Plug-in Electric Vehicle Maintenance Cost Comparison
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Plug-in Electric Vehicle Maintenance Cost Comparison

Is your car plugged in? The all electric vehicles and the gas guzzling autos of yesterday -- which is lower in vehicle maintenance?

The new electric and hybrid cars are promptly coming out each year, with newer features and stylish appearances. These vehicles are excellent in terms of saving on gas and controlling the amount of environmentally damaging emissions put into the air. While your vehicle is new, the maintenance costs probably haven’t been a big issue yet. As the car gets older, you are probably curious as to how much money you save in gas will be eaten up in maintaining the vehicle. The answer might surprise you.

The maintenance needs for the hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs) are very similar with the maintenance needs of a gas-eating vehicle. The manufacturers producing these vehicles are quite aware of the maintenance costs and the safety factors even before they appeared on the production line.

Because the hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have an internal combustion engine, the maintenance costs will run about the same as the conventional gas-guzzler. The battery, motor and electronics do not require maintenance as far as having regularly scheduled times when the car needs to see a specialist or repairman for the upkeep. Because of the regenerative braking systems on these vehicles, they will typically last longer than on regular automobiles as well.

In terms of the regular maintenance dealt with on vehicles, the all-electric vehicle owners are finding that typically, they do require less maintenance as far as the fluid changes they need too. There are no fluids to change on these vehicles aside from the brake fluid. Brake wear and tear is significantly reduced because of the regenerative braking system as well, so brake conditions are not only better, but also the changing of brake pads is not as often either. Since there are far fewer moving parts in the electric vehicle, there is less engine maintenance as well as the engine will remain at optimum performance level for much longer than the gas engine car.

The revolutionary batteries used in the electric cars have a limited number of charging cycles. This is a component the car owner should be informed about before purchase. For some of the high-end lithiums, they are about $4,000 for replacement.  Asking the dealer about battery life and warranties should be done prior to purchase to make a decision as to which vehicle is right for you. The manufacturer’s battery recycling policy is also an item to consider when purchasing the electric vehicle.

Most of the batteries in the electric drive vehicles are created to manage the charging of the car during the expected lifetime of the vehicle. The Toyota Prius, for instance, has been sold in the United States since 2001 but has had less than 0.003% of battery failures. The General Motors Company and the Nissan cars dole out 8-year or 100,000-mile warranties for the batteries in both the LEAF and the Volt respectively.

Although the electric run vehicles are fairly new, they seem to be getting the job done concerning the gas they are saving and the ability to drive without creating as much air pollution while on the road. With maintenance costs about the same and in most cases actually cheaper than the old school gas-guzzler, the electric vehicles seem to rate on the better side of options for the car buyer.


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