braking in EVs means that your brake pads will last for longer. These brake pads when pressed together still use the same hydraulic fluid found in a conventional car.  Although maintenance intervals may stretch to twice as long as a fuel-powered vehicle, you will still need to have the brake pads and the brake fluid replaced every so often to keep everything in optimum working order and avoid corrosion to your brake system.

Keeping the coolant fluid topped up

Keeping the coolant fluid topped up

Electric cars also have a coolant system for regulating the temperature of the battery and preventing overheating. Coolant system flush intervals vary widely from model to model, so it is wise to keep a note of what is recommended for your particular vehicle and then make sure that the fluid is replaced or topped up accordingly.

Rotating your tyres

Rotating your tires

All tires on all cars, no matter what type, need to be checked regularly to avoid having to replace them too frequently.

EVs are usually 20-30% heavier than conventional fuel-powered cars, due to the weight of the battery pack. They also deliver instant torque, which can wear out the tires quicker. So it is extra-important to make sure the tires are rotated on a regular basis (in accordance with the owner’s manual), and to check for good tire pressure to ensure a smooth ride and a longer lifespan.