01 Apr Electric Cars – what maintenance do they need?
Everyone has started to notice them popping up in their local town or village and they’re even more popular with those living in the city. Electric Cars or EVs, is the hot topic in the automotive industry and also a subject widely debated in parliament.
For those of us who work within this sector, it is clear to see where the automotive industry is heading so for garage business owners, being one step ahead of the curve isn’t a bad thing.
The basics of an Electric Vehicle…
We’ve seen the ads – Tesla, Volkswagen, Jaguar…the list goes on! But what truly is the difference between the cars we have come to love, and the new electric models deemed to be the future?
The simple answer is that these cars practically run themselves. Electric vehicles involve fewer moving parts, emissions and liquids for your car to function so there is less to go wrong on a daily basis. Periodic software updates can also be remotely configured without a car dealership, so this begs the question, what actually needs maintaining?
- Fluid Top Ups
- Cabin Air Filter
Electric Car Battery Maintenance
Possibly the most important element in an EV, the battery is the largest and most expensive single component and requires more maintenance than any other on an electric car.
As a garage business owner, it is important to know that a visual inspection will not be enough to service a battery. This will only confirm that there is no obvious damage, leaking or corrosion – but any potential faults after a service need to be identified by undertaking the relevant testing. Just like any other electrical item, the charge of your electric car’s battery will deteriorate over time and can take 10-15 years to notice.
Replacing such a component due to lack of maintenance can be a serious investment for the vehicle owner!
Brake Wear on an Electric Vehicle
Did you know that there is no combustion engine in an EV? That means that the brakes and suspension are the largest mechanical part on an electric vehicle.
As with petrol and diesel cars now, the brakes need to be periodically assessed to ensure there is no wear and tear that can compromise the safety of the driver and any passengers.
That being said, once the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, the motor will react in a way that is similar to applying the brakes in a normal car – meaning that most electric cars will use their brakes far less than petrol cars, but when they do, they have to stop a much heavier vehicle.
Tyre Wear is the big difference
The pure size of an EV’s battery pack means that compared to a petrol car, electric cars weigh between 20-30% more on average. That has a massive impact on the wear of a customer’s tyres.
When considering your electric car services moving forwards, you need to be aware that you will be seeing electric car drivers much more often for replacement tyres. They need to be checked more consistently by owners and more thoroughly by garages – ensuring you have capable tyre fitting equipment could make a massive difference to your services moving forwards.
Other maintenance services to properly check over the tyres such as wheel-balancing, alignment and rotating the tyres will certainly make them last much longer.