EV rumours v reality: Are electric cars more costly to repair and maintain?

Ev Rumours V Reality: Are Electric Cars More Costly To Repair And Maintain?
Technicians trained to work on the high-voltage batteries of EVs are currently still a bit thin on the ground, albeit their numbers are growing fast. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images
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Neil Briscoe

There seems to be an awful lot of misinformation, half-truths, and plain old panic about EVs, especially once you look into the cesspool that is social media.

There are plenty of hurlers on the ditch when it comes to electric cars and batteries. So Breakingnews.ie is going to try and break down the wall of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) that surrounds electric cars right now, starting with…


“EV’s cost more to maintain and repair, their tyres wear more, EVs breakdown more than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars, and anyway who’s going to maintain them?”

It’s true that we are still in the early days of EV sales and ownership right now, and that does have a limiting effect on servicing costs.

The fact is that the technicians who’ve been trained to work on the high-voltage batteries of EVs are currently still a bit thin on the ground, albeit their numbers are growing fast.

Once expertise and accreditation for that kind of work — and those powerful batteries can be dangerous so you really don’t want someone working on one who doesn’t absolutely know what they’re doing — filters through to independent experts and local garages, then the cost of fixing and repairing any battery issues will come down dramatically.


In the meantime, the myth that EVs cost more to maintain is just that — a myth.

“In terms of repairs, we have invested significantly in the training of our technicians, and because we are selling EVs since 2019, we have an extremely skilled and talented team in place across our network to maintain these vehicles as required” said Ronan Flood from Kia Ireland. “Apart from being cheaper to run, EVs are cheaper to service also. This is down the reduced number of inputs required such as oil and filters over their petrol and diesel counterparts.”

According to Volkswagen Ireland, typical EV servicing and maintenance includes updating software for improved performance, changing or rotating tyres, and swapping out brake pads and windscreen wipers. Petrol or diesel engines have around 200 components, all of which have to work together, managing heat, lubrication, and friction, if your engine is to function properly.

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By contrast, an electric car’s motor has around 20 components.


Stephen McGrath from Peugeot says: “EV’s have 90 per cent fewer moving parts than a combustion engine, which leads to less wear and tear. Brake pads need to be changed less frequently due to regenerative braking.

"EV’s cost 30 per cent less on average to maintain than an ICE car.”

Pierre Boutin from Volkswagen Ireland agrees, saying: “There is plenty of misinformation about EVs doing the rounds. Look beyond the scare stories and the excitable headlines and the reality is very different. Battery electric vehicles have proven themselves to be safe, reliable and better for the environment.”

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