Electric car servicing explained: What do EVs cost to maintain?

Do electric cars need routine servicing? What does it include? Is it cheaper to maintain an EV than a petrol or diesel car? Find out in this handy guide.

A Brook 220212 2022 COTY Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD 61

Are electric cars expensive to maintain?

You've heard that EVs have fewer parts than a conventional car, and so they should cost a lot less to service and maintain – right?

This is your guide to just what that means.

Electric vehicles (EVs) pack significantly fewer moving parts than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. As our cars move further towards a 'computer on wheels' future, which parts of our cars will still need physical servicing?

Quick points


  • It's true that EV owners don't need to contend with the oil changes, spark plugs, timing belts, complicated transmission internals and exhaust systems associated with ICE vehicles (and hybrids), but...


  • There are no miracles here. Battery-electric cars do still require regular maintenance, because they still share many 'consumables' with their ICE counterparts, with the addition of more advanced battery and electronic systems.

So what's required with servicing an electric car? How often do you need to service it, and is it cheaper than maintaining an ICE or hybrid vehicle?

Let's go.


electric vehicle charging

What does EV servicing include?

Like petrol and diesel vehicles, electric cars require routine maintenance on a number of technological and consumable parts.

EV parts that require checking and/or servicing
Electronic systems, software and sensors (including infotainment, lighting, passive and active safety systems, etc.)
12-volt auxiliary electronics battery
Rotating tyres, checking tyre pressures, tread depth and balance
Brake pads, discs, calipers, drums and fluid
Suspension components (including joints, shock absorbers, springs, etc.)
Transmission fluids and parking brake
Power steering system and rack
Windscreen glass, wiper arms and blades, washer fluids
HVAC system and cabin air filter
Door hinges, latches, nuts and bolts
Mercedes-Benz EQC Charging

😫 Tyres can wear out faster on EVs

It’s worth noting that because their big battery packs make EVs significantly heavier than their ICE counterparts – and because in some cases, their motors are programmed to deliver rapid acceleration – the tyres on your EV may wear out faster.

However, specifically-developed EV tyres can reduce that stress by using a more durable material construction and a different tread pattern, while improving grip and efficiency.

😎 Brake wear, however, may be reduced

On the other hand, because electric cars use the motor as a generator to both slow down the vehicle and recover braking energy back into the battery (regenerative braking), brake pad wear is typically reduced.

How does it work? Because the motor assists in slowing the car before you've even touched the brake pedal (and continues to help during the early stages of pedal depression), you'll ultimately rely less on the brakes themselves. Additionally, in some models, you can engage the strongest 'regen mode' to drive using just one pedal. Find out more at the link below.

Other aspects of EVs that need attention at servicing visits

While the above list focuses mostly on interior tech and consumables, your EV's critical motor and drive systems, and safety tech, also need attention from time to time.

EV battery and charging systems that need servicing
High-voltage battery pack health
Battery management system software
Cooling fans and fluids
Charge port condition
Exterior pedestrian warning sound system
EV subs

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πŸ’Έ Is EV servicing cheaper?

If electric cars have fewer parts to maintain, does that mean checkups are less frequent and cheaper than ICE vehicles?

Theoretically, it should – but it depends on the car manufacturer.

  • Some brands such as MG, Hyundai (newer Ioniq's only) and Polestar employ longer servicing intervals at every 24 months with greater distance-travelled.
  • Others such as Kia, BYD and Porsche stick to the same 12-month and distance-travelled requirements as ICE models.
  • Meanwhile, Tesla and BMW use a condition-based servicing program that alerts the driver when specific routine maintenance tasks are needed.
    In this case, the vehicle’s various sensors can detect if and when a service checkup may be needed. If one of these vehicles is regularly driven hard or in dusty/rough conditions, it will request servicing more often than if it leads an easier life.

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Wheels Reviews 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Vs Kia EV 6 Vs Polestar 2 Australia Dynamic Front 2 C Brunelli


πŸ“ Capped-price servicing for EVs

Capped-price servicing costs are often a little cheaper for electric cars, but some EV models are on par with their ICE equivalent.

Some brands, including Genesis, Audi and Porsche, offer free servicing and charging for a limited period to sweeten the EV transition.


2023 MG ZS EV SUV Comparo With BYD Att 3 15


Despite some increases in servicing prices, the ZS EV small SUV still proves slightly more affordable to maintain, given its longer service intervals.

In the end, maintaining it is estimated to be around 13 per cent cheaper than maintaining its petrol-powered counterpart, the ZST.


Months / XX,000km24 months/40,000km48 months/80,000km72 months/120,000kmTotals
MG ZS EV Excite$412$922$412$1746


Months / XX,000km12 months/10,000km24 months/20,000km36 months/30,000km48 months/40,000km60 months/50,000km72 months/60,000kmTotals
MG ZST Excite$264$313$316$487$264$366$2010

2023 BYD Atto 3 SUV Blue 57

BYD Atto 3 vs Toyota Corolla Cross

Toyota's servicing program continues to be something of a benchmark for the industry, while BYD's local servicing program has already been the subject of some controversy.

After 60 months or 50,000km (whichever occurs first), servicing the Toyota Corolla Cross proves nearly 10 per cent cheaper than for the BYD electric SUV. This disparity illustrates how manufacturers differ in their pricing strategies (and margins). It'll certainly be interesting to observe the servicing costs for the upcoming Toyota BZ4x EV...

BYD Atto 3

Months / XX,000km12 / 20,000km24 / 40,000km36 / 30,000km48 / 40,000km60 / 50,000kmTotals
BYD Atto 3*$189$370$189$447$189$1,384
*Standard servicing plan tier

Toyota Corolla Cross

Months / XX,000km12 months/15,000km24 months/30,000km36 months/45,000km48 months/60,000km60 months/75,000kmTotals
Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid 2WD$250$250$250$250$250$1250

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Ev Buyers Guide Tesla Model 3 01

Tesla Model 3 vs BMW 320i petrol

As noted earlier in this story, both Tesla and BMW utilise a condition-based servicing program.

These systems alert the driver when specific routine maintenance tasks are required. However, only the Bavarian carmaker offers pre-paid servicing.

60 months / 80,000km
Tesla Model 3 RWDN/A – Condition-based
BMW 320i*$1,800
*Service Inclusive Basic pre-paid package, condition-based servicing otherwise

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A Brook 220212 2022 COTY Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD 47

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Hyundai Tucson

Similar to the MG models mentioned earlier, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 benefits from longer service intervals compared to the comparable Tucson medium SUV.

However, the significant cost of $1090 at the 60,000km mark quickly negates any overall cost advantage."

Months / XX,000km12 months/15,000km24 months/30,000km36 months/45,000km48 months/60,000km60 months/75,000kmTotals
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Dynamiq RWDN/A$570N/A$1090N/A$1660
Hyundai Tucson Elite 2.0L petrol FWD$319$319$319$319$319$1595

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV White 2210 MBEQBL 62

Mercedes-Benz EQB vs Mercedes-Benz GLB 200

The EV version of these closely related models shows a clear advantage.

Despite the high cost associated with each 25,000km service appointment, the electric EQB 250 still demonstrates a clear advantage over its petrol-powered counterpart, the GLB 200, particularly when considering pre-paid service packages.

Months / XX,000km36 / 75,000km48 / 100,000km60 /125,000km
Mercedes EQB 250*$1,625$2,225$2,650
Mercedes GLB 200*$2,750$3,550$4,500
*Pre-paid service plan based on intervals every 12 months/25,000km (Mercedes-Benz Australia does not disclose capped servicing prices for electric models)

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The current state of EV servicing

Clearly, electric cars still need servicing, although generally it's not as frequent or expensive as ICE vehicles. In some cases, servicing intervals are identical and EV servicing savings are negligible.

However, over the long term, the experience should improve. A growing number of independent mechanics are being trained to work on EVs, with dedicated certificate and apprenticeship courses readily available. Furthermore, new 'right to repair' laws are promoting greater transparency from car manufacturers. Ultimately, this will provide owners with more options and foster competition, thus reducing servicing costs.

And since EVs host fewer moving parts – with around 20 versus more than 2000 in ICE cars – they should theoretically be more reliable in the long run.

Battery longevity remains a key concern.

Modern EVs employ a range of battery management systems designed to maintain battery packs at their optimal temperature to minimise degradation.

However, much like internal combustion engines, all cars inevitably degrade over time, resulting in decreased efficiency.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Red Exterior Dynamic 1

Most car brands cover their EVs with a dedicated eight-year/160,000km battery warranty – with some promising they will retain at least 70 per cent of their original capacity during that period.

If the pack degrades further than that during the warranty period, its manufacturer will replace it for free.

Used EVs have proven to suffer from higher degradation if owners constantly recharge on DC fast chargers – which stresses the battery with heat – compared to slower AC charging.

According to Infinitev, EV owners will start to notice the battery degradation effects (reduced driving range) between six and eight years on average.

The most-degraded individual modules within a battery pack can be swapped out, which is cheaper than replacing an entire pack (or rebuilding a failed internal combustion engine).

In the rare case that a complete replacement is needed, gradually decreasing battery costs over time and the emergence of repurposed and remanufactured batteries mean these repairs will start to become less expensive.

Because battery cells deemed unsuitable for EV use can often go on to have a useful second life in stationary energy storage, beyond which their materials can be recycled into new products, an ecosystem is developing that should help make EV battery repairs more affordable into the future.

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Henry Man


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