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Do Electric Vehicles Use Oil?

Do electric vehicles use oil? A woman locks her car while it charges.

From Tesla to Ford and from Chevrolet to Nissan, electric vehicles (EVs) are all over the roads these days, with far more coming down the production assembly line. It seems like overnight, electric vehicle charging stations and designated parking spots for EVs popped up across the District. Sure, EVs share a lot in common with traditional gas-powered vehicles. After all, they have four wheels and a horn, but there are some notable differences. Did you ever wonder: Do electric vehicles use oil?

To answer that question, consider for a moment why a car, truck, or SUV needs oil in the first place. An internal combustion engine – the complex machine that makes traditional gas-powered vehicles go vroom – is made up of interconnected pistons, valves, and a whole host of moving parts. To keep these parts greased and moving freely (so no friction, wear, or excessive heat is produced), most traditional vehicles require oil. Oil lubricates these parts, so everything works seamlessly together.

An electric vehicle, by contrast, does not have an internal combustion engine and is not powered by gas. An EV runs on battery and an electric motor. So to answer your question: No, electric vehicles don’t use oil. However, EVs use other lubricants in their assembly which may need to be checked every so often (like transmission and brake fluid). Typically, these checks are a lot less frequent than oil changes on an internal combustion engine.

It's also worth noting that some vehicles are hybrids. That is, they’re powered by both an internal combustion engine and a battery. Hybrid vehicles do require oil changes and the same car maintenance as a traditional engine. Only fully electric vehicles can skip the oil check. EVs also don’t require changing out fuel filters, replacing spark plugs, cleaning exhaust pipes, and more.

While EVs certainly demand less maintenance than a gas-powered vehicle, they aren’t completely maintenance-free. As always, consult your owner’s manual if you have any questions about vehicle maintenance. You can also ask your friendly neighborhood auto mechanic at Metro Motor! Our team of AAA-approved, ASE-certified technicians are fully trained in electric vehicle care. If you have an EV question or need service on your electric vehicle, we are ready to help!

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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