Your Guide to ICE vs. EV Maintenance Costs

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Written By: Landon McKay, Senior Fleet Consultant

Whether you have an electric or an internal combustion engine vehicle, routine maintenance is essential to reducing downtime and expanding the lifespan of your equipment. It’s also one of the most proactive and important ways to check that your vehicle is safe and in proper working condition, which can reduce the likelihood of accidents or a major, costly equipment malfunction. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the differences between electric vehicle (EV) and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle maintenance and provide recommended maintenance plans for some of the most popular cars and trucks on the market today. 

Differences Between EV and ICE Vehicle Maintenance

An electric vehicle has fewer moving parts, which means that unlike an ICE vehicle, you don’t have to worry about the oil filter, spark plugs, and fuel filter. While both types of vehicles have brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid, EVs do not have engine oil; instead they rely on coolant to help optimize battery performance.

With EVs, you also have to make sure your battery is properly maintained. The federal government requires that electric vehicle batteries have an 8-year/100K-mile warranty. Many vehicles make it past the 200,000 mile mark with no significant reduction in battery performance.

Both EVs and ICE vehicles have brake pads, but the wear and tear is reduced in electric vehicles due to regenerative braking. Hybrid and plug-in vehicles require maintenance that’s similar to ICE vehicles since they have gas engines.

Now let’s explore recommended maintenance plans for popular EVs and their ICE counterparts.

fleets parked by a charging station







Which type of vehicle has fewer maintenance costs — electric or ICE?

It depends on the specific make and model and your driving habits, but in general, EVs have lower total maintenance costs over their lifespan.

How often should I bring in my electric vehicle for maintenance?

Typically an electric vehicle will have fewer maintenance visits than an ICE vehicle, but the number will depend on the make and model. The manufacturer of your electric vehicle should have a recommended maintenance plan, which we encourage you to follow, but if you have any questions, our EV consultants can help.

Is there anything I can do in terms of maintenance to maximize my EV range?

If you want to get the most miles out of your charge, routinely check air pressure, keep your EV in a climate-controlled environment (if possible), turn off battery conditioning modes, and when it comes time to replace your tires, find ones that are specially formulated for EVs with low rolling resistance.

Ready to Get Started On Your EV Adoption Journey?

The fleet consultants at Merchants have decades of knowledge and experience with both EVs and ICE vehicles and are continually supporting those that are considering or in the process of EV fleet adoption. As an end-to-end EV provider, we help fleet managers with all aspects of the EV adoption process and provide a variety of support programs, including fleet telematics, maintenance, consulting, leasing, charging solutions, and more.

If you have any questions, our EV consultants are ready to help. Contact us today for more information.

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