Wednesday, November 22, 2023

W-EVdnesday #4 Maintenance

This is an area that will probably blow your mind when it comes to EVs, because there is virtually no maintenance. Electric motors are less complex than internal combustion engines (ICE) because they don't require multiple moving parts.

EVs do not require tuneups. EVs do not require oil changes, whereas ICE vehicles require regular tuneups and oil changes. That's right; there is no oil to change! Think of how many oil changes you do per year with your ICE vehicle, and do the math as to how much that costs. This is also an advantage that EVs have over hybrids because hybrids have two systems, the ICE system and the battery system.

A look at our 'frunk' which is where an engine for ICE vehicles would be. The pink and blue jugs are windshield washer fluid and the coolant reservoir for the battery.

The first major maintenance checkup is at 200 000 kilometres. Obviously you will still have to rotate tires and fill up windshield washer fluid and change the HEPA filter just as with an ICE vehicle. 

There is no engine. Therefore there are no pistons or driveshaft. The battery sits between the front and rear wheels. This has a couple of added advantages: one is that there is no hump in the interior on the floor of the vehicle, (a great place to tuck my 'boomer quilt'--thanks to Rose for that term--which I have for my legs because I am always colder than MacGyver, even in summer when he has the AC too high for my 'frail body' lol). The other is that this gives the car a low centre of gravity, which means they are more stable on the road. Because there is no engine, there are no fuel filters, no fuel pumps, no and no fuel tank. There are no sparkplugs, nor are there engine air filters. 

There is no antifreeze required because there is no radiator. There is no transmission, so no changing of transmission fluid is required. This means also that you don't have gears to shift either manually or automatically, which gives a very smooth acceleration too!

There are no differentials. I know this term because our neighbour just had to replace the rear diff in her Dodge truck to the tune of $4K.

There is no exhaust system as in muffler and catalytic converters, so there is no combustion nor are there exhaust gases.

There is no starter (our daughter Brianne just had to replace hers after six years) and no alternator and there are no belts of any kind. Since there are no timing belts, which are very expensive to change and need to be done on a semi-regular basis, this is yet another saving. 

If you missed it on Instagram, I made a truck! Dayna requested a Christmas Tree Farm quilt after seeing Brianne's Patchy Pumpkin Farm quilt I made her. This is the last item to check off on my #wipsbgone2023 list, to finish the flimsy

As I mentioned in a previous post, EVs have a different way of looking at braking, as in rarely using the brakes (again remember how your sewing machine slows right down when you let off the gas). So this means that there little maintenance required. It is not uncommon for an EV to go 500K kilometres between brake jobs. (thanks MacGyver - info from his EV forums - some Teslas have gone 700 000 km). Remember that not using the brakes but regenerating energy back into the battery.

So if there is none of this stuff, how does the car move forward? PCMag has a good explanation. Different makes have slightly different systems, but basically the battery sends an electrical impulse to either a drive unit (that's what our Ioniq 5 has)  that is connected to the wheels to make them move, or to electric motors connected to the wheels.

EVs use a very simple heat pump to condition (air or heat) the interior of your car. Because of this HVAC system, there is no heater core or air compressor for the AC, so there is no refrigerant to worry about. Moreover, there is no need to warm up your vehicle in the winter; the heat coming out of the vents is almost instantaneous. However, it is recommended, and we do it through our app, to warm up your battery in winter. An electrical current does this somehow, perhaps like your curling iron lol.

Another super-cool ‘out there’ aspect of EVs is that a lot of the maintenance required is done over the airwaves via an internet connection to the computer in your car. It’s like a giant phone on wheels or computerized sewing machine on wheels, ha! 

Interesting fact from MacGyver via fuel an EV converts 77% of the electricity in the battery to moving forward, whereas an ICE vehicle converts just 12-30%; the rest is wasted as heat. Because of this ICE cars are considered very inefficient.

Next time I will be discussing some myths around EVs. One great tip that even my own mum would often use if she came across something that seemed not to be true, was to go to and search there. Just today there was an explosion at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between Canada and the US that was first reported to be possibly an electric vehicle or a bomb. Yet the accompanying photo showed an engine with car parts strewn around!🙈 smh.... EVs do not have engines.


  1. Great explanation of it all. I’ve been following along. Now I understand better why my SIL wants to trade his 2 year old Niro plug in for a completely EV. I’m watching things. I have a 9 yo Jeep Cherokee with under 70K that is perfectly fine. I only need to change the oil once a year because I drive so little (and quilt so much). But I’d love all that new technology! Stephanie in Simcoe. (I can’t seem to log into my Google account to post, although I’m signed into Google on another tab!)

  2. This is really engaging material Sandra. Thank you.

  3. Great information...I am learning so much!

  4. Great information Sandra. Someday we'll live somewhere where we could charge an EV, not here in rural, rural ID. I have a Prius, not an EV, but I love it still.

  5. Thanks again, Sandra, for the informative EV information. Honestly, it makes me want to trade my ICE in right this minute. I've got time - I'm going to hunt around for EV prices, etc. My hybrid is only a 2021 but your articles give me the itch. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne P.S. I stand up for humanity, too. Another great article.

  6. I love these posts on EVs. They are so informative and well written.