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Maintenance for Electric Cars vs Petrol Cars

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Electric cars have become a popular choice among Australians in recent years. With more affordable and energy-efficient models available in the market, more drivers are making the switch from petrol to electric. 

When it comes to performance, a lot of electric cars are going head-to-head with their petrol counterparts. But how do these electric cars compare when it comes to maintenance? In this article, we detail how electric car maintenance compares to petrol cars. 

Do electric cars need servicing? 

Yes, electric cars do still need to be serviced by professionals. Even though these vehicles don’t need to have their oils changed or their spark plugs, belts, and engines checked, electric vehicles still need a routine check-up. 

Electric vehicle maintenance consists of checking the tires, suspension, braking systems, coolant, steering components, and windshield washing fluid to name a few. Batteries for electric cars typically last between 10 to 20 years so electric vehicle owners don’t have to worry about replacing them often. 

There are special electric vehicle-specific components such as electric motors and high-voltage battery packs that need to be checked, as well. The type of maintenance needed by electric cars also depends on the make, model, and manufacturer. 

How often do you need to service electric cars vs petrol cars? 

Usually, electric vehicles need to be taken to service annually or every 15,000 kilometres. The annual service includes a routine inspection of all the components. Some makes and models may require more depending on manufacturer recommendations.  

For petrol cars, it is recommended that they be taken to service every six months or every 10,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. This is almost double the recommended service checks compared to electric vehicles. As your petrol car gets older, it may be better to service it every 5,000 kilometres or every three months.  

Unlike their petrol counterparts, electric vehicles don’t need regular oil changes or engine maintenance. For electric car owners, this means less time in the auto shops to have their cars fixed or serviced. Plus, electric cars can travel more kilometres without having to go for maintenance so there’s more freedom to go farther. 

Are electric cars cheaper to service than petrol cars? 

The cost per service for both electric and petrol cars is around $200 to $400 depending on the service centre. However, it’s generally cheaper to service electric cars because they have longer service intervals.  

If you follow the recommended bi-annual service for a petrol car, that’s already double the maintenance cost compared to an electric vehicle. Repairs for petrol cars may also be more expensive because of the labour costs and materials required.  

In a petrol car, a lot is going on under the bonnet. Mechanics have to look at important parts like the engine, chains, pipes, attendant belts, and the like. Since electric vehicles don’t have as many components, they’re quicker to service which may save on service costs, as well. 

Overall, electric cars are cheaper to service compared to petrol vehicles. But there are instances when the savings aren’t as significant as you’d expect. Service costs vary between the kind of make and model of the electric car. 

Difference between servicing: Electric vs Petrol 

Here’s a quick overview of the main differences between electric cars and petrol cars:

Electric cars Petrol cars
Service Electric cars need to be taken to service once every year—or once every 15,000 kilometres. Petrol cars need to be serviced twice a year or every 10,000 kilometres.
Maintenance Electric vehicles require less work when it comes to maintenance because it doesn’t have the same components as a petrol car. Petrol vehicles need more maintenance such as oil changes, engine repairs, and upgrades for any mechanical issues.
Costs Electric cars generally cost more to buy compared to petrol cars. However, maintenance and running costs are significantly lower. Petrol cars are less expensive compared to electric vehicles. The running and maintenance costs are typically higher in comparison to electric cars.
Battery or engine Electric car batteries last around 10 to 20 years depending on the type of battery. Engines can last for around 10-20 years or 300,000 kilometres.
Longevity Electric cars may require fewer repairs or replacements over time because there’s less mechanical wear and tear. Petrol cars have more mechanical components to it which means more areas for wear and tear.
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