Much ink has been spilled over whether or not electric vehicles are a cost-effective replacement for conventional cars. Considering their high upfront cost, the return-on-investment isn’t exactly a short-term proposition. But a new study reveals that when it comes to basic maintenance, electric vehicles have the distinct advantage of costing a whole lot less to maintain.
The German study found that on average, EVs, cost about 35% less to maintain over an 8 year period of ownership, which is about on par with how long the average car buyer keeps their vehicle. Critics say the study doesn’t take into account battery pack replacement, but considering that there hasn’t been any EV on the market that long, it is hard to say whether or not that will be an issue yet. With battery pack prices predicted to come down quite a bit in the next few years, it is hard to make an accurate comparison of battery replacement costs right now.
It is no secret that your typical gas or diesel-powered car requires constant maintenance to keep in tip-top shape. Oil and coolant changes, serpentine belts, fuel filters…these are all regular items that require replacement from time to time. That isn’t even taking into account larger, more expensive (though less frequent) issues like water pumps and timing belts. Over the lifetime of the car, these items can add up to thousands of dollars, more than making up for the difference in resale value between EVs and conventional cars.
But electric vehicles have literally none of those requirements. Electric motors are fairly simple compared to internal combustion engines, requiring little or no maintenance Sure, you still need to change your tires, but regenerative braking leads to longer-lasting brake pads, there are no exhaust systems that will one day rust out, and fewer moving parts means a lot less wear and tear.
True, EVs may not have the same resale value as comparable conventional cars. But if prices come down as predicted, then these lower maintenance costs could start attracting buyers who may not have otherwise considered an EV. I know far too many people who do little and less to maintain their vehicles in proper working order…which reminds me, I need to get my oil changed…
Source: Christopher DeMorro at gas2.org