EV Maintenance Is Cheap but Replacing Tires Can Get Pricey

If you’re shopping for an electric vehicle (EV), then chances are that you’ve researched its maintenance costs. The good news is that the overall maintenance for an EV is far cheaper than its gas-powered counterpart. But the bad news is that you’ll likely go through tires more frequently, which can get expensive throughout the life of the car.

EV tires can wear out more often than conventional tires

Rear angle view of the new 2023 Nissan LEAF EV, one of the cheapest new electric vehicle you can buy
2023 Nissan LEAF | Nissan News

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While conventional wisdom may have you believing that EVs are relatively maintenance-free, they are not. Don’t get us wrong, you don’t need to get the car’s oil changed or adhere to any strict service intervals, but there are some minor things to take care of. Wiper blades are one thing and a cabin filter is another, however, the largest maintenance expense could be the tires.

One EV owner at Forbes reported that the biggest “doozy” in caring for his EV after 3.5 years of ownership was needing new tires at around 28,000 miles. For reference, most tires should last around six years, according to NerdWallet. However, your mileage can vary greatly depending on the tire type, how much you drive, type of vehicle, etc.

Either way, having to replace the tires at 28,000 is rather soon. Here are some factors as to why EV tires wear out faster than others:

  • EVs are heavier than their gas-powered counterparts. This heavier weight necessitates tires with a higher weight rating and they will end up wearing out faster.
  • You have to purchase energy-efficient tires that are specific to the EV in order to get the best range.
  • EVs produce instant torque upon accelerating. This instantaneous response can lead to increased wear at a more rapid rate.

Tire rotations are important to get the most out of your EVs tires

Using an upside down penny to measure the depth of a tire's tread
Using a penny to measure tread depth | Robert Duffer/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Considering the fact that EV tires need to be replaced more frequently, proper maintenance is key. This means rotating the tires every six months or 7,500 miles and visually inspecting them once a month. Considering the tires are the only parts of the car that physically connect it to the road, it’s important to keep a close eye on them.

How much do EV tires cost to replace?

Rear angle view of blue 2022 Tesla Model 3, which was recently added to the Texas police force
2022 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

The cost to replace the tires on an EV depends on the type of electric vehicle you drive. Taking a look at the list from Car Talk, some EVs require ultra-high performance summer tires while others can be equipped with grand touring all-season rubber. That means that tires can cost anywhere from $150 to over $200 each.

That’s actually on par with some higher-end luxury or sports cars, but if you have to replace them sooner, then the cost can sting a little. If you do plan to purchase an EV, it’s important to consider the cost of the tires during the time that you have the vehicle.

While there’s no magic mystery when it comes to replacing them or maintaining them compared to gas-powered cars, the frequency in which you need to replace them can get pricey.

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