From Range to Reliability: A Deep Dive into Electric Cars
It’s a question that’s been buzzing around the UK streets for a while now: Just how reliable are electric cars? With the transition towards a greener environment, many are looking to go electric or hybrid as a more sustainable solution. Elite Garages is here to shed some light on the topic, giving you a comprehensive insight into the world of EVs.
The Rise of Electric Cars
It’s no secret that EVs have grown tremendously in popularity over the years. They’re seen as the future of sustainable travel, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. However, with the rise in their usage comes a pertinent question: Are electric vehicles reliable?
The short answer is yes: electric cars are reliable. Manufacturers have made significant progress in developing battery and drivetrain technology over the past few years, making EVs a viable option for general use. Most can now go hundreds of miles on a single charge, giving drivers confidence when it comes to taking long trips.
Maintenance and Reliability
When it comes to maintenance, electric cars require very little as they don’t have traditional combustion engines, which contain more moving parts and that means more possibilities of breakdowns and wear-and-tear. EVs are also equipped with regenerative braking systems which help to reduce brake pad and rotor wear, making for a more efficient ride.
The batteries are another key component to consider when it comes to reliability. Batteries of EVs now come with warranties that last upwards of 8 years or 100,000 miles, offering much more peace of mind than you’d get from an internal combustion engine. And while the cost of replacement batteries can be quite high, the cost of petrol or diesel to power a traditional car over the same distance would actually be higher.
Vehicle Lifespan & Warranty Considerations
As we mentioned, electric vehicles come with long-term warranties and battery guarantees. Most manufacturers provide a minimum of 3 years or 36,000 miles worth of coverage, which can be extended depending on the brand. This helps to ensure that any faults are quickly identified and fixed during this period.
Electric cars also have significantly longer lifespans than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. With proper maintenance, an EV can last up to two times longer than its ICE counterparts. This means more bang for your buck – you’ll get a higher value from the vehicle over time rather than needing to upgrade after only a few years of ownership.
The Simplicity and Reliability of Electric Cars
- Fewer Moving Parts: Unlike their petrol and diesel counterparts, EVs operate primarily with a battery and a motor. This means there are fewer components that can malfunction, making them potentially more reliable.
- Reduced Maintenance: The straightforward battery-motor system in electric cars usually demands less frequent maintenance, giving them an edge in long-term upkeep costs.
- Regenerative Braking: A unique feature found in all EVs, regenerative braking reduces wear on the brake pads, further enhancing the vehicle’s lifespan.
Are All Electric Cars Created Equal?
Reliability does vary depending on the make and model. For instance, a 2021 What Car? survey found that the Nissan Leaf (2011-2018) boasted a high reliability rating of 98.6%. Such surveys highlight the importance of researching specific models when considering an EV purchase.
What is the most common problem with electric cars?
Electric cars, like all vehicles, come with their own set of challenges. However, it’s essential to differentiate between problems stemming from early-stage EV models and issues pertinent to the more modern, matured electric vehicles. Over the years, the technology and manufacturing practices have significantly improved. Still, some issues persist:
Limited Range and Range Anxiety
One of the most common concerns associated with electric vehicles (EVs) is range anxiety, the fear that the battery will deplete before reaching a charging station or the destination. Even though the average daily distance driven by most individuals is within the capacity of most modern EVs, long trips can still be a concern, especially if rapid charging infrastructure is lacking in certain regions.
While the number of public charging points is increasing, there’s still a need for more widespread and consistent charging infrastructure. In some areas, particularly rural ones, finding a charging point can be a challenge.
Like all batteries, those in electric cars have a finite lifespan. Over time, the total capacity of the battery can decrease, which can reduce the vehicle’s range. Most manufacturers offer warranties for their batteries, typically around 8 years or more, but replacing a battery after its warranty can be an expensive proposition.
Higher Upfront Cost
Even though prices have been steadily decreasing, the initial cost of purchasing an EV can still be higher than that of a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle. While total cost of ownership might be lower for an EV due to reduced maintenance and fuel costs, the upfront price can be a deterrent for some buyers.
Limited Models and Choices
While the selection is continuously growing, there may still be limited options in certain vehicle categories or specifications compared to traditional vehicles.
However, it’s crucial to note that the automotive industry is rapidly addressing these issues. Battery technology is improving, the charging infrastructure is expanding, and more manufacturers are entering the EV market, offering a wider variety of models.
Tackling the Range Dilemma
One concern many potential EV owners have is the vehicle’s range. How far can they go on a single charge? Although top models can achieve distances of up to 300 miles, the average EV range currently stands at 213 miles. When you consider that the average UK car journey in 2019 was only 8.6 miles, the EV’s range seems more than sufficient for daily usage.
Better Batteries and Special Tyres
Advancements in battery technology not only address range concerns but also boost the overall reliability of electric cars. Moreover, specific EV tyres have been developed to handle the added weight from the battery packs, as well as the impressive torque and acceleration electric cars can offer. At Elite Garages, we proudly provide these specialised EV tyres, ensuring your vehicle is equipped to deliver optimal performance.
Maximising Your EV’s Lifespan
If you’re an EV owner or considering becoming one, here are some tips to ensure your vehicle lasts as long as possible:
- Regular Service: Just like any other car, regular check-ups are essential. Remember, Elite Garages can service electric vehicles, hybrids, petrol, and diesel models.
- Proper Tyre Maintenance: Ensure that your EV tyres are always in prime condition. Not only does this ensure safety, but it also optimises battery usage.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Batteries can be sensitive. If possible, park in shaded or covered areas during hot days and consider pre-conditioning your battery in colder climates.
Conclusion: Electric Reliability
Electric cars are a reliable option for everyday transportation. Their simple battery-motor setup requires fewer maintenance check-ups and the long-term warranties on batteries mean you can enjoy your EV with confidence. Moreover, specialised tyres have been developed to help EVs cope better with torque and acceleration. With the right maintenance, an electric vehicle can last up to twice as long as a traditional petrol or diesel car.
At Elite Garages, our team of certified technicians are here to help ensure that your EV continues running reliably for many years to come. So if you’re looking for an experienced and reliable service centre for your electric car, book a service at your nearest branch!
Click the + to read any answer or visit our most FAQ page to review the most frequently asked questions across all our Elite Locations.
If you click on a ‘Category’ or ‘Tag’ link, the page will ‘refresh’ and reload the page showing the top of the page first, you’ll then just need to scroll down to the FAQ section to see the results for the Category or Tag you selected.
Electric car motors are built to last a very long time, often outlasting the other components of the vehicle. While there are always outliers and individual cases, many electric vehicle owners can expect their car’s motor to last as long as, if not longer than, the lifespan of the car itself. Typically, electric vehicle batteries start showing reduced capacity after 8 to 10 years (or sometimes longer), depending on usage, charging habits, and technology.
The cost of wallboxes can vary depending on the brand, typically ranging from £600 to £1,000* for a 7kW model. While more advanced wallboxes with built-in screens may come at a higher price, many buyers prefer simpler units that offer smartphone app control for added convenience.
Higher-speed wallboxes, capable of delivering up to 22kW, are available. However, accessing these speeds requires a substantial investment in a three-phase power supply. The cost of obtaining a three-phase connection can reach into the thousands, and that’s without factoring in the purchase of the wallbox itself.
* Pricing is an estimate and may vary. For more accurate and up to date pricing, contact the energy provider
Many drivers choose to charge their electric cars overnight, ensuring a full battery each morning. The average domestic electricity rate in the UK is approximately 32p per kWh. Charging a 60kWh electric car to its full capacity will cost around £17 (depending on your location) and provide an estimated range of 200 miles.
*Pricing is an estimate as of June 2023. For accurate pricing, contact the energy provider