Many people who bought electric cars have done so, at least in part, because of the promise of lower running costs. Electricity is certainly cheaper than gasoline, but there was also the idea that maintenance cost would be lower as well. Although, for early adopters, this remained mainly theoretical. But now there is real-word data on electric vehicle ownership, and researchers from the Institute for Automotive Research (IFA) at the Nürtingen–Geislingen University (located near the homes of both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany) have conducted a study on EV maintenance costs, according to TheGreenCarWebsite.
The result really isn’t a huge shock, it turns out that maintenance costs for an EV come in about 35 percent lower than the cost of maintenance for a regular car over an eight-year period. There are some pretty predictable savings along the way, no need for oil changes, air filters or spark plugs. Even if tires, and brakes still need replacing at the usual intervals, it seems the theoretical thinking about low running costs have been holding up.
There are a couple of problems with the study though. For starters, the study made the assumption that you are driving only 5,000 miles per year, and this is significantly less than the average American drives. The numbers should hold true if the mileage were upped, but we don’t know that for sure. The other problem is with the eight-year time frame. This would theoretically bring you up to the point right before the battery dies, a massive maintenance cost which seems not to have been factored into this study. Quite a lot of EV owners will probably trade their vehicles in for something else before this becomes an issue, but anyone left holding the keys at the end of the studied period will have a vehicular hot potato, and will definitely take a hit on the resale value if not the battery itself.
Just the same, for anyone buying the car new and expecting to get another new car within the next year, this is nothing but good news. The study concluded that the total savings would come to about $900.