Electric vehicles cheaper to service than ICE vehicles

Electric vehicle owners can save more than a fifth on servicing costs in comparison to ICE vehicles, according to new data.

Fleet Assist, a supply chain management firm for the fleet industry, released servicing and maintenance trends for pure-electric vehicle (BEVs) versus internal combustion engine (ICE) cars based on the 850,000 fleet cars and vans using its 5,200-strong franchised and independent garage network.

According to its data for this year, the average transaction value for servicing fully electric cars is currently approximately 22% less than an equivalent ICE car. Much of this can be put down to reduced labour times, which are currently 33% shorter for BEVs than ICE cars.

The parts component of a BEV job is also typically 28% cheaper than an ICE car due to fewer working parts, with brake wear far lower. When considering parts prices which have risen by around 10% in the past 12 months the BEV/ICE SMR cost gap widens further.

Fleet Assist’s SMR data shows that currently the most common BEV parts being replaced are pollen filters, bulbs, key fob batteries, wipers, and brake fluid.

But despite this evidence, it does not guarantee that BEV servicing prices will reduce dramatically as dealers look to raise SMR costs to retain their profitability. Dealers are starting to feel the pinch of reduced servicing revenues as drivers cover fewer miles, which coincides with a rapid rise in operating costs, particularly technician salaries.

Vincent St Claire, MD at Fleet Assist, said: “Fleet and retail drivers cannot take it for granted that BEV SMR prices will remain cheaper than ICE cars, as over time costs could become more comparable.

“Garages are already starting to come to terms with how EVs will impact their servicing revenues and workshop traffic in the longer term. We may see more garages looking at ways to address how the paradigm shift of BEV aftersales is going to challenge their service provision and fees they charge.”

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