Does the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Need Oil Changes?

Making the switch from a standard gasoline-powered car can be intimidating, especially when you skip over hybrid options and jump right into the deep end with an all-electric option. The one thing that confuses many potential electric car owners is that maintenance on an electric car is so much more different than what you’ve come to expect from a combustion engine, so electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt require different care instructions than options like the behemoth 8.3-liter V10 toting Dodge Viper. But when it comes to electric cars like the Chevrolet Bolt, do you still need to have the car’s oil changed?

Consulting the owner’s manual

The owner’s manual for the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt lists details on all of the maintenance that should be completed on the car, including the schedule of when things should be done. The Bolt is all-electric, with no hybrid options to get things confused, and with no engine under the hood, that also means that the car will never require an oil change. If that sounds like a dream come true to you, then maybe an electric car is what you’ve been missing out on.

A bright blue 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV on display
2020 Chevrolet All-Electric Bolt EV is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

Why standard engines have oil

The reason that electric cars don’t need oil changes is because they work using electric motors rather than combustion engines. Inside a combustion engine, there are a lot of moving, mechanical parts that are exposed to intense heat and friction. The oil inside of the engine keeps these parts lubricated, and because these same internals aren’t present inside of an electric motor, there is no reason for oil to be there. The logic is pretty simple: no oil, no oil changes.

View from behind of red Chevrolet Bolt electric car, with logo and California DMV clean air access okay decal visible
View from behind of red Chevrolet Bolt electric car, with logo and California DMV clean air access okay decal visible | Smith Collection, Gado, Getty Images

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To some people, that means the Chevy Bolt is lower maintenance

While there is still a lot of standard maintenance required for the Chevy Bolt, not needing an oil change is just one more thing to scribble off the list. This also means that, in theory, there are fewer mechanical parts of the car that undergo intense stress and break, but that doesn’t mean the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt is completely maintenance-free. Transmission fluid, brake fluid, and tire maintenance are still just as important for these spunky EVs.

A chevy bolt attached to a charging station parked on the side of the road
A Chevy Bolt owned by Revision Energy is plugged into a new charging station in front of City Hall in Portland | Gregory Rec, Portland Press Herald, Getty Images

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So, the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t need an oil change. In fact, it needs a lot less maintenance and different types of potential repairs than a standard gasoline-powered engine, and to some drivers, this convenience is enough to make them