We are seeing more and more people making the switch to electric vehicles due to their vast array of benefits. If you are considering purchasing an electric car, there are a few factors to consider.

Improving sustainability, escaping the fluctuating pricing of fuel and saving money on maintenance are all factors that make owning an electric car more appealing. Whilst electric car maintenance is not as robust as a fuelled vehicle, looking after an EV is still important to ensure it is running safely and in tip-top condition. Here are our five top tips for electric vehicle maintenance:

1. Attend regular services

Whilst electric vehicles have fewer parts to maintain compared to petrol/diesel vehicles, such as oil levels or fuel filters, they still require the same care and attention. It is important to continue to book your electric car in for a service as regularly as you would a traditional internal combustion vehicle. Working with a garage that has specific experience in electric vehicle maintenance and knowledge of EV charging would be an advantage.

2. Avoid parking in the sun for long periods of time

Did you know that parking your electric vehicle in the shade rather than the sun extends the overall life of your battery? Plus, it will undoubtedly keep your car temperature more comfortable. When you park your car in the sun for long periods of time, the thermal management system will keep your battery running and thus decrease its battery life. If you are not near an electric car charger, this could increase the risk of running out of charge before you reach one. Parking in the sun might also cause your battery to overheat, which could cause costly damage.

3. Caring for your vehicle’s battery

When electric car charging, there are a few factors to consider to care for your vehicle’s battery:

  • Overheating
  • Overcharging or high voltage

Heat, either as high ambient temperature but more likely as heat generated by charging or keeping the battery at high voltage (fully charged), reduces the capacity of a lithium battery.

Electric vehicle maintenance for your battery is key to extending its life and preventing damage. Overcharging your battery can be critical to its long-term lifespan. If it is left plugged in at 100% capacity for too long, internal resistance can build up inside the battery at a much faster rate. This means your battery would deplete more quickly and eventually become useless. Overcharging your battery can also cause it to overheat, encouraging harmful chemical changes inside the battery that can contribute to damage.

Similarly, it is wise to avoid having no charge or very little. You should aim to have your battery operate between 80% and 50% charge. Starting at full capacity and waiting until it reaches 20% charge before fully re-charging can cause long-term damage. If you avoid draining your battery’s charge regularly, your electric vehicle will last longer.

4. Smooth braking

Another key part of electric vehicle maintenance is smooth, careful braking. Electric vehicles use regenerative braking, which helps to maximise the life of your brake pads and keep them in good condition for longer. Brake pads in an electric car usually tend to last longer compared to that of a traditional vehicle, up to two times less frequently in some cases. Dynamic energy created when braking in an EV is converted into electricity. Despite this, we recommend that you still carry out regular servicing of your brakes.

It is also advised to avoid driving at high speeds in order to prevent the need to slam on the brakes, thus increasing the risk of damage. Avoiding heavy traffic and the need for frequent braking can also help with preserving the life of your brakes.

5. General maintenance

Even though it may seem that an electric vehicle does not have as many parts to go wrong, general EV maintenance and upkeep is just as important. This includes checking your vehicle’s wheel alignment, tread depth, coolant levels and so on. If you are unsure about whether your electric vehicle is safe to drive, we always recommend consulting your local garage for further advice.

For more information about electric car maintenance or to learn more about our EV charging services, get in touch with our friendly team at Elmtronics. Give us a call on 0191 417 3719 or email sales@elmtronics.co.uk.