Do Electric Cars Have Fewer Parts? (Direct Comparison)

One thing to consider when determining this for yourself is maintenance and repair costs. It seems logical that electric cars have fewer parts than gas-powered vehicles because there’s no motor.

But, what does that mean in terms of budget and lifestyle? Find out whether electric cars have fewer parts than a gas-powered car and how that can affect your budget and lifestyle.

Do Electric Cars have Fewer Parts than a Gas-Powered Car? 

Electric cars are more simple than those with gas fuel engines and have significantly fewer parts. You typically find around 15,000 parts in an electric car whereas gas-driven cars will have closer to 30,000 parts.

Read also: Do electric cars need less maintenance than gas-drive cars?

Number of Parts in an Electric Car vs. Gas-Driven Cars

A typical gas-driven vehicle has about 30,000 parts, some of these are moving components and others are not.

Most electric vehicles have about 15,000 parts, including both moving and stable parts.

Parts can vary depending on the size of the vehicle and specific technologies included. But, in a direct comparison, all-electric cars should have less parts than any gas-driven vehicle.

Why are Electric Cars More Expensive When They’re Simpler?

In terms of parts, electric vehicles are designed more simply than gas engine vehicles. But, on average, electric cars cost more money than gas engine vehicles.

Electric vehicles are designed simply, but usually encompass more advanced technology than their fuel-driven counterparts. 

With a simple design and fewer parts, many car buyers wonder why an electric car is so much more expensive than a gas-engineered car.

The reason is simple.

The electric vehicle’s batteries increase the overall cost of the vehicle. As car manufacturers design electric vehicles to go even further on a fully-charged battery, the price increases. 

However, when you consider the cost of owning an electric vehicle in comparison to a traditional vehicle over time, the electric car may actually save you money over time. How will an electric car save owners money?

Whether or not an electric vehicle will end up being the better option financially, in the long run, will definitely revolve around how the vehicle is maintained over its life expectancy, and whether any major repairs are required to keep the vehicle operational.

Do Electric Cars have Fewer Moving Parts?

All electric cars have fewer moving parts than traditional vehicles because they do not have an engine.

Engines are created with dozens of moving and non-moving parts.

Without an engine, an electric car has significantly fewer moving parts than a traditional vehicle. 

Are Electric Cars More Reliable Due to Fewer Moving Parts?

With considerably fewer moving parts than a traditional vehicle, there is less wear and tear on an electric vehicle’s overall design when compared to a traditional vehicle.

Many vehicle repairs and maintenance focus around a vehicle’s engine.

Check our article here about typical maintenance and repairs for electric cars.

With no engine to worry about, car owners won’t have as much to worry about.

In theory, since there is less that can go wrong with an electric vehicle, it is more reliable than a traditional vehicle because it has fewer moving parts.

Are Car Parts for Electric Cars More Expensive?

Car parts for electric cars are usually more expensive than parts for a gas-engined vehicle.

One of the reasons electric car parts are so expensive is because the parts for these technologically advanced vehicles are not mass produced. Additionally, the producers of these parts have not perfected their craft or had much time to experiment with different materials and processes.

Because the parts are not available as readily as traditional car parts, their supply and demand is difficult to keep up with, especially in areas of the country where electric vehicles are not as popular.

Parts for traditional vehicles have been around for decades.

Car part manufacturers have had years to perfect their craft. With the ease of manufacturing and inventory, traditional vehicle parts can be bought from many different providers, which helps keep the price fair.

Many car part manufacturers specialize in aftermarket parts for traditional vehicles.

In general, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are available for most parts on the market. Additionally, aftermarket parts which aren’t the same as OEM parts are also available.

The aftermarket parts are often less expensive than OEM parts and fill the need at a less cost.

On the other hand, electric vehicle car parts are not as widely available. The technology used to create these vehicles is still evolving, which makes it hard to mass-produce electric car parts.

Smaller Production Lines Affects Prices

With the difficulty in finding electric car parts and the complex nature of many of this type of vehicle’s parts, part buyers can expect to pay relatively high prices for parts.

Also factoring into the cost of these parts is high shipping costs and delivery fees. With only a few facilities manufacturing these parts, buyers will likely have to order parts, pay for shipping, and wait for the parts to be delivered.

Parts for electric cars in parts of the country where electric cars are popular may be more readily available, but most likely will still need to be ordered and shipped.

However, part buyers may not have to wait as long for these parts to arrive. 

As technology continues to grow and stabilize and the after-market part inventory for electric vehicles stabilizes, the price of electric car parts could come down.

But, there isn’t a timeline for this process, which leaves the future hard to predict.

Not knowing if you’ll be able to find parts for an electric car, or how much those parts will be is a risk that many electric car buyers are forced to face when considering an electric car purchase.

Many electric car buyers will keep a gas-fueled car to take on long car trips or to have as a back-up in case there is a problem with the primary car.

Fewer Mechanics Specialize In Electric Cars

The other cost factor that affects electric car parts, especially when compared to gas and traditional vehicles, is the availability of mechanics certified to work on and repair electric vehicles. 

There’s likely a few mechanics in every town across America that can work on a traditional vehicle.

Even small-town American mechanics can order parts for a traditional car and give you a timeline of when the vehicle will be ready to get back on the road.

But, there are only a handful of technicians certified to work on and repair electric vehicles.

The specificity of electric vehicle mechanics can affect the cost of parts, especially when the parts are only available through a particular dealership.

If an electric car has to be towed or shipped to a specific area to be worked on, that cost will likely have to be paid for by the owner.

In addition to waiting for the car to be repaired, the owner will have to rent a vehicle or go without it while the repairs are being made.

Do Electric Cars Require Less Maintenance Due to Having Fewer Parts?

Electric cars do require less maintenance than traditional vehicles because they have fewer moving parts and less fluids to maintain and change.

We have a dedicated article here about the various fluids in electric cars.

There is no motor to worry about. The vehicle doesn’t have to have regular oil changes, and even the brakes last longer than traditional vehicles.

Most electric cars are created with regenerative braking, which puts less pressure on the brakes and creates less wear and tear.

The biggest maintenance concern for someone driving an electric vehicle is battery maintenance.

Most electric vehicle batteries are expected to last the lifetime of the vehicle, about 100,000 miles. 

However, as many people know, a traditional gas-driven vehicle can last much longer than 100,000 miles. So, if you are hoping to keep your electric vehicle on the road more than 100,000 miles, you’ll likely have to invest in a new battery.

The cost of an electric battery varies greatly from vehicle make and model. As technology gets better, more advanced battery packs may become more budget-friendly.

But, some electric car batteries are limited by the amount of times the battery can be charged, which includes the battery being plugged in and removed from the charger.

Some electric cars use a coolant to maintain the regular temperature of the vehicle’s battery. This process helps the battery last longer and prevent damage.

If a coolant is used to keep the battery at a safe temperature, it might be necessary to have the vehicle’s battery checked on a regular basis.

Lastly, if you are worried about the maintenance requirements of an electric vehicle, you should work with an experienced salesman that can go over the maintenance expectations of the vehicle.

When doing this, specifically consider the vehicle’s battery cycle-life and any battery warranty that is offered with the vehicle.

It’s also important to do research regarding the type of battery installed and the likelihood that the battery will last the vehicle’s entire lifetime, or need to be replaced at some time.

In terms of maintenance and repair, an electric vehicle’s battery is the most expensive part.

How Many Moving Parts Does an Electric Motor Have?

A simple electric vehicle’s motor has one moving part, the shaft.

Under most circumstances, the shaft of an electric vehicle is extremely reliable and doesn’t require much maintenance.

The motor also uses a controller and many electrical devices. But neither the shaft nor the electrical devices have any moving parts.

The fact that an electric vehicle only has one moving part and a traditional gas vehicle has so many is significant because the more parts a vehicle has in the motor, the more maintenance that will be required and the possibility of engine repair increases significantly.

Final Thoughts

With the popularity of electric cars growing every year, many car buyers have started to consider whether an electric car meets their budget and lifestyle requirements.

The fact that electric cars have fewer parts than traditional and gas-powered engines is important. Fewer parts means less maintenance for electric cars.

Car buyers will definitely save money on maintenance when they opt for an electric car over a traditional vehicle.

However, the inability to mass produce electric car parts and the need for a very specific mechanic to work on an electric vehicle, can be costly to repair an electric vehicle when compared directly to a traditional vehicle.

With the two comparisons in mind, car buyers have to weigh the pros and cons of electric vehicles vs. traditional vehicles. When doing this, it’s important to check what available warranties might apply to your vehicle.

It’s also important to check the availability of the most commonly replaced parts of the vehicle being considered, and the availability of a technician near you.

After comparing all the pros and cons, you’ll be ready to determine if the fact that an electric car has fewer parts than a traditional vehicle is important to you when deciding what car to buy next.

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