Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Electric Cars Will Change the "Regular Service" Paradigm

Regular service means plugging into a computer and downloading data, no greasy hands, tools and oil stained floors.

Every 5,000 miles the MINI-E Trial Lease participants drive the cars we need to bring them in for data downloads and general service check ups. These are extremely expensive prototypes and BMW wants to make sure they are properly cared for and performing as intended as well as gather the data accumulated.

You won't see this anymore with EV's
But how about the "regular" EV's? The cars that currently are and will be production vehicles for sale like the Nissan LEAF, Tesla, the Ford Focus EV and eventually the BMW i3 when it comes out in 2013 just to name a few. What will the term "regular service" mean? I think we all know what that means for an internal combustion engine car. The dealer tells you "Bring it in every three to five thousand miles for oil changes" and that never changes. Every few months you need to change the oil filter, drain out the 5 or 6 quarts of dirty oil and replace it with new oil, and that's just the beginning. You are then going to need periodically replace air filters, fuel filters, oxygen sensors, vacuum hoses, temperature sensors, spark plugs, various belts & hoses and plenty of other wear and tear items. Plus, the exhaust system only lasts so long before you need to replace mufflers, pipes and God forbid the catalytic converter, because then you are in for the bug bucks.

EV's really don't require "regular maintenance". They don't have much of the wear and tear items that you find in ICE vehicles because so few things are constantly creating friction and heat and wearing themselves out. I could see a car salesman telling the new owner of an electric car as he hands them the keys "Call us if you have a problem". Sure you'll still need tires, & wiper blades, but even the brake pads will last much longer on an EV due to the regenerative braking. Of course things will break and need to be replaced, just like any other car, but the it's the regular maintenance items that I'm focusing on here.

No matter how you look at it, the overall maintenance of an EV will cost you much, much less and be a lot more convenient since you won't be required to make all these maintenance trips to your mechanic for the entire time you own the car. Just plug in and drive.....


  1. I would love to see all the estimated costs of the oil changes, tune ups, etc added up over a ten year period. Probably more than we even realize

  2. Great post Tom, but I'm getting used to that from you. This is really one of my favorite blogs.

    Thanks for keeping it current with frequent posts

  3. There must be some items that will require regular changing, no?
    What about the batteries, how long to they last? What if you don't use the car too much, will the batteries degrade from lack of use?