Electric car breakdown costs almost three times higher than petrol and diesel vehicles

Electric cars: Driver reveals struggle in having vehicle serviced

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On average, breakdown costs for a petrol or diesel car were £221 per incident – excluding accidents – compared with £596 for an electric vehicle. Based on analysis of more than 2,500 EVs over four and a half years, it was found that the number of breakdowns was also higher for a plug-in vehicle.

There were 3.1 incidents for an EV compared with 1.9 incidents for a car with an internal combustion engine.

Despite this, maintenance and repair costs for electric vehicles are, on average, around 27 percent lower than that of a petrol or diesel car.

The data, collected by Total Motion, monitored reliability, downtime costs and breakdown frequency, comparing EVs with ICE cars on a number of key areas based on 36 months of driving or 75,000 miles.

This was dependent on fleet insurance costs, the number of breakdowns, downtime, the availability of parts and repair times.

Simon Hill, Total Motion director, commented on the data, saying it may be too early for fleets to switch to EVs.

He added: “Whilst the clamour for EV vehicles is gathering momentum, particularly with generous company car tax breaks and the 2030 deadline for ceasing production of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK, we decided to carry out this research on behalf of our fleet customers.

“The findings of the study lead us to conclude that the transition to EV for many fleets is being done far too early, and that this will have significant cost and operational implications.

“Our long-term view is that ICE will continue to reduce in volume and EV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles will continue to increase,” he told Fleet News.

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Mr Hill also said hydrogen or hydrogen plug-in vehicles could become “challengers” to electric vehicles within 15 to 20 years.

In terms of insurance, Total Motion found insuring an EV is approximately 19 percent higher than that of an ICE equivalent.

In terms of how many days the vehicle was off the road including accidents, EVs had an average of 15.3 days off the road, compared to just 2.8 for a petrol or diesel vehicle.

This comes as a renewed focus is being placed onto vehicle maintenance and MOTs after reports surfaced detailing the Government’s plan to switch to biennial testing.

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As a way to help drivers during the cost of living crisis, Grant Shapps and Boris Johnson proposed changing laws to ease pressures, including extending MOT times.

This has been met with criticism, however, with many saying it will make roads more unsafe.

Last year, of the 30.25 million Class 3 and 4 MOTs conducted in the UK, nearly a third of vehicles failed their MOT first time.

By relaxing the MOT interval to every two years, up to 2.57 million cars and vans will be on the roads with dangerous defects.

Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, said: “The counterproductive measure will see motorists paying more for their car maintenance and increase danger on the roads.

“This could be genuinely dangerous for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and we would be seeing cars on the roads with serious defects. And when it comes to the cost of living, this proposal won’t help at all.

“Having your vehicle checked less regularly is akin to putting off visiting the doctor and just like with healthcare issues, things can get a lot worse if you delay.

“In the most part, shopping around means you won’t have to pay the full £54.85, the maximum a garage can charge for an MOT, and you could avoid a costly bill by nipping it in the bud early.”

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