Electric vehicles are generally cheaper to service than combustion engine cars, but how much does it cost to service an EV – or does it need to be serviced at all?
The topic came very much to the fore this week when BYD importer EV Direct released the servicing costs for its Atto 3 electric hatchback.
It’s therefore worthwhile taking a look at the whole gamut of electric vehicles available on the market and what is on offer in terms of servicing from various carmakers.
This graph below shows starting prices for each model, as well as total servicing prices, annual average costs, and cost per 10,000km. Some of these are based on pre-paid packages which might work out cheaper, assuming the driver prefers to go to the dealer’s service network.
Who can service an electric car?
Australian consumer law states the following with regard to servicing of vehicles:
“Any suggestion by manufacturers or dealers that vehicles need to be serviced at a licensed dealer to maintain the owner’s consumer guarantee rights is not correct1.”
However, it also goes on to state that:
“Note, if an independent repairer causes a defect, then that defect is unlikely to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and the consumer will need to seek a remedy from the independent repairer.”
So, buyer, and owner, beware. Just make sure whomever services the car is trained to work on an electric car.
How much do electric cars cost to service?
In the below graph, the cost per 10,000km is based on servicing intervals, which is typically based on time/distance – whichever comes first.
So, it’s worth keeping in mind that while cost per km may be low in some cases, owners may reach the time interval before this distance is driven.
Unsurprisingly, the Porsche Taycan is without a doubt the most expensive EV currently on the market to service and maintain according to Porsche’s prepaid packages. Whether that will be surpassed by the Mercedes-AMG EQS is yet to be seen. Both the EQA and EQC follow the Taycan in terms of total servicing costs, followed by the BMW iX.
In terms of servicing cost compared to asking price, the BYD Atto 3 is the highest to maintain according to figures released on Monday evening.
If we add the asking price of the Standard Range to servicing costs of $3,090, the total is $47,990. For the Extended Range Atto 3, the total is $50,990 (depending on which state the owner lives.)
Update: Since publishing this article, BYD importer EV Direct has released new reduced service pricing which totals $2,390 over eight years, plus the offer of one year free servicing for customers who ordered prior to the announcement. This means that the total cost of ownership (using $44,900 driveaway pricing, which may differ from state to state) is $47,290.
The MG ZS EV, by comparison, costs a total of $49,405 when its asking price and service costs are added together.
It’s probably worth keeping in mind also that the Atto 3 won out in terms of “bang for buck” when we looked at how much driving range each EV gets per dollar.
Which electric car costs the least to service?
The MG wins when it comes to lowest average servicing costs per month – until you look at models which get free servicing included. These include EVs from Genesis, Volvo, Polestar, Jaguar and Audi.
Tesla does not stipulate a service schedule, but recommends intervals for changing air and HEPA filters, tire rotations, balances and wheel alignments, as well as brake fluid test and air con services.
How much these tasks cost will depend on your chosen repairer, and we have heard figures such as $200 for an air filter change are not uncommon. Therefore, do not assume that Tesla is necessarily the cheapest to maintain.
Another running cost that is worth considering are tyre replacements. EVs with higher acceleration tend to wear through tyres faster, and larger or heavier vehicles will tend to require more expensive tyres.
Note, we’ve used the entry-level asking price for each EV model in question.
|Model||Starting Price||Service Total||Price + Total||Prepaid 3yrs||Prepaid 4yrs||Prepaid 5yrs||Prepaid
|Average cost per annum||Per 10,000km||Period (Yrs)||Intervals|
|Audi e-tron GT||$181,700||$0||$181,700||–||–||–||–||Free for 6 years/90,000km||6||20||30,000kms|
|Audi e-tron S||$165,600||$0||$165,600||–||–||–||–||Free for 6 years/90,000km||6||24||30,000kms|
|Genesis G80||$145,000||$0||$145,000||–||–||–||–||Free for 5 years/unlimited km||5||12||15,000kms|
|Jaguar I-Pace EV400||$142,580||$0||$142,580||–||–||–||–||Free for 5 years/200,000km||5||12||15,000kms|
|BMW iX||$135,900||$2,195||$138,095||–||$1,520||–||$2,195 (6 years/unlimited)||$366||–||6||12||–|
|Audi e-tron||$137,700||$0||$137,700||–||–||–||–||Free for 6 years/90,000km||6||24||30,000kms|
|BMW iX3||$114,900||$1,650||$116,550||–||$1,200||–||$1,650 (6 years/unlimited)||$275||–||6||12||–|
|Genesis GV60||$103,700||$0||$103,700||Free for 5 years/unlimited km||5||12||15,000kms|
|BMW i4||$99,900||$1,765||$101,665||–||$1,240||–||$1,765 (6 years/unlimited)||$294||–||6||12||–|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge||$76,990||$0||$76,990||–||–||–||–||Free for 3 years/100,000km||3||24||30,000kms|
|Lexus UX 300e||$74,000||$1,475||$75,475||–||–||–||–||$295||$197||5||12||15,000kms|
|Kia EV6||$72,590||$1,583||$74,173||$594||–||$1,089||$1,584 (7 years)||$226||$151||7||12||15,000kms|
|Tesla Model Y*||$72,300||–||$72,300||–||–||–||–||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5||$69,900||$1,684||$71,584||$660||$1,464||$1,684||$337||$220||5||12||15,000kms|
|Kia e-Niro||$65,300||$1,754||$67,054||$621||–||$1,187||$1,754 (7 years)||$250||$233||7||12||15,000kms|
|Tesla Model 3*||$65,500||–||$65,500||–||–||–||–||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Polestar 2||$63,900||$0||$63,900||–||–||–||–||Free for 5 years/100,000km||5||24||30,000kms|
|Mini Cooper SE||$55,650||$1,280||$56,930||–||$940||–||$1,280 (6 years)||$213||$133||6||12||15,000kms|
|Hyundai Kona Electric||$54,500||$1,100||$55,600||$540||$1,265||$1,445||–||$237||$146||5||12||15,000kms|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||$49,970||$1,400||$51,370||$480||$1,240||$1,400||–||$280||$186||5||12||15,000kms|
|MG ZS EV||$46,990||$2,415||$49,405||–||–||–||–||$172||$172||14||24||20,000kms|
|BYD Atto 3||$44,900||$3,090||$47,990||–||–||–||–||$347||$174||8||12||20,000kms|
1. (page 28, Motor Vehicle Sales and Repair, 3 September 2018)
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.