Mechanic twists to drain oil out of a raised vehicle.

Do electric cars use oil?

Oil and Oil Changes in Electric Vehicles

It’s pretty obvious that electric cars do not use gas. After all, that’s basically their whole point. But what about engine oil?

Do electric cars use oil? If so, do they need to get oil changes?



Got an obscure maintenance question? Ask Our Service Team!


Electric cars do not typically use engine oil. They do use some lubricants to meet the specific requirements of their particular powertrains.

Generally, an electric car uses a single speed reduction gear system. The gearbox for this system is immersed in gear lubricating oil. However, this type of oil has very minimal maintenance requirements. It’s generally able to last 100,000 miles or more.

Where is the oil located in an electric car?

The oil in an electric car is located in the differential. This is the final drive between the motor and the wheels.

Ever Wonder: Is it okay to shift an electric car into drive when reversing?

Do electric vehicles need oil changes?

Electric cars do not require oil changes as we typically conceive of them, as they do not use engine or motor oil. For the gearbox oil we referred to earlier, a mechanic will likely change this when the time comes at a routine maintenance appointment.

The lack of engine parts in an electric vehicle significantly cuts down on the amount of maintenance required for the ride. This is just one benefit of “going electric.” The only periodic work really required is tire maintenance.

Some automakers require oil in their electric vehicles specifically for the electric motor in an effort to improve cooling. The oil used in electric vehicles typically lasts much longer than in ICE vehicles because there’s no fuel combustion that causes it to degrade the way it does in regular gas and diesel engines.

Do hybrid cars use oil?

Hybrid vehicles do use oil for the gas-powered portion of their engine. However, the oil may not need to be changed as much as in a non-hybrid car because the hybrid tech allows the gas engine to run less.

Eventually, however, this oil will need to be changed. In these situations, premium oil should be used. This is because hybrids regularly shut down and restart the engine, which can cause wear. Drivers should thus ease the machine’s pain with nice, smooth, silky premium oil.

Learn More: 4 Facts About Toyota You Never Knew

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