Top 6 biggest problems with electric cars
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Do electric cars Break down?
Electric vehicles are mechanically more simple than their petrol or diesel counterparts, having smaller parts that are less likely to break or stop functioning. While you’re unlikely to be stuck with an exhausted pipe that’s cracked or a faulty clutch (electric cars don’t come with either) however, even the most reliable electric vehicle can be a victim of the gods of reliability.
Are looking to switch to an electric car but rest assured, it’s not something that has ever happened to any of us on the electvehicles team, and we’ve been driving electric cars for years.
But even though it’s very rare, it’s always good to be prepared, isn’t it, and to actually know what could go wrong with your electric car, so we’ve been working with the team at the green flag to find out the most common reasons that electric cars break down and what you can do if the worst does happen.
Cars with an internal combustion engine like this diesel BMW have thousands of moving parts from the engine to the gearbox to the exhaust systems, and the list goes on. What that means is that there are thousands of possible ways that they can go wrong and cause a breakdown.
compare that to electric cars, which only have around 20 moving parts in the motor, and you can see why overall they’re far less likely to go wrong, but of course, no car is immune to breaking down, even those that are effectively made up of a giant battery one or two motors and some wires.
Top 6 biggest problems with electric cars
1. 12V Battery
One of the main reasons that both petrol and diesel cars refuse to start is because of a flat battery, but did you know that electric cars also have a 12-volt battery which is needed to boost up all of the electronic control systems and run things like the windscreen wipers the door locks the horn. It’s this small 12-volt battery that is more likely to give you trouble than the main high-voltage batteries that power the car itself.
In a traditional petrol car, the alternator is powered by the engine using a belt, which sends the charge back to the 12-volt battery to keep it charged. The 12-volt battery is topped up in an electric car via a converter that draws power from those main traction batteries. All modern cars have electronic systems like alarms or internet connections that remain active and always use energy even when switched off.
So problems occur when one of the car software systems doesn’t shut things down when it should, and that draws power from the 12-volt battery for longer, so this can mean that it’s flat when you need it, which is really frustrating now the car might need a software update to prevent it happening again, or it could just be human error where the driver has just forgotten to turn the car off for example, and that is surprisingly easy to do.
when there’s no engine cluttering away to remind you might have been guilty of doing that once or twice me perhaps now the good news though is that 12-volt batteries including those on electric cars can be jump started. However, we advise you to bring in an expert like the ones at the green flag to do this.
2. Charging connections
Now for safety reasons, cables lock into the car whenever electricity is flowing into it, so this works by the charger and the car communicating with each other so the cable locks and releases at the right moment to make sure there’s no damage or danger from sparks however on very rare occasions this handshake as it’s called between the car and the charger can get confused.
when this does happen the locking pin airs on the side of caution and stays in place meaning it virtually impossible to remove the cable if this happens to you and the first thing to do rarely is to make sure the charge has stopped on the charge point if it has the next thing to try is lock and unlocks your car most of the time this fix will work.
But if not, and you’re connected to a home charger, you can try switching it off and on again at your fuse box. If none of these easy fixes works, all-electric cars have a manual release cable. You’ll need to check out your individual owner’s guide to find out exactly where it is on your particular car. It’s just down here, and once you find it, a quick pull should release the cable lock. If you can’t find it, you can always call the experts at the green flag to help you out.
No matter what car you drive, petrol, diesel or electric punches can happen anytime and anywhere. Like the vast majority of new cars, electric cars do not come with a spare wheel, so you can’t change your own tire even if you want to, which i don’t. On top of that, tyres on electric cars tend to work faster than those on petrol and diesel cars.
This is because electric cars tend to weigh more and can accelerate quicker, which causes more friction wearing the rubber away faster means you should keep a closer eye on your tyre wear with an electric vehicle, particularly as tyres with lower tread are more susceptible to punctures too some manufacturers include emergency tyre foam like this. It can be used to plug small holes.
Still, it doesn’t always form an airtight seal. Even if you successfully plug the hole, you will still need to increase the air pressure again before you get on your way safely, so it’s much easier to call your breakdown provider to help you out in the first place.
Now, in general, electric cars are heavier than their petrol and diesel equivalents, so you might think that this means they’d wear out their brakes faster, but the opposite is true. Almost all-electric cars have something called regenerative braking, which means that the motor acts like a generator.
When you lift off the accelerator and can actually put the energy that’s often wasted back into the battery, so this means that the normal brakes are only used when you need to stop suddenly or if the battery is full and can’t accept any extra power these are hopefully pretty rare occasions.
So the brake discs and other components tend to wear very slowly now. This means they can become occasionally eroded through lack of use, which can cause squeaks or grinding noises and even mean, on occasions, the parking brake may seize up. Of course, regular servicing should spot any issues before they cause you problems but do try and give the brakes a bit of a workout whenever you can, particularly after you’ve cleaned the car, driven through water or if there’s salt on the road.
Now cars designed to be electric-only tend to have a larger windscreen than those designed to be petrol or diesel. This is because an electric car’s bonnet area is normally much shorter. After all, it doesn’t need to house an engine. Now the downside to all this increased visibility and lovely sunshine is a larger area for stones to hit.
So it’s worth making sure that your insurance includes a windscreen cover just in case you need to fix that very expensive glass, and if you notice a chip, get it repaired as soon as possible. It’s usually possible to get small chips filled with a special resin, preventing them from becoming a larger crack.
6. Running out of Charge
In reality, relatively few electric car breakdowns are caused by running out of charge. The number is also getting smaller as battery capacities grow and the number of public charges increases, but it can still happen. Maybe you forgot to top up overnight, or there was a fault with the charger.
The good news is that if it does help is just a phone call away. Breakdown recovery services like green flag will be able to recover your car and drop you at the nearest charging point. Try to pull over somewhere safe before you’re completely flat, though, so there’s enough power to keep the lights going and help load the car easier. When help does arrive, you’ll soon be tucked up and ready to get back on the road again, so there you.
have it the most common reasons that electric cars can break down and you know what most of them are exactly the same as with petrol or diesel cars and don’t forget that with just 20 moving parts and fewer fluids that need changing the servicing of electric cars is also easier, and it’s cheaper which makes it easier to keep up to date with the services and doing that, of course, prevents many of the reasons that cars break down in the first place.
but you know it’s always good to have breakdown cover two just in case if you’ve got more questions then do head over to electrifying.com where you can find out everything you need to know about making the switch to electric and as always don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and switch those notifications on you.