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Electric vehicles less likely to suffer breakdowns

 Published 23rd April 2024
Driver Guides  Electric Vehicles 

Electric vehicles are less likely to require a breakdown call-out than petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles, nationwide research has revealed.

Breakdown company Start Rescue carried out the research amid concerns raised by fleets about electric vehicles suffering from flat batteries. Its data shows that electric vehicles are 59% less likely to require attention for breakdowns compared with internal combustion-engined vehicles or require assistance for a flat battery.

Its research relates to the 12-volt battery that powers key electronics in the car, from the dashboard to the central locking system, rather than the main battery that powers the wheels of EVs.

Data from the AA supports Start Rescue’s findings, showing that a greater percentage of 12v battery faults occur on petrol and diesel cars compared to EVs.

The analysis follows concerns raised by fleet managers that some electric vehicles are suffering from sudden battery drain that leaves them inoperable. The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) says the issue particularly affects electric vans, with sudden battery drain reported by several fleets. In some cases, the 12v battery died whilst the vehicle was plugged in to charge (in many models, the main battery will not charge the 12v battery unless the vehicle is switched on).

There is uncertainty about the cause of the breakdowns, as it may be related to ancillary equipment added to vans, such as telematics and camera systems.

Manufacturers say that in many cases, battery drain is linked to aftermarket hardware or software fitted to their vehicles.

The batteries used to power electrical systems in EVs could be at greater risk of going flat if the vehicle isn’t used for long periods. They are typically smaller than an equivalent petrol or diesel car, as they aren’t required to power a starter motor. This means they could be drained more quickly if systems such as telematics continue to draw energy while parked.

Experts say that if vehicles are being left for long periods, a solar-powered trickle charger can keep the battery topped up. However, Start Rescue’s data suggests that with regular driving, batteries will remain fully charged.

Lee Puffett, Managing Director of Start Rescue, said: “Our figures show electric cars ranging from new to 10-years old are 59% less prone to breakdowns than ICE cars.”

Rob Marshall, Operations Director, Gateway2Lease, said: “There are now more than one million EVs on the road and research indicates they are more reliable than petrol and diesel vehicles. This should give buyers confidence when choosing their next vehicle if they opt for an EV.”

Image: Pixabay

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