Charging an electric vehicle.

How Reliable Are Electric Vehicles? 15 Car Enthusiasts Weigh In

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rising in popularity by the day. One person considering whether to take the EV plunge asked the internet how reliable they really are. Mostly EV owners responded, and this was their advice.

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

1: Good on Paper 

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One commenter says EVs are far more reliable in theory, with fewer moving parts, liquids that can leak, and less heat generated. “In practice, this is generally true except that EVs are relatively new, and so many automakers are still making some design mistakes.” 

2: Money Saved 

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“Most EVs are very reliable,” one commenter says. “Also, there are no oil changes, timing belts, spark plugs, and fuel filters to worry about, so maintenance costs are far lower.” 

3: Going the Distance 

Road in Nevada.
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As an EV owner and someone who has worked on cars and business equipment, one person says they’re not returning to gas or diesel anytime soon. “I expect my EV to do 400k with no major issues.”

4: Takes the Cake 

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One commenter said their 2019 Chevrolet Bolt is the most reliable car they’ve ever owned. “It has 140,000 km on it, and it’s [only] needed brakes (only because they rotted out due to not using them), tires, and cabin air filters. That’s it.” 

5: It’s Electric 

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Another commenter agrees that EVs are incredibly reliable, especially compared to combustion engines. “For the past four years, I’ve owned three electric vehicles (one car, two motorcycles), which have covered nearly 200,000 miles,” they said. Their total maintenance expenses have been less than $100. 

6: Helping the Environment 

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“There’s a guy who owned Nissan Leaf for ten years and only changed windshield wiper fluid,” one person said. Another Nissan Leaf owner responded that I’ve had their 2017 model for three years without issues. 

7: Too Close To Call 

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“It is hard to say. EV is still in its infancy,” says one commenter, who thinks while in theory EVs are reliable, it’s a little more tricky in real life. “I have a 2017 Prius Prime. I am hoping it will last a long time. If I want a car that gets me from A to B with good enough safety, great reliability, and low cost of operation, I would probably buy a Corolla.” 

8: Goodbye Dealerships 

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One commenter says consumer reports found electric vehicles average half the maintenance costs over the first 200K miles of ownership. One commenter suggests precisely why car dealerships are not a fan of them. “Service departments are profit centers. Cars that don’t break or leak are as bad for business as light bulbs that don’t burn out.” 

9: Risk Is Still Involved 

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One commenter cautions people from believing the simple motor on electric vehicles makes them better. “You’re not buying just the motor itself. The rest of the drivetrain exists, and you still have hundreds of parts that can go wrong.” 

10: No Easy Fixes 

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“It’s complicated right now because EVs, at least in the US, are still low volume,” one commenter says. Since fewer places have the equipment to train and work on them, you may need help down the road. “While they theoretically should be more reliable thanks to fewer moving parts, etc, when you do have a problem, it becomes a big problem.” 

11: Saving Time and Money 

Woman looking at a big clock.
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One couple thought their Toyota Camry hybrid was pretty good until they realized how much better their EV was. “With almost 150K miles and one trip to the dealer for a headlight, the EV wins. Nothing breaks. Then there is charging at home, store/cafe/movie, so no time wasted at gas stations,” they said. “Some EVs just take less time out of your life.” 

12: The Simpler, the Better 

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Fewer parts mean fewer problems, according to this commenter. “People like to think EVs are at the forefront of automotive tech and design, but in reality, they are far simpler than traditional petrol/diesel cars,” they continue. “This is why, in a decade or two, many mechanics will be out of a job.”

13: Low Maintenance 

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One commenter has driven over 86K miles on their Niro EV. So far, the maintenance has been manageable. “I rotate the tires every 7500 miles and change the cabin filter several times a year. We had to replace the 12v battery last winter and add windshield fluid. Other than that, that’s all I’ve done.” 

14: Charged Up 

Tesla car.
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One commenter says they’ve put 120k+ miles on their Tesla Model 3, and despite a lower range, it’s still kickin’. “Always reliable. The range is now 270 out of the original 310, but this higher level of battery degradation is largely due to the first two years using only fast DC charging and often below 10% on the battery.”

15: Picking Your Battles 

Road in Wisconsin.
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After sinking almost $4,000 into their traditional vehicle, one commenter decided to go on a day trip with their EV even though it was supposed to eat up 90% of their range. “I chose range anxiety over breakdown anxiety,” they said. 

Source: Reddit

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