There are plenty of things drivers can do to minimise the risk of breakdowns and if you have a regular, petrol or diesel car, you might know enough about what’s under the bonnet to fix a minor problem in the event of a problem – and even if you don’t, you know that help is only a phone call away.
One of the worries for drivers considering an electric car is that if it breaks down, they’ll be stuck at the side of the road unable to find a mechanic that can deal with whatever caused the car to stop working.
Fortunately, as electric cars have become more popular, the number of mechanics who can work on them has increased.
Electric vehicles are also a lot less likely to go wrong than traditional vehicles and they require less maintenance from owners as there’s no oil or sparkplugs to change.
If your electric car won’t start and you’re worried that your usual mechanic won’t have a clue how to fix it, you can always return to the dealer where you bought it and if they can’t help, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction or give you a list of mechanics who will be able to get your car back on the road.
What can go wrong with an electric car?
A petrol or diesel motor, has hundreds of moving parts that require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order, whereas the motor in an electric car is a lot simpler. It only contains a handful of moving parts and when one of those goes wrong – it’s relatively easy to replace.
The suspension on your electric car can also cause problems as there are several components that can be subject to wear and tear. Even if you don’t have a problem, you may find you need to replace the tie rods, ball joints, or the shock absorbers to prevent trouble further down the line. However, this is not something that’s limited to electric vehicles and routine maintenance is advised, no matter what vehicle you own.
Inside the vehicle you can also experience similar problems you’d get with your regular vehicle – buttons break, the air con can stop working and the electric windows or seat adjusters can go wrong.
The biggest difference between a normal vehicle and an electric car is the battery. The complex system of power cells that electric cars use for power don’t need regular maintenance and are fairly reliable, but when they go wrong it can be difficult to fix and can end up costing a lot of money.
As with any battery-operated device such as a phone or laptop, the older it gets, the less charge the battery can hold. This means shorter journeys for an electric car, which is not ideal.
If you’re considering buying an electric car, the cost of a replacement battery is something you should take into consideration. It’s possible to pick up second-hand batteries, but they will have a shorter life and hold less charge than a new battery.