Electric vehicles are different from gasoline-powered vehicles in many ways. However, mainstream debates tend to focus on only a few of those differences, such as the initial cost of electric vehicles, their range, and the fuel efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles.
For example, they rarely factor in the reliability or durability of electric vehicles. This may be due to the fact that the main motive electrification is the reduction of petroleum usage. And, of course, opponents of electric vehicles don’t like to mention their many other positive qualities.
The Tesla Model S actually requires little to no maintenance compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, due to the fact that it has very few mechanical parts that can malfunction. The only parts that require regular replacement are windshield wipers and tires. Brake pads will require replacement as well, but not nearly as often as those in gasoline-powered vehicles, since they are used much less thanks to regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking takes over some of the braking work, giving the brake pads a… break, and it does so without additional generators.
An electric propulsion system’s mechanical parts consist of the propulsion motor, the fans in the speed controller, radiator fans, a coolant pump (if there is a liquid cooling system), and that’s it.
But wait, don’t electric vehicles require more electronics? They actually require fewer electronics than gasoline-powered vehicles, as a typical electric propulsion system contains the following semiconductor electronics:
- Speed controller.
- Battery management system.
- Electrical, non-semiconductor parts include coolant pumps and fans.
Gasoline propulsion systems contain a longer list of them, including, but not limited to:
- Electronic actuators to adjust various valves.
- Ignition system.
- Throttle controls.
- Turbochargers (only in some models).
- Engine control unit.
- Transmission control unit.
- Oxygen sensor.
- Coolant pump.
- Fuel pump.
- Oil pump.
- Engine fan.
- Transmission oil cooler pump (only in some models).
Mechanical parts in gas propulsion systems which can fail include, but are not limited to:
- Spark plugs.
- Connecting Rod.
- Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
- Belt and pulley systems for driving the alternator, engine fan, and other parts.
Source: Clean Technica. Reproduced with permission.