Electric Vehicle Service Will Cost Less Than Gas-Powered: Here’s Why

This latest study confirms what most of us expected; that electric vehicle service will cost far less than gas-powered vehicles. After three years, the costs are one-third of those for an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Complexity and the number of components are drastically reduced for an electric vehicle. But there is more than that. 

Analytics company We Predict used Deepview True Cost data to crunch the numbers. It found that after the first year it costs more to maintain an EV. But after three years, the numbers change places, with the EV much cheaper. 

“Maintaining an electric vehicle over the medium-to-long term is significantly cheaper”

Vehicle service
Vehicle service with technician | Getty

“The data shows that maintenance costs are lower and maintaining an electric engine over the medium-to-long term is significantly cheaper and less fraught with larger repairs than ICE engines,” We Predict CEO James Davies told Automotive News.

After the first year, an owner spends roughly $300 for service. ICE owners spend just under $200 that first year. But after three years, the ICE vehicle jumps to $750 while the EV is just over $500. 

“Cost of labor on an electric vehicle can be two or three times higher than an ICE vehicle at the moment”

Vehicle service
Vehicle service with technician | Getty

“The average cost of labor on an EV can be two or three times higher than an ICE vehicle at the moment because it takes longer to figure out what the problem is, and then longer to solve it,” Davies said. “But you know, once technicians have figured these things out, and that information gets disseminated and spread out to all of the other service techs, we would expect to see those labor costs come down.”

Labor costs rose from $160 in 2016, to $200 for 2018, the last year numbers were available. Recall campaigns have also cost manufacturers more. For these same years costs increased from $84 to $105. 

We Predict looked at 65 million repair orders

Vehicle service
Vehicle service with technician | Getty

All of these calculations are based on average costs for over 13 million EVs and ICE vehicles. We Predict looked at 65 million repair orders that saw $7.7 billion in parts and components, and $9.5 billion in labor costs. It also determined which vehicle brands fared better in overall costs.

For premium brands, Acura came out on top with service and warranty costs at $600 for the first three years. Lincoln was second with $879 in costs, and Genesis ranked third at $1,181 for three years. For non-premium brands, Kia lead with $369 after three years. Hyundai wasn’t far behind at $381, while Dodge was third with $420 in costs. 

It found that costs altogether went from $202 to over $5,000, which is quite a wide range. This was for both ICE and EV cars and trucks.

RELATED: 3 Things You Must Consider Before Buying an EV