Gas cars have had a great run, but their age is coming to an end. However quickly or slowly the changeover happens, every year more people are buying battery powered electric cars instead of combustion powered models, and one major reason is that electric cars have far fewer parts. This means maintaining and repairing electric cars can be significantly cheaper in the long run.
If you’re gearing up to make the switch from gas to electric and you haven't quite made up your mind, consider this—a typical electric car has about 200 parts. A typical gas car has at least 1,000.
That's 800 fewer parts that can wear out in an electric car. 800 fewer pieces that cost you money and time to replace. 800 fewer things that can go wrong, endangering you or your passengers.
When you add it all up, that difference amounts to major potential savings, especially if you like to keep your vehicles on the road for as many years as possible.
Electric Cars Need Fewer Filters and Fluids
Internal combustion engines have hundreds of distinct mechanical elements to control the explosive process they rely on for energy. Electric motors can have as few as just three components.
As a result, electric engines have no need for air, fuel, and oil filters, spark plugs, and exhaust components like mufflers. They use fewer fluids that require flushing and replacement, like oils designed to lubricate transmissions.
They Don't Have to Move Fuel Around
Without a liquid fuel system, you don't need to worry about pumps and injectors. You also don’t need sensors to monitor things like oxygen in exhaust. In fact, you don't even need a tailpipe!
They're Easier to Cool
Since they don't burn gas for energy, electric cars take fewer components to keep cool. That means you can dispense with many elements of traditional radiators, including assorted belts, hoses and pipes that degrade and fail over time. Specifically, timing belts are no longer necessary, since there's no need to control opening and closing engine valves.
They Have Better Batteries
Electric cars run on batteries—arguably their most important component! These power packs are different, though, from the models we're used to working with in gas vehicles. Electric vehicles use rechargeable batteries, usually lithium ion, lead acid, or nickel metal hydride (NiMH).
Because they're so critical to the whole operation, batteries are the one part of electric cars that are expensive to replace. The amount of money you're saving in other areas will more than make up for this over the years, however, and batteries, unlike gas engines, are currently getting cheaper and more durable every year.
Without traditional car batteries in the mix, you don’t have to worry about your alternator going out, because you don’t need one! And without that alternator, you don’t need the serpentine belt that drives it either.
They Don't Need a Gearbox
Specific designs differ, but electric cars can generally deliver powerful torque much more directly and efficiently to wheels, allowing for both high acceleration rates and zippy top speeds. You won’t be needing that clutch either—a huge cost saver in vehicles on the road for ten years or more.
They Brake Differently
Electric cars use regenerative braking, recapturing the energy from slowdowns and stops using their electric motors. This means you can start keeping almost all the money you would otherwise have been forced to drop over the years repairing and replacing brake pads and rotors.
They Need Far Less Repeated Maintenance
With your upgraded electric engine, you can almost entirely bid a fond farewell to oil changes, transmission fluid changes, transmission adjustments, radiator flushes, and general tune ups. You won’t have to maintain an exhaust system either, so scratch the muffler and catalytic converter. There are still things to maintain in electric cars, just not nearly as many. And all these maintenance savings are before you even factor in the price of gas!
The bottom line is that electric vehicles are steadily becoming cheaper to own than the gas cars of the old days. Whether you've made the change to battery powered driving already, or you plan to do so in the next few years, your electric car will ultimately save you a significant amount of time and money.
If you're in the mood to see what's out there on the market, here are some of our favorite models from 2019!