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Consumer Reports analysis finds EV owners spending half as much on maintenance compared to owners of gas-powered vehicles

A new analysis by Consumer Reports finds that owners of plug-in electric vehicles are spending half as much on maintenance and repair as the owners of similar gas-powered vehicles.

Consumer Reports (CR) analyzed its 2019 and 2020 reliability survey data for many thousands of electric and gas-powered vehicles, and found that drivers of electric vehicles are saving an average of 50% on maintenance and repair over the life of a vehicle compared to owners of gas-powered vehicles.


Average maintenance/repair costs over vehicle lifetime
$0.03/mile $0.03/mile $0.06/mile

According to CR’s experts, simpler powertrains in EVs and no need for oil changes are likely reasons for the lower costs.

Electrics just don’t need as much maintenance as gas-powered cars, and even though repairs won’t necessarily be less expensive, they are less frequently needed. In addition to being easier and cheaper to maintain, many EVs deliver better acceleration compared to gas-powered vehicles, and don’t pump harmful pollution into our air.

—Gabe Shenhar, associate director of CR’s Auto Test Center

These findings on maintenance and repair costs are part of an upcoming white paper by Consumer Reports that compares costs of ownership for electric and gas-powered vehicles. The full white paper will be published in the coming weeks. For this report, ‘vehicle lifetime’ was defined as 200,000 miles.

In addition to financial savings, electric vehicles produce, on average, 60% less greenhouse gas emissions than oil and gas-powered vehicles, according to a recent analysis by Consumer Reports.



'According to CR’s experts, simpler powertrains in EVs and no need for oil changes are likely reasons for the lower costs.'

!! The most complex powertrain, hybrid, matches BEVs for low maintenance costs, so that conclusion is weird.

In my view it is not entirely true, as ICE and batteries seem to complement each other well, with each doing the jobs the other struggles on, although the simplicity of the BEV power train outperforms straight ICE

Complexity can be worth it.

Albert E Short

Davemart is right about the PHEV being complex (both types of motor) but less stressful on the ICE. I have the Honda Clarity and it shows you when which components are on . The battery gives you the famous "all the torque at once" impulse for acceleration and lets the Atkinson cycle chug away in its "comfort zone" most of the time it is needed. The electric motor chirps the tires when you pull out of a parking lot. The ICE leads a pretty cozy life in a PHEV, the most likely cause of the maintenance cost.

Seph Harrison

I can't say I'm really suprised. A few months ago I shared an article on my Flipboard about a small town in California that had added a Tesla to their police fleet. They originally projected break even at 24mos, but the reduced maintenance led them to change that figure to 19mos, so seeing similar results from a larger study merely confirms what they found.
Selling auto parts, I have to say I'm not surprised once you consider how many parts wear out, from numerous sensors, some of which are hideously expensive to belts, hoses, timing belts (that part isn't expensive, but wait until you see the labor), and on and on.

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