Maintaining An Electric Vehicle
Maintaining an electric vehicle is very different from a gas or diesel powered vehicle. The electric motor and battery behave differently and have unique requirements compared to all of the parts involved in a gas powered engine. The great news for electric vehicle owners is that there is often much less maintenance since you can avoid routine needs such as oil changes. Essentially, EV's have fewer moving parts than vehicles with an internal combustion engine, which means they have a smaller number of components in need of regular checkup and repair.
That said, there are a few things that still need to be monitored and assessed from time to time. These include:
- Battery. As with any electric device, the more time passes, the less charge the battery holds. Unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do to extend the life of your battery. You may not even notice it at first because it will take a lot for your EV to break down, but eventually, you will realize that you can cover less ground than you could previously with a single battery charge. Electric batteries tend to outlive their warranty so if you find your battery starting to slow down, you'll likely need to replace the battery or purchase a new vehicle. The good news is that the battery lifespan on the average EV is around 15 years!
- Tires. It doesn't really matter which type of vehicle you own, your tires need to be checked regularly to avoid having to replace them more often. Tires on electric vehicles may need to be checked on more frequently as well because they are subject to a few differences that can impact them. Firstly, EVs are 20-30% heavier than gas powered vehicles because of their massive battery. Secondly, they deliver instant torque, which can be hard on the tires. Be sure to check your tire pressure frequently to keep a smooth ride and minimize wear damage. You should also re-lign your wheels every 6-12 months and rotate your tire according to your owners manual.
- Brakes. Regenerative braking is not only great for an added charging boost, it also helps to ensure your brakes don't wear down as quickly. In fact, they will likely last double as long as traditional brakes on a gasoline powered vehicle. That said, you still need to have your brake pads and rotors checked when you do your regular inspections.
- Air Filter. With the combustion engine, your vehicle likely won't need to change air filters as often as well, but because your EV will likely offer a much cleaner interior air quality, you should check you filter and replace it every 30,000 kms. This will provide optimal air quality.
- Fluids. There are 3 fluids that will require similar attention as a regular combustion engine vehicle. These are coolant, brake fluid and windshield wiper fluid. Though you do not have an engine, the battery requires coolant to ensure it does not overheat (or underheat. The braking system will still need brake fluids, so you'll want to check them and top up as needed. And of course, you'll need lots of windshield washer fluid during shoulder seasons. Check your owners manual for fluid change intervals and your gauges to alert you to other fluid needs.
- Body. As with any vehicle, the body is subjected to a lot of opportunities for damage, including the elements - sun, salt, hail, rain, snow, ice and more. You'll want to take the same precautions with your EV's body that you're used to. Be sure to wash it regularly to remove debris and protect it in the harsh elements.
- Software Updates. If your EV requires a visit to the dealership for updates, be sure to do them as soon as possible. If you are able to get over-the-air updates, there's no worry on this because it will do it for you. Updates help to minimize security risks, fix any concerns and help it to run smoothly and for longer.
As you can see, maintaining an electric vehicle is fairly simple, especially when compared to a vehicle with a combustion engine. While you pay more in upfront costs for an electric vehicle (for now), you save in the long run on time, repairs, maintenance costs and fuel.
Want to know what Electric Vehicle options Ford has to offer? Find a Dartmouth Ford Dealership near me here.