Electric models have been designed to be more energy efficient and eco-friendly than petrol or diesel engines. However, little is known about the total cost of ownership of an electric car or how much maintenance is required over its lifespan. As a complex piece of machinery, a hybrid or electric plug-in car is bound to require some maintenance, and many people believe it will require less than conventional vehicles.
Last year more than 10,000 people in the UK purchased an electric car, so with popularity increasing it’s time to find out more about EV maintenance.
Do electric cars require MOTs and services?
Are they more expensive to repair?
Read on to find out if electric cars are actually cheaper to run and what maintenance is required.
The Electric Vehicle MOT
Like any other car, an electric vehicle does need to have an MOT test annually after it is three years old. The compulsory test is designed to test roadworthiness, so it makes the same checks as necessary on non-hybrid vehicles: mechanical components, tyres, corrosion, lights and wipers. The only difference with an electric MOT is there is no emissions test, but all of the other tests need to be carried out as usual.
EV vehicles don’t have oil filters or a regular clutch, however there are still parts which need to be maintained. The battery of an electric vehicle is especially important so this needs regular checks, and requires replacement around every 10 years. Another expense to consider is tyres, which all drivers are used to after they gradually wear down over time.
In terms of servicing, electric cars still need to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines – however there are fewer parts to fix. Many problems are software related and can be resolved remotely by manufacturers.
There is less to maintain and repair on an EV, however when something does go wrong you have a lot less choice when deciding where to go. Servicing and repairing an electric car requires specialist expertise so you may not have the option of going to your local independent garage, which is much cheaper than a main dealer. However, as electric vehicles become the norm this should change, as mechanics will have to adapt to the changing market.
If you’re considering buying an electric car, you may pay more upfront but with lower maintenance costs you’ll continue making savings compared to a petrol or diesel car.