Panel Beaters Auckland – EV maintenance, EV charging

If you’re considering driving an electric vehicle (EV), you probably already know about the benefits regarding emissions and fuel costs (or lack thereof). But did you know that electric vehicles can also be easier and cheaper to maintain than petrol or diesel-powered cars?

First, let’s clarify the different types of vehicles

When we talk about electric vehicles, we need to distinguish between fully electric vehicles and hybrid cars.

  • ICE – An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) vehicle; your conventional petrol or diesel-fuelled car.
  • EV – An electric vehicle that is powered by a rechargeable EVB (electric vehicle battery); it doesn’t have an engine or a fuel tank (it has a motor).
  • HEV/Hybrid – A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) that combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) system with one or more electric motors that use energy stored in batteries; it is self-charging.
  • PHEV/Plug-in hybrid – A hybrid electric vehicle with a larger battery that relies mainly on its electric motor for propulsion; it is charged by plugging it into a power source.

Do different types of vehicles need different types of servicing?

They do indeed. For this article, we’re focussing on pure electric vehicles.

A petrol or diesel vehicle with a conventional internal combustion engine has hundreds of mechanical parts that need maintaining and replacing to keep your car safe on the road.

On the other hand, an electric vehicle has an electric motor and significantly fewer moving parts and mechanical components. This ultimately means you’ll spend less time and money at the mechanic or panel beater. There is no water pump, cambelt, timing belt or engine oil filters to replace with an electric vehicle. There’s no need to change the oil or flush the cooling system. You also don’t need to worry about servicing a radiator, fuel injection system, engine gaskets or spark plugs. 

What type of maintenance does an electric vehicle need – and how often?

Because electric vehicles operate differently than conventional combustion engine vehicles, they require different maintenance, servicing and repairs. Most of the repairs and maintenance of EVs centre around the suspension, steering and brakes.

You should first refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. But we generally advise that you service your vehicle using the same intervals we would use for a petrol or diesel car. There are fewer parts to an electric vehicle, so your regular service or maintenance appointments will be shorter and you’ll usually require fewer repairs.

For an electric vehicle, we recommend a maintenance schedule similar to this:

Once a month

  • check the tyres for excessive wear
  • check the tyre pressure
  • check/refill the windscreen washer fluid

Every 12,000 kms

  • rotate the tyres
  • check all electrics, locks, bulbs
  • inspect the brakes, steering, suspension
  • change the brake pads, discs and brake fluid as needed
  • inspect the body and chassis
  • check the battery coolant level
  • check the cabin heater, power inverter, accessory power, and charger modules.

Every 25,000 kms

  • change the windscreen wipers

Every 60,000 kms

  • replace the cabin air filter (pollen filter)

Every 120,000 kms

  • have the suspension gas struts replaced
  • have the coolant circuits drained and serviced

The parts of an electric vehicle that need the most attention

Your panel beater or mechanic will keep an eye on these for you, but it’s good to know that with an electric vehicle, there are only three central systems to maintain –  the battery, the suspension and the brakes. Quite simply, we make sure your vehicle starts, runs and stops as it should.

Don’t worry – just because these components need the most attention does not mean they’re problematic or expensive. Our point here is to remind you that there aren’t hundreds of parts that need ongoing maintenance or repairing with an EV.

How long will an electric vehicle battery last?

The battery life of your electric vehicle depends on how much you drive and the age of your vehicle. Most major manufacturers state that an EV battery will last approximately 150,000 kms, or roughly ten years. Most warranties are for eight to ten years.

Replacing your EV battery is not cheap – in New Zealand, it may cost you upwards of $5000. You shouldn’t, however, have to do this more than once during the time you own the vehicle.

To get the most life out of your EV and its battery, make sure the battery doesn’t run out completely, and always charge your battery according to the owner manual instructions.

Are electric vehicles brakes different?

EVs use a system called regenerative braking where the vehicle uses resistance in the electric motor to help slow the vehicle. Using the kinetic energy from the car under braking, also puts some electricity back into the battery, helping to charge it.

Unlike the friction brakes of a traditional combustion engine car, with an EV there is less pressure on the brake pads and less wear and tear on the brakes in general. You still need to have regular checks and maintenance done on your brake disks and pads, but you’ll notice that this needs to be done less often, saving you money.

Where can you charge an electric vehicle?

You can charge your EV here at Mt Roskill Collision Centre. If you’re out and about and need to charge your battery before heading back to your own EV charging station, give us a call and we’ll give you a time to pull in.

We are equipped to charge any make and model of EV. The number of manufacturers now producing electric vehicles continues to grow, and we’re now seeing EVs from Toyota, Tesla, MG, Hyundai, Renault, Nissan, BMW, Volvo, Mitsubishi and more.

If you have an electric or hybrid vehicle, we can help.

The Mt Roskill Collision Centre promise

Our goal is to have everyone on New Zealand roads driving safely. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our car repairs from our panel beating and collision repair service centre in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Contact us online or call us on 0800 227 762 for a free quote or to book an appointment.

Electric Vehicle MRC