EV Service Costs Headache for Dealers

A study has shown that EV owners are enjoying a huge dividend on service cost savings, presenting fresh challenges to dealers who will lose out against ICE vehicle revenues.

Research by automotive data specialist cap hpi suggests on average service and maintenance costs are 23% lower for EVs than gasoline vehicles over three years and 60,000 miles. The gap widens for smaller vehicles. A Renault Zoe will cost £1,100 ($1,445) to maintain over three years while a Vauxhall Corsa 1.0T 90 Design costs £1,497 ($1,967), an increase of 35.7%.

Britain’s best-selling electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf costs £1,197 ($1,572) to maintain over three years, 19% lower than the Volkswagen Golf 1.0TSI 110 SE at £1,429 ($1,877). However, the study does not take into account lifecycle costs such as residual values which remain worse for EVs than all but diesel cars suffering the Dieselgate effect among used car buyers.

While EV motorists are set to benefit from lower running costs, the changing economics of electric vehicles will challenge motor dealers who rely on service revenue as an important part of their turnover.

Chris Plumb, senior valuations editor at cap hpi said: “An electric car motor has far fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel engine. They also benefit from gentler driving styles that lead to lower wear and tear of brakes and tires. While the purchase price is often higher at the moment, but coming down all the time, drivers will find an EV much cheaper to run with significantly lower costs to charge rather than visit the pump and lower maintenance costs.”

The number of electric vehicles on Britain’s roads has risen 128% since 2015, according to research by cap hpi. The study compared April 2018 to April 2015 and found there are 21,019 more electric vehicles.

Overall, the numbers are still small with only 37,483 electric vehicles on the road today. The figures do not account for vehicles that have been scrapped or exported and include all types of vehicle.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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