Over the next few decades, electric vehicles (“EVs”) are expected to replace the petrol and diesel-powered cars that have been a staple on the roads for more than a century. Anyone who’s aware of battery electric vehicles (“BEVs”) has probably heard that they are cheaper to maintain. But how exactly does one maintain an electric car over its lifetime? And why are these maintenance costs said to be less compared to conventional vehicles? Let’s take a look.
Rather than an internal combustion engine, electric vehicles are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, which will require less maintenance. Compared to a conventional car, an EV has significantly fewer moving parts, around 20 to be exact, while a gasoline or diesel-powered car has a whopping 2,000, representing numerous points of possible failure. As EVs have significantly fewer moving parts, owners don’t have to visit a mechanic regularly to make sure those parts are all functioning properly.
The vehicles also don’t require oil, so owners won’t have to make the four or so annual visits to the mechanic for oil changes, saving both time and money. Consequently, EV maintenance costs will be significantly less by virtue of having fewer parts to maintain. However, EV owners will still have to keep an eye on the brakes, tires, airbags, steering and suspension, windshield wipers and fluids, and cabin air filters.
Owners will need to make sure the tires are fully inflated and check for wear and tear as needed. They will need to do the same with the windshield wiper fluid, filling it up when necessary. Every 7,500 miles or so, an EV should be taken to a certified EV mechanic to ensure its components are in good shape. The mechanic will check for fluid leaks in the battery coolant heater, power inverter, accessory power and charge modules; they will also inspect the half-shafts, driveshafts, power steering, accelerator pedal, airbag system, gas struts (suspension), and body components for any damage and make the appropriate repairs.
The battery, which is the most important part of the EV, will also require extra care to ensure it charges and discharges energy efficiently for a long time. For starters, watch out for extreme heat and cold as temperatures will affect a battery’s range and longevity. If owners are able, they should park their vehicles in garages or under shade during extreme heat and park the cars in the sun when it gets too cold.
Charging habits will also affect the battery, so owners should be sure to keep levels under 75% to 80% while not letting levels get below 15% to 20%. Additionally, it is recommended that owners use fast charging only occasionally as it can strain the battery and cause it to degrade.
If it is within an owner’s budget, it is ideal to install a Level 2 charger at home and charge the EV overnight. Trickle and timed chargers are also recommended as they can charge an EV slowly and keep the battery from wearing down too quickly. With American drivers totaling an average of 25.9 miles per day, most drivers won’t need to use a fast charger unless they are taking a long trip.
At the end of the day, an EV does still need maintenance, but generally that maintenance involves less time at the mechanic and less strain on a wallet.
Needless to say, individual sector players such as Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are likely to avail specific maintenance information on the models that they release onto the market, and that information can be helpful in preventing the premature aging of EVs.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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