A guide to maintaining an EV

Friday 31st July 2020

If you’ve made the move, or are thinking of moving to an electric vehicle (EV) then you’ll want to know about maintenance and keeping your new car in top condition. The good news is, with fewer parts to wear out or go wrong and no oil to top up, maintaining an EV is much simpler than a traditional car, and you should make big savings. In fact, automotive data experts cap hpi suggest you could save up to 23% over three years.

However, an EV isn’t just plug-in and leave, it does need some looking after. Taking care of tyres, brakes and windscreens are just as important as with a traditional car. Plus, whilst you don’t need to check the oil level or worry about spark plugs, there are some things you can do to keep your battery in good shape.

Battery health

Just like the battery in your phone or laptop, the battery in your EV will degrade over time. However, most EV’s come with a lifespan of at least 10 years so unless you’re planning on keeping your car for the very long term, this shouldn’t be something to worry about.

It might sound illogical but keeping your battery fully charged isn’t the best thing to do for long term health, neither is fully discharging to empty. Manufacturers and experts suggest that a charge of between 50% and 80% is when a battery performs at its best.

Also, regularly using a rapid charger can have a negative impact, as can the weather. Don’t worry though, batteries perform better in colder climates, so UK drivers should have no problems!

Brakes

All EV’s use some form of regenerative braking. This is a process where the brakes use the motor to slow the vehicle down. As well as putting some power back into the battery, it is also more efficient, putting less stress on the brakes and reducing wear and tear.

Obviously, your brakes and pads will still need looking after and checking on every service, but you should see them last much longer than on a traditional car.

Fluids and liquids

Whilst an EV doesn’t need oil or power steering fluid, it does need brake fluid, coolant and windscreen cleaner. The servicing cycle of an EV is generally the same as a traditional car so the garage will check all of these elements for you.

Tyres and windscreens

Like any car, the state of the tyres and windscreen is important for safety. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm whether the tyres are on a tradition car or an EV. But, most experts agree that you should start to think about changing them well before they get that low.

It’s also important to keep an eye on their condition. Before you set off on a long journey do a visual check to make sure there isn’t any damage to the tyre wall and check that they’re pumped up to the right pressure. Just as low pressure has an impact on fuel economy, it can also negatively impact your battery range. 

Also, do a check around the rest of your car. Make sure you don’t have any windscreen damage, make sure your washer fluid is topped up and check your wipers are clean and in good working order.