The cost of EV servicing – stateside

Electric Car

The industry’s still learning how EV adoption will impact the aftermarket, but there’s data coming through from the US that could help

There’s strong growth in electrified vehicle sales, but the numbers remain relatively small. That makes it challenging to know what the future holds for the aftermarket when it comes to maintenance and repair.

But there is data coming out of the US that could help to demystify what the future holds as we shift from combustion to electric.

A report by analytics company We Predict has shone a very early light on the service and warranty costs for electrified vehicles. The Deepview True Cost Report measured money spent by owners and manufacturers of 2021 model-year vehicles after three months on the road and reveals which brands and models across 21 segments, including EVs, have the lowest service costs.

While the numbers need to be taken with a pinch of salt – it’s early days and from an entirely different market – it does begin to paint a picture of what to expect from the shift to electric vehicles.

James Davies, We Predict founder and CEO said: “Vehicles that have low service and warranty costs at three months tend to have low costs at three years. Our predictive analytics show that problems incurred in the first three months of service often indicate how the vehicle will perform over its lifecycle. Vehicle quality doesn’t get better with age.”

But when EVs are taken into account there is a change in the direction costs heads.

The cost of EV repair

The stand out figures in the report are that:

  • Service costs for EVs in the first three months average $123, more than twice as much as petrol vehicles ($53) and nearly triple those for hybrid vehicles ($46).
  • Parts and labour costs for EVs are considerably higher than petrol or hybrid vehicles. Parts costs for EVs average $65, compared with $28 for gasoline and $24 for hybrid vehicles. EV labour costs average $58, while petrol vehicles average $25 and hybrids $22.

The initial high cost of repair doesn’t stick though. A year after an electric vehicle's launch We Predict found that repair costs declined 27% and by the second year costs dropped by 65%.

Much of the initial work and cost could be attributed to EVs integrating new technologies and the market finding out how to diagnose issues. Once the knowledge is in place it then helps bring future prices down.

While the data is from the US it does highlight that having the skills in place to work on electrified vehicles will be hugely beneficial as the UK heads towards the government’s 2030 target for the end of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

Knowing how to diagnose and fix problems will help keep costs down for customers and hopefully give businesses the edge in a competitive market.

The move to electrified vehicles is full of many unknowns, especially for the aftermarket, but research is coming out that can help demystify what the future could hold.