Electric motors require less maintenance than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. Yet, that doesn’t mean these vehicles require no upkeep. Each electric vehicle (EV) fleet should have a well-thought-out maintenance plan. Here’s some insight into what that might entail.
1. Schedule regular servicing
Conventional wisdom dictates sticking with the same service intervals that you would with a combustion engine vehicle. Since electric motors are newer technology, many dealerships may be handling the maintenance. However, it’s still important to research and develop a network of experienced electric motor mechanics for servicing on the go.
- Rotate those tires
The instant torque delivery and added weight of the EV battery may cause more tire wear than an ICE vehicle. This makes the guidance of having vehicle tires balanced, aligned and inspected even more important. Additionally, select tire manufacturers are adapting to market concerns and developing EV-specific tire models. They have different trend patterns to combat increased wear. Other alterations in the tire cavity to lower the drag coefficient and rolling resistance can help with vehicle range.
- Service your brakes
Even though the regenerative braking system on EVs is much gentler on your brake pads when compared to the typical friction braking, they’ll still be servicing eventually. These breaks recapture the kinetic energy whenever they’re used, turning that power into electricity to move the vehicle. This process is easier on the brakes but wear and tear still does occur. Some predict the brake pads can last up to twice as long, but their condition should be monitored regularly.
- Replace the fluids
EVs need a fluid top-off now and then. While they don’t require an oil change, there internal thermal management system’s coolant levels diminish over time. Additionally, the brake fluid is also required for them to operate properly. So, keep your regular lineup of coolant, brake fluid and windshield-washer liquid on hand.
- Mind the battery
The battery of an electric vehicle contains an array of power cells that don’t require regular maintenance. Yet, they do have a lifespan. Some estimate a lithium-ion battery found in a typical EV to last up to 160,934 kilometers (100,000 miles). But its actual range depends on the vehicle type, making it important to consider battery life when purchasing an EV for your fleet. If you adhere to a three to five-year leasing plan and sell to the used market after, you may be in the clear. Yet, if you use your vehicles longer you may want to incorporate the expense of battery replacement into your TCO analysis. On the flip side, the technology is evolving so batteries as time progresses, batteries lifespans may lengthen.