Do electric cars only last 10 years?
Electric vs. gas: it’s time we talk maintenance costs
An electric vehicle is a long-term commitment and investment, so naturally, you’d want to weigh the pros and the cons before making the big purchase.
In previous blogs, we’ve already talked about the lifespan of EV batteries, the profitability of a charging station, and car depreciation.
Now, let’s discuss the repair and maintenance costs of owning an electric car.
What kind of maintenance do EVs require?
The general rule is that the fewer moving parts your car has, the less maintenance it requires.
Compared to internal combustion engines (ICE), electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts in their drivetrain, hence, less maintenance is required.
This is good news for potential EV owners that are still on the fence about buying an electric vehicle.
Just because you’re shelling out money for a unit doesn’t mean maintenance costs are just as high.
While not as high maintenance as gas-powered cars, your EV still needs some love.
Just like a gasoline-powered car, manufacturers recommend that you take your electric vehicle to periodic checks to keep its warranty in effect.
There’s no cause for concern, as these routine visits only include checking tires, replacing the wiper blades and air filter, refilling the windshield washer fluid, and other basic mechanical check-ups.
Depending on the automaker and model, you might have to have the coolant level of your battery checked, as well as the power inverter and cabin heater.
EVs older than 8 to 10 years old may also need battery replacement, as these kinds of batteries naturally degrade and lose battery life over time.
Battery prices range from anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000, but these prices are expected to decrease as technology and materials become more common.
Is maintaining an electric car cheaper?
Consumer reports based on hundreds of thousands of drivers suggest that the maintenance costs of an electric vehicle compared to a gas-powered car are significantly higher.
On average, EV owners can expect to pay around $4,600 on lifetime regular maintenance and repair costs, as compared to the $9,200 gas cars would need.
That’s a cost difference of $4,600!
Electric vehicles require $0.31 per mile on lifetime repairs and maintenance fees, while internal combustion engine vehicles need $0.61
Electric vs. gas: fuel and maintenance
Fuel costs alone will set back ICE vehicle owners around $100 a month or $1,300 per year for 15,000 miles of driving.
Meanwhile, electric cars only cost around $45 a month or $550 a year to charge for the same driving range.
And because EVs are powered by electricity, they don’t require oil changes on a regular basis, which is an additional expense for regular car owners.
Some maintenance for EVs and ICE vehicles costs the same, like fixing brakes, changing tires, and ensuring the suspension components are well maintained.
These components include struts and shock absorbers.
EV owners would also want to watch out for the normal wear and tear of the brake pads, as the regenerative braking systems of EVs rely on electric motors to slow down.
This system lessens the usage of brake pads on electric vehicles as compared to gas-powered cars.
As mentioned, fewer moving parts mean lesser expenses on the part of the owner.
Protecting your charger
One cost that should also be considered is maintaining your charger. Always make sure you do your research before buying a portable charger or an in-home charging station, to verify it’s not only powerful, but efficient, safe, and affordable.
For example, the Lectron V-BOX offers best-in-class power, efficiency, cost, and is Energy Star and IP55 rated. I mean, which other EV charger out there provides 48 amps of power, 11.52 kWh, and all for under $450?
The answer? None. At least none are as reputable as Lectron.
Lectron even partners with Extend Product Protection, so that you can get the most out of your Lectron charger and keep charging confidently far beyond the 1-year factory warranty.
With the Extend, you can add up to 3 years of protection, so you charge confidently with your Lectron charger for years to come!
Is it expensive to maintain an electric car?
Based on real-world data, maintaining an electric car should not be as expensive as maintaining a regular gas-powered car. On average, EV drivers would have to spend about $45 per month or $550 a year for every 15,000 miles driven. Throughout its lifetime, an EV would only need about $4,600 for maintenance costs. Meanwhile, traditional cars need around $100 a month or $1,300 a year after clocking in at 15,000 miles. That’s about $9,200 for repairs and maintenance fees throughout its lifetime.
How often does an electric car need to be serviced?
An electric vehicle is recommended to be serviced twice a year for the vehicle system and tire rotations. Regularly having your EV checked will ensure it keeps its warranty. As for the battery pack, it’s covered by a separate 8-year warranty.
What are the disadvantages of electric cars?
With relatively newer technology, electric cars still have a limited driving range compared to traditional cars. Another disadvantage is the availability of EV chargers nationwide. Charging stations are still not as widely available as gasoline stations.
Is it cheaper to maintain an electric car or a gas car?
Yes, maintaining an electric car is about half the price of maintaining a gas car.
What is the lifespan of an electric car?
On average, electric cars can last around 200,000 miles or 12 years, which is longer than the lifespan of an average gas car (150,000 miles or 8 years).
What is the average cost of maintaining an electric car?
The average cost to maintain an electric car is around $4,600 throughout its lifetime. In comparison, ICE vehicles cost about $9,200 to maintain.
How long do electric car batteries last? EV battery recycling
Like the batteries found in electronic gadgets like smartphones and laptops, electric car batteries degrade and become less effective over time.
This reduces the car’s fully-charged electric range given enough time and repeated charging.
However, there are ways to reduce the degradation, and it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if you are considering buying or leasing an electric vehicle (EV). Unlike in many smaller electronic items, battery losses in cars are small and incremental.
Why do electric car batteries degrade over time?
Most EVs use lithium-ion batteries. These degrade over hundreds of charge/use cycles, becoming less effective in the process.
However, drivers can expect upwards of 10 years or 100,000 miles of use – with reports of twice that distance – from an electric car. As such, the lifespan of an EV is not dissimilar to a conventional petrol or diesel model.
Battery degradation won’t hugely affect the EV’s performance in terms of acceleration, refinement or cruising ability. It will lessen the range, but even an eight-year-old Nissan Leaf may only see losses of around 20% versus new, according to independent tests. 1
How to preserve your electric car’s battery
Fully charging or entirely depleting your EV’s battery can degrade it more quickly. Keeping the charge level between around 20% and 80% is optimum to make your battery last longer. It’s no coincidence that car makers often quote charging times to 80%, rather than full.
The frequent use of DC rapid chargers also has a detrimental effect on the life of EV batteries. Rapid charging is the quickest way to refill an EV battery, and the fastest public charge points can top them up to 80% in 30-40 minutes.
EVs have sophisticated battery management systems to help calm the effects of rapid charging and protect the batteries from overcharging. This is why rapid chargers begin to ‘taper’ (reduce the power they deliver) once batteries are more than 80% full.
If you’re charging more slowly via a home charge point or a domestic socket, charge overnight when the ambient temperature is lower to preserve battery health. Another tip is to use the car as soon as you can after it has finished charging.
If your EV is going to sit around without being driven or only used locally, don’t fully charge it first. Keep the battery around half full, as this is better for its long-term health.
Aggressive acceleration and hard use also speed up battery wear. It will also reduce the range between charges, so it’s much better to take things slow and steady. Avoid extreme temperatures if possible, too, as these can reduce the car’s range and battery performance.
- All you need to know about electric cars
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Install a home charging point
Going electric? Installing a home charging point makes owning an electric car so much easier and cheaper.
How long are warranties on electric car batteries?
Most new electric car batteries enjoy warranties of around eight years and 100,000 miles. This usually far exceeds the cover offered on other components of the car, which gives you an idea of the battery’s reliability.
Such warranties typically guarantee a minimum of 70% battery capacity (and therefore range) at the end of the cover period.
We’ve outlined some of the most popular manufacturer warranties (correct at time of writing) for new electric cars below.
|Audi||8 years/100,000 miles|
|BMW||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Citroen||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Fiat||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Honda||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Hyundai||8 years/125,000 miles|
|Jaguar||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Kia||7 years/100,000 miles|
|Mercedes-Benz||8 years/100,000 miles|
|MG||7 years/80,000 miles|
|Mini||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Nissan||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Peugeot||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Renault||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Skoda||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Tesla (Model S/X)||8 years/150,000 miles|
|Tesla (Model 3/Y)||8 years/100,000 miles^|
|Tesla (Model 3/Y)||8 years/120,000 miles^|
|Vauxhall||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Volkswagen||8 years/100,000 miles|
^depending on model specification
- Types of electric vehicles – EVs explained
- Buy a car with confidence with RAC Cars
- Electric vehicle range – how far can I drive in an EV?
Can electric car batteries be recycled?
Replacing the batteries in an older electric vehicle probably wouldn’t be a viable thing to do, as battery technology is moving on all the time. However, older EV batteries can be recycled and used for other purposes.
Once the usable in-car lifespan of electric car batteries is over, the most common ‘second life’ for them is for domestic or commercial energy storage. This includes retaining the electricity produced by home solar panels during the daytime for release at night.
Nissan, Renault and Tesla offer home and commercial energy storage solutions using second-hand EV batteries. Find out more about electric vehicles’ environmental impact.
The decline in EV battery capacity over time is only really of concern if you’re buying a used car – or planning to retain a new one for many years. Even then, any loss of range will only be slow and gradual.
For all intents and purposes, the lifespan of EV batteries and therefore the useful ‘first-life’ of an EV itself is broadly comparable to that of a traditional combustion car.
Even after the EV and its battery are having a second life off the road, the ability – and commercial incentive – to recycle used EV batteries should soften any lingering long-term environmental doubts or concerns.
- The road to electric – in charts and data
- Are electric cars really better for the environment?
The RAC is the first breakdown assistance company in the UK to introduce a mobile charging unit for electric vehicle owners who have run out of charge. We are the number one provider of breakdown cover for electric vehicles. Find out more about RAC EV Boost.
Are you sold on EVs? Or are you planning on holding on to your petrol car as long as possible? Leave us a comment below.
Read next in Charging an electric car
Read our guide to charging electric cars next.
How have electric cars advanced in the past 10 years and what’s the future?
From longer battery ranges to faster charging times, electric cars are becoming increasingly practical and efficient.
In this blog post, we will explore how electric cars have advanced in the past 10 years and what the future holds for this exciting industry.
Advancements in Battery Technology
One of the most significant advancements in electric cars in the past decade has been in battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries have become more efficient and less expensive, resulting in longer driving ranges for electric vehicles.
In 2011, the Nissan Leaf had a range of only 73 miles, while the Tesla Model S could go up to 265 miles on a single charge. Fast forward to 2021, and the Polestar 2, a new all-electric vehicle from Volvo’s luxury electric brand, has a range of up to 233 miles.
The Polestar 2 is a perfect example of how battery technology has improved in the past 10 years. The car has a 78 kWh battery pack, which can be charged from 0 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes using a fast-charging station.
This is a significant improvement over first-generation electric cars, which could take up to 12 hours to charge fully.
Another area where electric cars have advanced in the past decade is in charging infrastructure. There are now more charging stations available, making it easier for electric car owners to travel long distances. In the US, there are now over 42,000 charging stations, compared to only 3,000 in 2010.
Additionally, the charging time has significantly decreased in the past decade. For example, the Tesla Supercharger can now provide up to 170 miles of range in just 30 minutes.
This has made it possible for electric cars to be used for long road trips, making them a more practical option for consumers.
Performance and Design
Electric cars are no longer just practical vehicles; they can now also compete with gasoline-powered cars in terms of performance and design.
The Polestar 2, for example, has a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 127 mph. These numbers are comparable to many high-performance gasoline-powered cars.
In terms of design, electric cars have become more attractive and modern-looking. The Polestar 2, for example, has a sleek, minimalist design, with a focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness.
The interior is made from recycled materials, and the car features sustainable and vegan interior options, such as recycled plastic bottles and cork.
The Future of Electric Cars
The future of electric cars looks bright, with even more advancements in technology on the horizon. One of the most significant areas of development is in solid-state batteries, which promise to be even more efficient and long-lasting than lithium-ion batteries.
Solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid one, which makes them safer, more efficient, and longer-lasting.
Another area of development is in autonomous driving. Electric cars are well-suited for autonomous driving, as they are easier to control and require less maintenance than gasoline-powered cars.
Companies like Tesla are already working on developing fully autonomous electric cars that could be available to consumers in the next few years.
In conclusion, electric cars have come a long way in the past decade, with advancements in battery technology, charging infrastructure, performance, and design.
The Polestar 2 is an excellent example of how electric cars have improved in the past 10 years, with a longer range, faster charging times, and impressive performance. The future of electric cars looks even brighter, with advancements in solid-state batteries and autonomous driving on the horizon.
As more people adopt electric cars, we can expect to see further developments in the industry, such as improvements in affordability, increased availability of charging stations, and even more exciting design options.
Overall, the advancements in electric car technology have made them a more practical and attractive option for everyday consumers.
As we continue to prioritize sustainability and environmental friendliness, electric cars will undoubtedly play a vital role in our transition toward a more sustainable future.