Getting to know electric vehicle servicing  

Ever wondered how the servicing of an electric vehicle (EV) differs from that of a petrol or diesel equivalent? This week’s “Getting to Know” guide explores how it all works.


What does the service for an electric vehicle include?


As there are fewer moving parts on an EV compared to one with a traditional combustion engine, this means that there are less components to service. For example, there is no timing belt, clutch, sparkplugs or a gearbox to maintain, plus there’s no need for any oil changes. This means that EVs are therefore often cheaper to service than petrol and diesel models. In addition, electric motors are known to be very reliable.


Amongst others, the following parts are likely to be inspected and replaced as necessary during the servicing of an electric vehicle:


  • The charging cable;
  • The high-voltage battery; and
  • High-voltage components and cables.


How often should electric vehicles be serviced?


An EV should be maintained in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended full and intermediate servicing intervals, the same as that for a car powered by a regular engine.


Are the vital safety components such as brakes and tyres also checked during a service?


As with petrol and diesel-powered cars, the vital safety components such as tyres and brakes (discs and pads) will still be checked for wear to ensure that they are operating within their legal limits. This is despite regenerative braking being a common feature which doesn’t use the actual mechanical brakes.


Does an electric vehicle still need an MOT even though it doesn’t have an engine?


It is still a legal requirement to have an MOT for an electric vehicle once it reaches three years of age, as this will be needed to purchase insurance. The principal difference versus a petrol or diesel vehicle is that there is no emissions test due to the absence of an engine.


Take a look at our “Getting to Know MOTs” guide here.


An electric vehicle battery holds less charge over time. How do I find out how much it will cost to replace?


The cost of batteries for electric vehicles varies by make and model. Not all garages provide servicing, repairs and diagnostics for this type of car, but you can start your search for a business by using The Motor Ombudsman’s online Garage Finder.