Just because electric vehicles (EV) run on batteries doesn’t mean they aren’t like any other car out there. EVs require consistent maintenance. And with maintenance comes maintenance cost. Here’s a breakdown of how much the upkeep on your EV may cost you.
How much it will cost you to upkeep your car’s battery is directly related to their longevity. You can measure this in years or mileage (whichever max you hit first). But the good news is, EV batteries have fairly long lifespans. Don’t be surprised to see a substantial depreciation in range when the battery pack is dying out prematurely, though. In this case, it’s time to replace your battery.
The cost of a battery replacement depends on the manufacturer. For example, a Nissan Leaf battery could set you back by about $5,500, unless the car company offers a program in your area that could offset this cost. In Japan, owners only have to pay a mere 50% of a refurbished pack’s actual cost. If you need a whole Chevy Bolt battery and your warranty expired, you could be looking at a minimum of $16,000.
Good thing electric car battery warranties are usually good for at least eight years or about 100,000 miles. That means most EVs you will find today are still covered. The other good news is that EV battery prices have been on a downtrend since 2018, and we can expect prices to drop even more.
Tire pressure is one of the biggest issues when it comes to maintaining car tires, whether in an electric or gas-powered vehicle. You should follow manufacturer-recommended levels (you will usually find this on a metal plate beside the door frame) at all times. Whether you do this at home with your own pump or at a gas station, keep in mind that too little tire pressure can reduce your vehicle’s efficiency and range, and too much can reduce your tires’ lifespan.
EVs are heavier than conventional cars, so their tires usually wear out faster. Because of this, you will need to get your tires inspected and replaced more often. As to the actual cost of car tires, you need to look into two key points: their size and how common that size is. Smaller tires are generally cheaper, but for a more accurate estimate, know your wheel size and ask for quotes online. Many tire supplier and/or fitters are happy to respond.
As in conventional vehicles, electric cars also have typical brakes and brake pads, except you’ll be using them sparingly since EVs generally rely on regenerative braking. That’s also the reason a lot of EV manufacturers claim these brakes can easily outlast the vehicles themselves. You’ll probably never have to replace them during a car’s lifespan. Nonetheless, it’s good to know just how much they might cost if you need to make a purchase later on. To give you an idea, a typical brake pad replacement would run anywhere from $100 to $300 per axle in 2020. While you don’t necessarily want to pay for a replacement if you don’t need one, it’s always good to ask your mechanic, just in case.
Most of the maintenance costs of a regular vehicle do not exist with EVs. You don’t have any oil to change, for one, and there are no timing belts to replace or valves to adjust. Electric cars don’t have many of the parts that make conventional cars so maintenance-heavy.
A Chevy Bolt’s monthly maintenance schedule, for instance, only includes three items: tire pressure, tire wear, and washer fluid levels. It’s reasonable to expect other maintenance services every 7,500 miles or so. So be ready to spend an average of $205 on general repair and maintenance. Tesla is one of the cheapest brands to maintain – around $120 to $160 for general servicing – although it’s still rather expensive to buy.
Just be careful because the cost of maintenance is not the only thing to pay attention to when it comes to EV servicing. Many manufacturers impose strict schedules that will affect your warranty. You need to service the Hyundai Kona Electric every 12 months (about 15,000 kilometers) to keep its five-year factory warranty. As always, ask your dealer for details or clarifications.
Whether you own a Tesla, a Nissan, or any auto brand, one thing remains true: electric cars are machines with several components, any of which can bungle up anytime. It could be the parking sensor, the wipers, or even the battery itself. Just be sure you’re always bringing your car in for regular servicing. This way, you can prevent issues from escalating and remain on top of your EV’s maintenance costs.