Do Electric Cars Need Inspections? (Explained)

Electric cars are the modern substitutes for conventional gas-driven vehicles.

They use a battery-powered engine with fewer moving parts, guaranteeing better performance and low maintenance costs.

However, despite the effectiveness and efficiency of EVs, they still require periodic inspections to ensure everything is okay.

Electric cars need inspections to ascertain safety and reliability when on the road. The assessments must cover essential components of the vehicle’s structure, lighting, body condition, braking, and wheel systems.

It would help if you prioritized parts of your car most susceptible to wear and tear.

Here is everything to know about electric car inspections and the processes involved.

Do Electric Cars Need to be Inspected Like Gas-Driven Cars?

Electric vehicles are exempted from specific inspection regulations since they operate in a more environmentally-friendly design. EVs’ systems to be inspected include their charging inlet, traction batteries, and power cables.

Electric cars are exempted from emission inspection as they run on a battery-powered engine.

However, an emissions test is compulsory for all conventional vehicles to ensure they have a below-minimum carbon footprint.

It is a requirement in over 30 states in the United States for gas-powered car owners to schedule regular emissions testing.

You can read the inspection rules per state here for Teslas.

Do Electric Cars Have to Get Inspected for Emissions?

One significant advantage of driving an electric vehicle is you get exempted from regular emissions tests. It is a requirement for all gas-powered units older than four years old to control air and gas pollution in the environment.

All drivers can attest to the stress and hassles associated with your vehicle not passing an emissions test; you are not allowed on the road. You can avoid all these problems by upgrading to an EV.

Electric cars do not have a tailpipe, meaning they produce zero emissions.

One primary reason these battery-powered vehicles do not have to be inspected despite not being 100% carbon neutral. Familiarize yourself with the road regulations imposed on electric cars if you are in a new state.

What Are the Inspection Rules for Electric Cars?

Different jurisdictions have different regulations and rules for the inspection of electric vehicles.

In the United States, emissions and noise tests are not compulsory for all EVs. Hybrid motor vehicles, classic automobiles, and cars with a model year less than four years are also exempt from emissions testing.

Promoting safety and reliability are the core reasons for inspection rules for electric vehicles.

Do Electric Cars Have to Pass an MOT Test?

Although you own an electric car, there are some road regulations you cannot escape.

An MOT test annually checks a vehicle’s safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions. These tests effectively ensure that EVs are safer and more reliable on the road.

They involve dozens of checks on your vehicle, from brakes and fuel systems to mirrors and seatbelts. Noise and emissions tests are only necessary for gas-powered cars older than four years.

MOT Tests for Electric Cars

Step 1

Your EV’s engine should be logged on the official test computer system for MOT, making it the first step in our process.

Gas-powered units will be checked for noise and emissions in this first step.

Since electric cars do not have a tailpipe, they have to skip the emission and noise test.

Step 2

In this stage, the tester should ensure all your lights are functional.

The inspectors will also examine your windscreen for any chips or cracks before checking your wipers and seatbelts.

Step 3

Your vehicle will need to be raised on an MOT test lift for the consecutive inspection stages.

The third stage involves confirming if your steering is intact as the tester spins all your wheels freely.

Step 4

The tester will proceed to identify any presence of rust on your critical components in the vehicle.

The device makes it easy to locate rusty elements as it does not interfere with the enormous aerodynamic underbody on most electric cars.

Stages to Electric Cars Inspections?

Above Carrier Check

An electric vehicle inspection begins with an inspector visually checking the external elements of your unit. They focus on:

  • Your vehicle’s identity, which involves the number plate, chassis, and motor number
  • All the lighting equipment, from stop lamps and direction indicators to headlamps
  • Bodywork
  • Road tires
  • General items like safety devices, horns, and high voltage cables

Alignment and Brake Test

The inspector must also confirm the electric vehicle’s alignment and brake function. You will need a side slip tester to check the front wheel alignment.

You can measure the lateral movement of your car on the device and adjust its wheel alignment accordingly.

The test also seeks to determine the efficiency of the brakes on your electric vehicle. A brake tester helps measure the brake efficiency, performance, and drag force.

These test results register automatically to the vehicle’s system and are displayed on the overhead indicator board.

Headlight Test

The headlight test helps eliminate poor alignment and focus of headlamps in electric vehicles.

A headlight aimer measures the luminous intensity and the vertical and horizontal aim for the headlights installed at a high beam.

The routine’s primary purpose is to determine the perfect focus and headlamp alignment for the safest driving experience.

Noise emission also gets tested by revving the engine to measure the noise produced.

Under Carriage Check

This stage involves checking the condition of parts and components in your electric vehicle.

Inspectors drive your car over an inspection pit and check on the following:

  • High voltage cables
  • Leakage
  • Brake system
  • Chassis
  • Steering system

How Can You Benefit from Electric Vehicle Inspection?

Identify Vehicle Problems Early

You are better positioned to identify issues with your electric vehicle early by enforcing a thorough inspection routine.

Most components in a car fail gradually unless an accident is involved.

Inspection allows you to identify parts exposed to damage and take corrective action while they’re repairable.

Extends Service Year

Another significant advantage of electric vehicle inspections is the guaranteed prolonged service period. An ideally maintained unit will add several years to the unit’s longevity.

Pay close attention to any signs of damage to your vehicle before they develop into significant complications that might steal some valuable years from your EV.

Improved Power Consumption

The power consumption on your electric vehicle is an aspect all drivers pay close attention to.

Regular and thorough inspection routines help improve power consumption in your car, increasing your available range.

Why is Electric Vehicle Inspection Important?

The repair costs in electric cars are significantly higher than in conventional vehicles, making it essential to consider inspection for your EV.

The complexity and uniqueness of electric vehicle configuration is the primary reason for the high prices.

You need a licensed EV mechanic and manufacturer to complete chassis or AC repairs.

Another valid reason why electric vehicle inspection is necessary is to avoid buying faulty units. Damaged electric vehicles expose drivers and other road users to numerous risks. A defective unit with an affected chassis or battery pack can easily catch fire or lose control while driving.

Let us not mention the costly repairs that make inspections a cheaper alternative.

A challenge most electric vehicle owners face is finding the ideal mechanic to handle their vehicle problems.

Most individuals find themselves opting for manufacturer-provided repairs, which are expensive and take more time. You should invest in a comprehensive inspection routine before purchasing any electric vehicle.

Can I Get a Waiver on Emission Inspections?

You can get a waiver on your emission inspection and repair costs in specific states.

You must have exhausted the number of complete repairs allowed on each vehicle and failed the test. Your vehicle’s warranty is also a determining factor on the waiver guaranteed.

What Other Tests Do Electric Cars Need to Pass?

Electronic car testing is more than checking for errors and damage to the vehicle and its components.

There are many tests required for the different elements involved in its configuration.

Conformance testing is another test EVs need to pass. The test checks the charging interfaces and associated systems, which facilitate communication between the charging stations, back-office systems, and the car.

Battery packs also need to be tested since they are a significant source that poses a potential hazard in unconventional environments.

What is Pre-Purchase Inspection

The pre-purchase inspection involves checking for errors and damages when buying a second-hand electric vehicle.

You may need to contact an electric vehicle specialist to inspect an EV before buying one. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to handle modern electric models from various brands.

The inspection involves checking all the critical components of the vehicle, and a roadside inspection might suffice. Vehicles under warranty are covered in case anything goes wrong by the manufacturer.


Inspections are necessary on electric cars to promote safety and reliability.

The required inspections for EVs vary relatively from those of gas-powered vehicles. You will learn more about the regulations around emissions testing and other tests electric cars need to pass in this article.


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