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Taking care of your EV, come hell or high water

Taking care of your EV, come hell or high water

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

So, you recently just purchased an electrified vehicle (EV). Good thing, whether it’s a full or a hybrid electric vehicle, still, you get incentives from the government these days.

It may be tagged a bit more than the usual internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. But its benefits in the long run, compared to the latter, are far more better. Plus, it’s where the whole automotive industry, both here and abroad, is heading toward to. That’s why it’s best to get a head start.

Now— however—before anything else, one must first know how to take care of an EV, especially these rainy days.

According to Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), the country’s number one purveyor of these vehicles, the following tips are what EV owners should stick to mind for that long, enjoyable and hassle-free ownership experience.

1. Check your tires, brakes and any leaks

Tires and brakes are most vulnerable during the rainy season. So, like what you’ve always done with ICE vehicles, before you hit the road, inspect your tires for any holes to prevent potential inconveniences and accidents. Check your tire pressure, as well. Make sure each tire has the amount of air needed or required for a smooth ride.

For brakes, hybrids, in particular, have a regenerative braking system. Meaning, they benefit from higher friction and heat. If you’re nitty-gritty about these things, it’s best to bring your vehicle to a local dealer for a quick check-up.

Also, check the rubber seals around doors, windows, hood, trunk, and taillights. Clean out debris—too—to prevent water pooling that might cause leaks.

2. Keep an eye on battery health

Cold and wet weather can shorten a vehicle’s battery life—significantly. So, better keep an eye on these external factors.

If you see any signs of drying out or bloating, immediately arrange for a replacement. A multi-meter can also come in handy so that you can easily test your car’s battery.

For a hybrid, specifically, the electric battery pack generates large amounts of heat for its regenerative braking system that may affect the temperature of the clamps, pipes and hoses of the electric motor. Always be on the look out for these.

3. Follow maintenance schedules—diligently

Again, like what we’ve always been used to with our ICE vehicles, maintenance of EVs is also of utmost importance. However, since this technology is practically still new to us, it’s best that we handle this aspect like a piece of china. Probably, it’s even best to see this as a make or break of your EV’s longevity.

Keeping track of the EV’s mileage and maintenance schedule—diligently—for wishful thinking, guarantees us that it is always in good condition on the road. Jot down notes on your smartphone or download maintenance and service apps of your specific car brand to properly, or even meticulously, monitor your vehicle’s schedules.

The routine maintenance services are best done every three months or every 5,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.

4. EV charging safeguards

For full electrics, meantime, charging your battery at a charging station

while raining outside may give us qualms. But don’t fret. Don’t let those scenes from movies, like The Flash or Jurassic Park scare you. What’s good about this kind of advanced technology is it ensures its equipment from the charging cord all the way to the socket to be ‘electric-shock’ proof. For example, the charging cord won’t be energized if the vehicle isn’t fully plugged in. Once the EV determines it’s safe to proceed, it’s the only time current will flow. The EV monitors the charging itself and stops the flow if there’s a disruption.

Still, after charging under the rain, better dry the cord just for proper safekeeping.

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5. Get a car insurance

Admittedly, there are limits as to how you can keep your EV in good shape—all the time. No matter how safe you drive on the road or how diligently you maintain your car—still— we’re not always guaranteed of a hassle-free experience out there. At times, the unforeseen happens, like accidents. Or unexpectedly, Mother Nature, all of a sudden, decides our fate. Knock on wood. Remember ‘Ondoy’-level floodings wreaking havoc years ago?

Now, this is where a reliable car insurance provider comes into the picture. This can—literally—save you the hassle and practically, from any unnecessary expenses.

Tip: Take advantage of auto loan promos that offer free insurance.

In recent years, TMP, for example, has partnered with Philippine Savings Bank, not just for auto loans, but for insurances, as well.

In fact, TMP assistant vice president and marketing services head, Elvin Luciano, for a time, even said, “Having comprehensive car insurance, alongside lower rates, is important for our customers. Cars are huge investments for our clients and it is important that they have peace of mind when it comes to being prepared for unforeseen circumstances.”

Know it like the back of your hand, eventually

Speaking of peace of mind, we all know that electrified vehicles are practically new to us. And we’re still taking time to fully grasp this kind of technology. We’re not in a hurry, don’t worry. Like they say, “It’s better to do it slowly, but surely.”

In time, we’ll get there. We’ll get used to it and be comfortable with it like the back of our hands, come hell or high water.