Maintenance and Safety Of Hybrid and Plug-In Electric Vehicles​​​​​​​

Did you know that research from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shows that traditional gas-burning cars may be contributing to up to 75 percent of the earth’s total carbon monoxide emissions and one-third of total air pollution? This shocking statistic is why governments and citizens across the world are making the push for electric vehicles.

Whether you’re in the market for a new hybrid or electric vehicle or have recently purchased one, the maintenance of these types of vehicles is quite different than a traditional car.  In this overview, we’ll provide you with important tips to help you get started maintaining your hybrid or electric vehicle.

Electric Vehicles vs. Hybrid Vehicles

Understanding the difference between the available types of electric vehicles is important to understanding maintenance and safety protocols for each. An EV, also known as an electric vehicle, is a fully electric car that gets all of its power from batteries that are rechargeable. An HEV is a hybrid electric vehicle, meaning it can run on both an internal combustion engine and an electric battery.

Not sure which one would best suit your needs and budget? Check out this informative blog which explores which option is best for the environment.

Maintenance of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Believe it or not, electric and hybrid vehicles require far less maintenance than traditional cars. They are often much simpler than the internal combustion engines in standard cars because they have fewer parts, which are in turn smaller and lighter than their combustion engine counterparts. The motors in an electric vehicle do not require regular gas-filter changes, oil changes, spark plug replacements or any other of the regular maintenance items you have to worry about with fuel-powered vehicles.

Though they require less maintenance, regular maintenance in some form is still needed to maintain your car in tip-top shape. Many manufacturers will suggest a regularly scheduled maintenance time according to each vehicle’s unique make and model as well as your daily driving habits.

Are you looking to perform some maintenance yourself? Some vehicles will allow for the use of an OBD reader to help you diagnose potential problems with your vehicle. If you’re in the market for the best OBD2 scanner, check out OBD Station today for all your needs!

Electric vehicles also require fewer fluids overall. But, you will still need to stay on top of checking windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid, this is something your mechanic can also help you track and develop a maintenance schedule for. Electric vehicles may also require coolant and therefore, coolant system flushes may be needed. Check your manual to learn about the specific needs of your electric vehicle model.

Tire maintenance will be quite similar to a standard car. Regular tire rotations help the tires wear smoothly and evenly. Make sure you take your EV in for regular tire inspections and rotations, the same way you would for a standard vehicle.

Battery Precautions

You’ll want to take good care of the battery as part of your electric vehicle. This is because it is the single most expensive and important component of the car. Taking good care of your battery is easy with a few simple considerations:

  • Be mindful of the temperature at which your battery is stored. Batteries do not like the extreme summer temperature as it can damage the battery. When possible, avoid leaving the battery in super warm places. During the winter, putting your car in a garage when possible is recommended as extreme cold temperatures can reduce the range of your battery.
  • Keep the battery between 20 and 80 percent charge. Over or repeated charging will cause the battery to degrade. If you’re going on a long trip where you need a maximum charge, you can charge the battery to 100 percent but this should not be done regularly.

Safety of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Although many electric vehicles are loaded with the latest technologies to help assist drivers and ensure their safety, all regular safety driving regulations still must be followed. Some of the new technologies available in both these vehicles to promote safety include:

  • Lane-departure warning signals when the car senses you may be shifting or drifting out of the lanes of a given lane.
  • Forward Collision Warnings can help you slow down in the event you’re close to colliding with another vehicle ahead of you.
  • Blind Spot Warnings can help the driver, especially in right-side blind spots, move lanes safely.
  • Cameras help for all-around assistance with many types of parking, whether it’s a normal spot or parallel parking on a very busy city road.
  • High Beam Technology can help detect when more lighting is needed while lowering beam lighting when another car is approaching (to avoid blinding the other drivers on the road).

When purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle, the best maintenance and safety advice will come straight from the manufacturer. For guidance that pertains to your specific model, always be sure to check the manual or check with the dealer the vehicle was purchased from. Happy driving!