Saturday, September 30, 2023

Do you think electric vehicles are easy to repair? Don’t be wrong


Electric vehicles are easy to repair – this is conventional thinking, which appears to be wrong, as per research conducted by a data firm. While the electric vehicle parts are not a costly issue for repair, but the labour costs are pretty high than the ICE-powered vehicles.

It is very common thinking among people that electric vehicles require only fewer repairs as compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles or hybrid vehicles. But, a study says, the concept is actually wrong, and repairing an electric vehicle is much difficult than it is thought to be.

There is no shame in the conventional thinking that electric vehicles need a lot less maintenance, as an electric motor has of an EV has only around 20 moving parts, as compared to nearly 2,000 moving parts in an internal combustion engine. However, a study by data firm WePredict claims that the myth is wrong. While talking about the electric vehicles’ fix rate and costs at car dealerships; The research firm’s Vice President – Automotive, Renee Stephens said that this is part of an industry learning curve.

Surprisingly, the research firm’s aggregated repair data indicates that currently the electric vehicles’ parts and labour cost is twice as much as other vehicles. As Stephens said, it is probably not surprising about electric vehicle parts repairing that can include complex electrical systems, but the labour cost is the tricky part. As it turns out, per-hour work for the electric vehicles drives up the cost of servicing the zero-emission vehicles, she said. This revelation comes contradicting the expectation of consumers and the trepidation of the automobile dealerships and workshops that the waves of electric vehicles that are hitting the global market will require fewer repairs, compared to their ICE counterparts.

As Stephens explained, “Electric vehicles require service technicians to spend much more time figuring out what is going wrong. They are on the phone more with the manufacturer. They are on more test drives.” She further added that the technicians typically write a brief report summarizing their repair orders. In the case of electric vehicles, what technicians write, can stretch on. “Those reports are paragraphs long, some 1,000 words or more,” Stephens further said.

However, she also points that this is part of an industry learning curve and the new generations of established electric vehicle models show far fewer issues than the older versions. She also expects that the repair costs for the electric vehicles will drop as newly introduced EVs are on the market longer and work-in-progress improvements are made for later generations. As per the study conducted by the research firm, electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf, which have been on the market for years, did pretty well on the ranking of vehicles with low service costs and needs. Stephens also added that electric vehicles that have been around for a while had issues, too, when they first came out, but it bodes well to see the improvements with later generations.

Issues with electric vehicles

Many of the electric vehicles face service issues around the electrical problem. A frequent issue is the EV’s charging capability. In major cases, either the vehicles are not charging to the levels they should or to the level the customer expects it to be. According to the research, the most serviced issues with electric vehicles involve the electronic controller, high-voltage battery, charger or cable and battery contact. The majority of these service issues happen in the first 90 days of electric vehicle ownership, which arise from owner complaints or manufacturer recalls or service bulletins.

Early costs are important

The early costs around the electric vehicle service issues are important, despite the vehicle manufacturers covering them with a free warranty and service period. These early costs around the service issues often indicate what’s to come in future. The future costs for repairing electric vehicles can go up to 15 times from the early repairing costs, burning the customers’ wallet at some point, claims the study. ” If a vehicle has early issues, it usually doesn’t age well,” claims Stephens.

Also Read: Bigger problem in India is not installing EV charging stations, but finding them: Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal, Charzer

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