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Do electric cars use oil? Electric cars and oil changes explained

Do electric cars use oil? What liquids do EV’s need?

With over a million electric cars on UK roads – and counting – it comes as no surprise that people are asking what maintenance is required to keep EVs in the best condition. And while it’s commonly known that petrol and diesel vehicles require engine oil to function, many potential EV converts and those who have already made the switch are wondering – do electric cars use oil?

In this blog, we will delve into the topic of electric cars and oil usage and clarify which liquids battery electric vehicles (BEVS) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) need.

Do electric cars use engine oil?

In a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, one of the primary functions of engine oil is to lubricate the moving parts within the engine. As the engine runs, various components, such as the pistons, crankshaft, and camshaft, move at high speeds and create friction. Engine oil forms a thin film between these metal surfaces, reducing friction and minimising wear and tear, essentially extending the lifespan of engine components.

Battery electric cars do not have internal combustion engines. Instead, battery electric vehicles have electric motors that power the vehicle. And since engine oil is only required in petrol and diesel vehicles to lubricate moving parts within an internal combustion engine – a part that battery electric cars don’t have – it’s safe to say that no, battery electric cars, such as Teslas, don’t use oil.

So, do electric cars need an oil change?

No, battery electric cars don’t use engine oil, so subsequently, they don’t need oil changes during services. A benefit of electric cars is that they often require less maintenance in comparison to petrol and diesel vehicles.

Do electric cars need an oil change

Do hybrid cars need oil changes?

To grasp the oil requirements of hybrid electric cars, it’s crucial to understand their powertrain system. Unlike pure electric cars (battery electric cars), hybrid vehicles still rely on internal combustion engines for certain functions. In fact, hybrid electric vehicles have two primary sources of power: an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.

Since plug-in hybrids still feature an internal combustion engine, hybrids do use engine oil to function and need oil changes to ensure optimal performance, just like petrol and diesel vehicles.

It’s important to note that hybrid electric cars do not require special engine oil; regular oil works perfectly in regard to hybrid engine oil changes.

Do hybrid cars need fewer oil changes?

Yes, since hybrid electric cars have an electric motor, too, the frequency of hybrid car oil changes will be less than your average ICE vehicle.

Do hybrid cars need oil changes

Do electric cars use other fluids?

While electric cars do not require oil, they may still have other fluids that need attention – albeit fewer liquids than their petrol and diesel counterparts.

  1. Coolant: Electric vehicles rely on dedicated cooling systems or fluid circulation to regulate battery temperature. Coolants, not oil, are used to prevent overheating of the battery pack and other electrical components. Coolant maintenance is essential to ensure smooth driving, and it should be topped up regularly. Make sure you do not try to do this yourself, though – coolant should be handled by a professional.
  2.  Brake fluid: Despite the power behind electric car brakes – hello regenerative breaking – electric cars still require periodic brake fluid changes to ensure optimal braking system efficiency.
  3. Windscreen washer fluid: It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you have – electric, petrol or diesel – you need to regularly top up your windscreen washer fluid.
  4. Air conditioning fluid: Electric cars may have air conditioning systems that require fluid checks and maintenance.


In conclusion, the absence of internal combustion engines in battery electric vehicles eliminates the need for engine oil and oil changes in electric vehicles. Comparatively, since plug-in hybrid EVs house an internal combustion engine, engine oil is still a necessity for a PHEV to function.

For full details of your electric car maintenance needs, please check your electric vehicle owner’s manual. While car servicing is typically every 12 months or 10,000 miles, EV fluids may need to be topped up more regularly.


  • Battery electric cars do not use engine oil since they do not have internal combustion engines; therefore, EVs do not need oil changes during services. This means popular electric cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf do not use engine oil nor need oil changes. This differs from hybrid electric cars, which do use oil and require oil changes, given that they have both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.
  • Coolant, brake fluid, windscreen washing fluid and air-conditioning fluid top-ups and checks are still required in EVs.

Do you have an electric car? Are you interested in charging faster, safer and more conveniently?

Contact us today to discuss our market-leading range of home electric car chargers at 03333 44 96 99. Our expert customer service team will always be happy to help. With expert engineers across the UK, we can install wherever you are with fast lead times. Alternatively, fill in the contact form below, and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.

You decide the amount of months.

Minimum of £1000.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation. 

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.