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EV maintenance and repair costs: 35 % cheaper than for ICEs

27 November 2012

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According to a study conducted by the Institut für Automobilwirtschaft (IFA) and published on 20 November 2012, maintenance and repair costs for electric vehicles will be around 35 percent below costs of a comparable internal combustion vehicle.

“In addition to financial incentives and lower cost of electricity compared to conventional fuels, EV owners can also save on servicing costs to compensate for higher purchase costs” said Prof. Willi Diez, IFA Institute Director.

BEV: 35 percent cheaper for maintenance

The Institute calculated these numbers on the basis of a small car with a lifetime of 8 years and an annual mileage of 8,000km. For ICEs, running on gasoline or diesel, maintenance and repair costs will represent on average 3,650€, when owners of a battery-electric car will only have to pay 2,350€. The main reasons are:

  • Elimination of oil changes
  • No need for replacement of exhaust systems and couplings
  • Regenerative breaking reduces brake wear
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Electrical systems do not require frequent maintenance

US Postal Service experience

In 2010 the U.S. Postal Service tested six pure electric vehicles in its fleet and found that their average maintenance costs were 0,058€/km – about 54 percent of the average maintenance costs for the fleet’s conventional vehicles.

What about HEV/PHEVs?

HEV have internal combustion engines, so their maintenance requirements are comparable to conventional vehicles. No solid data exist yet for plug-in hybrid vehicle maintenance costs; however, because their internal combustion engine supplies only a fraction of the overall vehicle miles, maintenance intervals should be longer and costs correspondingly lower.

The electrical system (battery, motor, and associated electronics) does not require the same scheduled maintenance. Regenerative braking helps brake systems on these vehicles last longer than those on conventional vehicles.


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