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Are Electric Vehicles or Internal Combustion Cars More Expensive to Maintain?

A new analysis looks at the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Audi e-tron, and Jaguar I-PACE.

From a simple mechanics perspective, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, so they should be easier to maintain, right? In truth, data from an analytics firm has recently suggested that EVs are more expensive to maintain, even though the maintenance cost gets cheaper the longer you use them, Automotive News reports.

Engineers are often quick to attribute costly service expenditures to the lack of owner service options on the new-generation cars. Additionally, engineers claim that, under the garb of protecting intellectual property, EV makers are able to push inflated bills for minor repairs. And it seems that, for now, EV cars really do cost a bit more.

Ultimately, the assessment of higher maintenance costs has not come from one-off reports, but after putting together an analysis of 19 million vehicles between the years 2016 and 2021. 

The analytics firm, We Predict, uses machine learning and predictive methodology to anticipate and accelerate decisions on product, market, and financial performance. In a media briefing, the company released the data of its analysis, which stated that maintaining an EV is 2.3 times more expensive after three months of ownership than a gasoline-powered vehicle.

The firm states that electric vehicle maintenance is still expensive after one year, but is only 1.6 times as expensive at that point. Since EV makers handle all services for the first year as part of their warranty, customers don't really feel the pinch too much. 

Giving details on specific models, the company said that the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which recently set a world record, was most cost-effective during the three-month ownership period. Its service cost was $93 per vehicle, far lower than the second-placed Audi e-tron with a service cost of $366 per vehicle. Costs of Porsche Taycan were $667 per vehicle while the Jaguar I-Pace services were pegged at $834.

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Providing details about their analysis, the company said that since the EV industry was still in a "launch phase", service technicians were spending twice as much time to diagnose issues and 1.5 times longer fixing them than they would do for a conventional car. This was leading to a 1.3 times increase in labor costs. 

Most of the issues were related to wiring or charging, while EVs also encountered wheel issues that could be attributed to the heavier weight of the cars due to the battery packs that they carry. 

Surprisingly, the analysis does not mention Tesla Motors, and we have reached out to the company for a comment. We shall update the story if we hear back from them. 

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