Improved technology is helping to reduce vehicle operating costs, but vehicles with internal combustion engines still require a fair amount of maintenance. Ford recently released information reminding us that its forthcoming 2013 Focus Electric won’t require the costs typically associated with cars equipped with fossil fuel-burning engines.
According to Ford, the typical life expectancy of a vehicle on the road today is roughly 150,000 miles over 10 years. Over that period of time and miles driven, vehicles equipped with standard engines require several trips to the dealership for routine maintenance including oil changes, air filters, transmission and cooling service, and spark plugs. Over time the costs can add up quickly.
Ford notes the difference in maintenance costs between its standard and electric Focuses will come in around $1200, not to mention fewer inconveniences for scheduled service. Other wear items the EV Focus won’t suffer from is the need for a new muffler, O2 sensors, or a fuel filter.
“When you have moving parts, such as the gears in a transmission or the pistons in an engine, you have maintenance,” Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering Sherif Marakby said in a statement. “With an electric drive, there are very few moving parts. About all the driver will have to do is charge up the battery pack and go.”
EVs aren’t completely free of maintenance, though. Owners will likely want to check their windshield washer fluid level and should make sure to monitor tire pressures. Long-term wear items that are, unfortunately, unavoidable include brake pads, tires, and dampers.
There’s still no word on the retail price Ford intends to affix to its first EV, but expect it to be a few thousand dollars more than a standard Focus. The maintenance and fuel savings will likely be a wash for many, but over the long term consumers could end up saving bundles of cash.