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Electric car maintenance, explained

Electric vehicles (EVs) tend to require less maintenance than conventional cars, hybrids, or plug-in electric hybrids. It is estimated that these reduced maintenance needs may save an EV owner $4,600 over the life of the vehicle, compared to gas-powered cars.

But less maintenance doesn’t mean zero maintenance. Read on for everything you need to know about maintaining your EV.

Why do EVs require less maintenance?

There are a few big reasons why EVs tend to require less maintenance than their gas-powered counterparts:

  • No internal combustion engine. Without this major piece of equipment, EVs have fewer moving parts and fewer fluids. That means there is no need for routine maintenance like oil changes, cooling system flushes, transmission servicing, and replacements for air filters, drive belts, or spark plugs.
  • Regenerative braking. For many EVs, the energy used to brake is converted into electricity to power the EV’s electric motor. Many drivers appreciate that this system extends the range of the EV – that’s how far it can drive on one charge. But this braking system also reduces the wear-and-tear of the vehicle’s brakes and brake pads. Some drivers have reported that their brake pads last more than 200,000 miles. This compares to 30,000-40,000 miles for most conventional cars.
  • Batteries built to last. Like conventional engines, EV batteries are generally designed to last for the expected lifetime of the vehicle – but will wear out eventually. Many manufacturers provide a warranty on the battery for at least 8-years or 100,000 miles.

What maintenance do EVs need?

When people think about electric car maintenance costs, they might assume that the fundamental EV battery is the biggest concern. But actually, it’s a far more common car component: the tires.

EVs require tires with a higher weight rating to support the heavy specialized battery – and even those tires can wear out faster than conventional tires. Many tires last around 50,000 miles on conventional cars, but EV tires may need replacing in half that time.

Importantly, the extra stress on EV tires also means the tires should be rotated more frequently – and that the EV tire warranty may be invalid if you don’t complete this routine maintenance. Luckily, most tire centers give free lifetime rotation on tires they install.

Aside from tires, most electric car maintenance revolves around relatively simple issues – windshield wiper blades and fluid, cabin air filters, head and tail lights, and brake fluid. Like all cars, gasoline or electric, your best source of maintenance information comes from the owner’s manual.

To learn more about EVs, visit our EV resource center at

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