Climate change is a trending topic on the world stage. Stakeholders are looking for newer, greener technologies to reduce harmful emissions released on the planet. It’s an open secret that motor vehicles are a significant source of toxic emissions that result in the increased greenhouse effect.
To curb this, electric vehicles (EVs) which have zero emissions are now available on the market. They typically run on rechargeable batteries and eliminate the need for gas or diesel for engine combustion.
Electric vehicles don’t come cheap. However, they have fewer components than regular cars, which translates to fewer components subject to malfunction.
Below are simple measures to afford your electric model the best opportunity to reach its golden years.
Do Not Charge It to Maximum Capacity
The batteries in smartphones only last for a few years because they are constantly pushed to their utmost capacity by getting fully charged and drained. This often happens in a repeated cycle. The same applies to the battery of your electric car.
They can last for a decade with proper care. In fact, many manufacturers offer battery warranties for up to 10 years or 150,000 miles. While charging to 100 percent capacity may give you an extended range for that single charge, it degrades the lithium battery over time.
The battery won’t stop working immediately. Instead, it will become less efficient over time by not storing adequate charges. In the end, you will need to replace it. A good rule of thumb is to charge the battery up to 80 percent capacity. For example, the Nissan LEAF electric car has an extended battery life setting that notifies the vehicle to halt charging at 80 percent. While this lowers the available range, it prolongs the natural life of your battery pack. Moreover, not charging to full capacity spares room to preserve energy derived from regenerative braking.
Maximize Regenerative Braking
Whenever possible, make use of your EV’s regenerative braking function when coming to a stop or slowing down. Electric cars have electric motors that rotate the wheels. It is energy derived from the battery that rotates these electric motors. Upon slowing down, the motors send additional energy back to the car’s battery.
So, regenerative braking recoups some energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat in a regular car. With some models, the driver can choose the amount of regenerative braking to apply, often by shifting the gearshift lever while decelerating.
The regenerative system will not stop your car in every situation. This explains why battery-powered cars have conventional hydraulic brakes as well. But the decisive factor is that by applying the maximum regenerative braking function while decelerating, the brakes don’t function as aggressively. As a result, this significantly reduces the overall need for brake malfunction and replacement.
Electric cars weigh more compared to their gas or diesel counterparts. It is the battery pack that accounts for this additional weight. While batteries help with creating zero emissions, they are not so friendly to your tires. Due to their heavier weight, they exert more pressure and load on the tires, causing them to burn out faster.
Here are some maintenance tips to help you prolong the life of your tires:
- Don’t speed up too abruptly. This type of harsh action can cause damage to your tires. Instead, always speed up more softly.
- Because wear and tear are common inside the tire’s rim, you should inspect these areas more often. A proper wheel alignment will also enhance the lifespan of your tires.
- Make sure your tires are well inflated as per the size and weight of your EV.
You can say goodbye to oil changes when you own an electric vehicle. However, other types of fluids are crucial to any EV owner. They serve to lubricate the electric motors when the EV is moving. Electric cars usually have three essential fluids that need to be checked periodically for routine top-ups:
- Brake fluid
- Coolant fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
It’s good practice to schedule an EV check-up at least once annually. If you cover over 14,000 miles per year, consider a bi-annual EV assessment. This way, you can be sure no fluid shortage is inappropriately draining your car’s battery life, which will help prolong the lifespan of your EV.
The Bottom Line
By switching to an electric car, you can forget having to worry about certain things. An often-overlooked aspect of this transition is the fluids: Gear oils, engine oils, and transmission fluids that regular cars consume in massive amounts are no longer required for battery-powered vehicles.
Yes, electric vehicles require less maintenance, but that should not equate to neglect. Observing the abovementioned measures is the best way to get the most out of your electric car. After all, you want your EV to last for a long time, bearing in mind you spent a hefty sum on buying it.