Servicing an electric car: what you need to know

There’s no oil or spark plugs to change, so what does servicing an electric car involve? And will it be cheaper than a conventional car?

Obviously, there are no oil changes, spark plugs or fuel filters to worry about. Nor indeed an exhaust emissions test.

Powertrain maintenance should, in theory, cost much less for an EV than a combustion car – simply because there is less work and fewer parts involved.

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

Servicing an electric car: what you need to know – Motoring Research – July 2020

But can the MOT tests cope with Electric cars?

The electric motor (or motors if your EV is four-wheel drive) are unlikely to require much attention. Petrol and diesel engines have thousands of moving parts, whereas electric motors are fairly simple, with most units made up of no more than 20 components.

As a result, there’s no oil to change or filters to renew, or cambelt and water pump to change. However, it will still require a quick check with a diagnostic machine, which will pick up any possible fault codes that might need attention. The same goes for the battery, which is arguably even lower maintenance as it has no moving parts at all. Individual cells will be checked for performance, with any damaged cells showing up in the data.

How to maintain and service your electric car – Autocar – May 2021

Electric car maintenance essentials

  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Wipers
  • Wheel alignment/tracking
  • Suspension
  • Cabin filtration

What electric cars don’t need

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