EVs May Cost Less but Are More Expensive to Repair

The cost of electric vehicles is dropping every year. However, as the purchase price for EVs decreases, the cost to repair these cars remains much higher than the industry average.
Written by Jane Lu
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 30, 2021
Electric vehicles
(EVs) are gaining traction, but there are still substantial barriers to adoption.
EV batteries are still being improved and make up a large portion of the higher cost for electric cars compared to gas-powered ones. Range anxiety and the lack of
charging infrastructure
also deter consumers from switching to electric.
You might have heard that EVs are cheaper to maintain. According to
CNET
, We Predict’s research found that EVs may cost more to repair. This is something else that consumers will have to consider if they’re planning to buy an EV.
Repairing EVs is still much more expensive than traditional gas cars.

Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain

The assumption is that because an electric car has fewer moving parts and doesn’t need constant oil changes, owning an EV should be cheaper than a gas-powered car.
We Predict, an analytical firm, found that maintaining a battery-powered car is more than half of what it costs to maintain an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. On average, it costs $7 for owners to maintain their EVs in the first year of ownership. On the other hand, an owner of a gas-powered car spends $30.
So it’s true that EVs are typically cheaper to maintain, but service and repair costs are a different story.

Gas-powered cars are cheaper to repair

An electric vehicle can actually cost more to own than a gas-powered car. Two major factors go into the overall cost of car ownership: service costs and maintenance costs. While maintenance costs for EVs may be lower, the service costs are quite a bit higher.
In a three-month time frame, EV service costs were 2.3 times higher than a gas-powered car. At the 12-month point, costs were still 1.6 times higher. On average, repairs and service costs are around $306 per EV compared to $139 for gas-powered cars.

Why are electric cars so expensive to repair?

A big part of the higher repair costs is because electric vehicles are so new. This is a common theme for EV technology in general. We Predict found that service centers and mechanics logged longer hours when they worked on EVs, according to CNET.
EVs need 1.5 times the labor hours and rates are 1.3 times higher on average.
It takes longer to diagnose a problem with an EV compared to traditional engines. Mechanics also need additional certifications to work on EVs which may contribute to higher rates. What does this mean for consumers? You’ll need more out-of-pocket cash to be ready for higher repair costs.
However, this is just a temporary issue, and you can expect service costs to be more aligned with traditional engines as EVs become more widespread. The long-term benefits from cheaper maintenance costs can make EVs worthwhile and outweigh the additional repair expenses.
In a nutshell, the repair costs might not be a dealbreaker, and these extra fees should disappear as more automakers come out with EVs.
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AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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