According to Statista’s outlook data, electric vehicle sales will reach 97.7k vehicles in 2028. Since the year 2020, the popularity of electric vehicles has exploded, and this trend continues to grow rapidly. Now, with this popularity, EV owners discovering the common repairs for electric vehicles, despite having fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines. Due to fewer moving parts, EV maintenance focuses on different aspects than traditional internal combustion engines.
1. Battery Health and Replacement
The heart of any EV is its battery pack. Over time, battery capacity can degrade, affecting the vehicle’s range and performance. According to industry experts EV batteries last about 15 to 20 years or 161,000 to 322,000 kilometres. EVs are currently estimated to lose an average of 2.3% of their battery capacity per year. In addition to monitoring battery health on a regular basis, manufacturers provide a warranty on electric vehicles.
However, the warranty’s length varies from brand to brand, so it is important to monitor it regularly. It’s possible that your battery damage will not be covered by this type of warranty and you’ll have to pay for the cost of replacing or repairing it yourself, which can range between $5,000 to $20,0000 US dollars. This kind of scenario can be avoided if EV owners follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on charging and usage, as well as investing in high-quality EV charging equipment.
2. Dent Repairs
After a crash, your electric car can end up with scratches and dents, no matter how big or small the accident was. Surprisingly, even a little bump can mess up the car’s battery, which sits inside the frame of the car. This can lead to battery problems or it might stop working altogether. To improve efficiency and range, EVs are built with lightweight materials, which affects dent repair techniques. The structural components and materials used in electric vehicles must be known to technicians who repair dents on them.
3. Brake System
The regenerative braking feature in electric cars reduces brake pad wear as kinetic energy is used to slow the vehicle down instead of conventional brakes. Nonetheless, if the regenerative brake system fails and drivers continue to rely solely on it, it won’t work properly. When electric cars decelerate, drivers and passengers also pose a significant risk because of worn-out regenerative brakes. Routine checks of brake fluid levels and replacement, as needed, are necessary to ensure the braking system remains effective even if the vehicle has regenerative braking features.
4. Fluid Refuelling
Three main fluids are present in EVs: brake fluid, coolant fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Each of these fluids has specific timeframes for replenishment. Brake fluid plays a crucial role in regenerative braking, while coolant fluids within cooling systems regulate the temperature of batteries and other critical components. Windshield wiper fluid is responsible for keeping the windshield clean and enhancing visibility. Consistently maintaining these fluids ensures optimal vehicle performance.
5. Charging Port & Cables
Essential for recharging, the charging port and cable must be inspected regularly for wear or damage.
Signs of bad charging port:
- Difficulty plugging in the cable.
- Intermittent or halted charging.
- Dashboard error messages.
- Physical damage (bent pins, etc.).
- Overheating during charging.
- Corrosion inside the port.
Signs of Bad Charging Cables:
- Reduced range.
- Inconsistent performance (acceleration/power loss).
- Warning lights on the dashboard.
- Charging difficulties and interruptions.
- Heat around cable connections.
If any of the above signs appear, consult with a supplier or a professional technician to avoid safety risks and further damage.
6. Flat Tire Repair/Replacement
Repairing a flat tire on an electric vehicle (EV) is similar to fixing one on traditional cars. However, EVs have unique features that require special precautions. It’s essential to turn off the EV, engage the parking brake, locate proper jack points to avoid sensitive parts, and use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. If a spare tire is available, you can replace the flat tire with it. Then, lower the EV and evenly tighten the lug nuts. Don’t forget to check and adjust the tire pressure as needed. Make sure to check the EV’s manual for precise instructions and prioritize safety throughout the repair process. If unsure, contact professionals or roadside assistance for flat tire repair or replacement.
7. Software Updates
Modern EVs often receive software updates to improve performance, address bugs, and introduce new features. Occasionally, the new version does not update as expected, in such a scenario make sure you should perform manual troubleshooting by following software provider guidelines. Also, keep updated on the ongoing issue with the software and check if the latest version of the software is very necessary for an update. However, these regular updates are released as stable versions and most of the time updating to the latest version is highly recommended for the best driving experience possible.
8. Motor and Inverter Repairs
Repairing electric motor and inverter issues in EVs involves addressing motor bearing wear, inverter failures, electrical wiring and connection problems, cooling system malfunctions, software-related concerns, and torque/power loss. These crucial components require specialized expertise to diagnose and rectify problems such as worn bearings causing reduced efficiency, inverter failures stemming from power electronics issues, faulty connections leading to power delivery problems, cooling system troubles including leaks or sensor issues, software glitches affecting performance, and torque/power loss due to sensor malfunctions or power electronics errors. To ensure safe and effective repairs, seek assistance from the manufacturer or authorized service centres.
In conclusion, the repairs of EVs differ from those of conventional vehicles due to their unique design and propulsion systems. By staying vigilant with battery health, tire maintenance, brake and coolant systems, and other crucial components, you can enjoy a smooth and efficient driving experience. Staying informed about software updates and adhering to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules will help extend the life of your electric vehicle and contribute to a sustainable future on the road.