Electric Car Maintenance Costs

With fewer moving parts, electric cars require less maintenance, saving owners money over the long-term.

Ford Mustang Mach-EFord

Updated July 21, 2023

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An electric vehicle (EV) costs more to buy than a comparable gas vehicle, but EV enthusiasts and automakers often counter that owners make back that money with savings on maintenance and fuel. To find out if the service half of that claim holds up, we calculated the recommended electric car maintenance costs over 150,000 miles of ownership for two mid-size SUVs from the same automaker: the gas-powered 2022 Ford Edge and the electric-powered 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E. For consistency, Capital One used a Southern California ZIP code for pricing set at the time of publication.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an Electric Vehicle?

The owner's manual of the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E recommends servicing the vehicle once a year or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. These regular maintenance visits require minimal work: a tire rotation and a multipoint inspection that includes the brakes, cooling, steering, and suspension systems. According to Kelley Blue Book’s Repair Pricing, you can expect to pay about $39 to $48 for a tire rotation based on the tire size. The inspection is often done for free. For total cost, figures were calculated with a standard 10,000 mile interval.

The Mustang Mach-E owner’s manual recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 20,000 miles, a service that generally costs about $71 to $87. Additionally, the brake fluid service that should be done every three years should cost between $165 and $199.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Gas Vehicle?

The recommended service interval of the family-friendly Ford Edge SUV is every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. For owners who tow or drive in extreme weather conditions, it’s 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Each of these service visits involves an oil change and a tire rotation. According to Kelley Blue Book, an oil change can cost between $71 to $88 in addition to the $45 to $54 tire rotation based on the tire size. That means an Edge driver could spend at least $116 per service interval, nearly twice what the Mustang Mach-E owner would spend. For total cost, figures were calculated with a standard 10,000 mile interval.

Other recommended maintenance includes replacing the cabin air filter every 20,000 miles at $69 to $84, engine air filter (30,000 miles/$44 to $54), spark plugs (100,000 miles/$416 to $488), and automatic transmission fluid (150,000 miles/$278 to $327). Like the Mach-E, the automaker also recommends a brake fluid replacement every three years ($165 to $199).

Does Electric Car Maintenance Cost Less than Gas Cars?

Overall, the gas-powered Ford Edge has higher maintenance costs than the electric Mustang Mach-E. Over ten years and 150,000 miles, the Edge owner could pay at least $3,667 with minimum service cost estimates using the normal service schedule. Other items that may need attention include transmissions, differentials, fuel injectors, and timing belts.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E costs less than half that amount to maintain. Altogether it would cost at least $1,613 for all scheduled maintenance of the Mustang Mach-E over ten years and 150,000 miles. While maintenance alone won’t make an EV cheaper to own and drive than a gas vehicle, it can offer substantial savings to help cushion the price premium of going electric over the long run.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad is an award-winning automotive journalist who has contributed to several automotive, electric vehicle, luxury lifestyle, and technology publications. His work isn't just limited to the written word, as he's also hosted YouTube videos and podcasts. Having grown up in the '90s, he has a strong sense of attachment to that era's style, though he also loves to geek out about the modern, futuristic tech and powertrains rolling out today.