Continuing our commitment to sustainability…and meaningful climate action…and all things EVs, our “Take Charge” series of stories include this installment and its companion articles “An update on EV infrastructure”, and “Tips for Driving an EV in the Winter and Snow”.
Zen and the art of EV maintenance
With the climate consciousness of owning and operating an EV, you could say that there is a certain Zen quality to EV maintenance. EV drivers can feel a greater sense of relief knowing that they’re not just making a sustainable choice, but a practical one as well. According to Consumer Reports (CR), “Survey results involving hundreds of thousands of CR members show that EV and plug-in hybrid drivers pay half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles”.
EV Maintenance Tips
Though with fewer moving parts, and less need for maintenance, EVs still come with a unique set of processes that you might not be accustomed to. Some things will require greater attention and you’ll need to adjust to maintenance concerns that you’ve never encountered before.
Charging: Batteries are the heart of an EV. They need to be treated with greater care than you would a gas tank that you just fill up when the gage goes low. It’s suggested to never over-charge your battery or allow it to completely deplete. According to Car and Driver Magazine “Batteries degrade more quickly when charged to full capacity or when depleted of all their energy.” Most EV manufacturers prevent full-capacity charging, so in most cases, you only need to keep your eye on battery depletion.
Tire pressure: With gasoline-powered vehicles, you should already pay attention to tire pressure – for the sake of good gas mileage. However, when you add the range anxiety that comes with EV ownership, you’ll certainly need to pay greater attention. An underinflated tire causes greater rolling resistance, using up more of your battery’s power. Maintaining optimal tire pressure will ensure that you get the range you expect from your battery.
Keeping it cool: The process of converting electrical energy can generate a lot of heat. That’s why it’s important that you that you regularly check your cooling systems when you take your EV in for service.
Tires and Brakes: On the upside, the regenerative braking of EVs mean that your brakes will endure slower wear than their gas counterparts. However, because of the extra heft of EV batteries, your tires might show more wear at a slightly faster rate than gasoline powered vehicles.
Making the adjustment
Transitioning from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric does take some getting used to. But it’s true of any new vehicle that’s new to you. Luckily, in the long run, you’ll have fewer maintenance requirements with an EV, meaning that you can take charge of the costs associated with them.