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Differences in Maintenance Costs and Longevity between EV and ICE Drivetrains

There is a widespread belief among analysts that electric drivetrains will prove to be substantially more robust than ICE drivetrains, requiring less maintenance and lasting longer. OTA’s interviewees in the industry readily agreed that maintenance costs (both scheduled and unscheduled) would be lower in vehicles. With electric drivetrains.

This view is based on experience with EVs in Europe and elsewhere and extrapolation of the characteristics of drivetrain components in other settings, such as electric motor use in factories. The value of this experience as a predictor of future performance may be compromised somewhat, however, by the substantial differences in component characteristics between future electric vehicles and current.

Maintenance Costs

And older vehicles (e.g., future electric motors will be much lighter), and the harsh environment that EV and HEV components must endure (unlike a factory environment). Also, low EV 70In reality, there would likely be differences in aerodynamics among the different types of vehicles. The drivetrain differences might allow more or less flexibility in aerodynamic design depending on cooling requirement and the ability, or lack of it to use conformal shapes for energy storage and for the basic power system.

192 maintenance will be achieved only if the power electronics, sensing, and computer control systems in these vehicles (which may be more extensive than in conventional vehicles) are relatively maintenance-free–not a foregone conclusion. Finally, many of the batteries that are candidates for EVs are not sealed and maintenance-free.

Longevity

Maintenance costs for ICEVs typically are low for scheduled maintenance, on average about $100/year for the first 10 years 71; unscheduled72 costs may be closer to $400/year for that time period. 73 These costs may be changing with technological change.

However, do not require tune-ups for 100,000 miles and generally have fewer parts than the engines they replace; in addition, automakers are succeeding in improving quality control to the point that they can offer extended warranties for up to 100,000 miles at real costs (to them) of only a few hundred dollars.

Drivetrains

This potential advantage will depend on whether the smaller engines in series hybrids, with limited speed ranges and gentler load changes within these ranges, will require substantially less maintenance than conventional ICES; which seems likely. On the other hand, parallel hybrids may enjoy no clear advantages, or may have higher maintenance requirements, because they retain an engine and transmission and add a complete electric drivetrain

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