Skip to content

Busting EV Powertrain Durability Myths.

Our latest analysis of long-term EV powertrain reliability attempts to disprove the common misconceptions that used battery-electric vehicles are widely undependable and offer poor longevity.
  • Our Warrantywise Reliability Index data shows that common-held scepticism surrounding EV powertrain durability and longevity is unfounded.
  • Both Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 offer similar levels of reliability to their parent brands’ ICE models.
  • Our data shows that EV powertrains are robust and reliable over time with only fractional number of EV powertrain repairs required for cars between three- and 10-years old.
  • Nissan Leaf secures Top 10 position in our overall reliability tables.
Nissan Leaf

Our latest analysis of long-term EV powertrain reliability attempts to disprove the common misconceptions that used battery-electric vehicles are widely undependable and offer poor longevity.

Our research is focused on three of the UK’s most recognisable plug-in models – the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 – and looks at the frequency of repairs, common faults, cost of repair and age at the time of repair. We have also evaluated is the rate of repair and the average cost of repair for similar combustion models.   

Of the three models, the most reliable was the spacious and comfortable Nissan LEAF. Widely regarded to be one of the first truly mass-market electric vehicles, just two of these pioneering family hatchbacks required repairs from all the active policies for this model. One fix was made to a vehicle’s mirror assembly, while the other addressed an electrical fault. Comparably, Nissan’s ICE-powered compact crossover, the Juke, recorded a not-insignificant repair percentage of 14%.

The intelligently packaged and immensely desirable BMW i3 also scores well in the reliability standings overall. With a respectable repair percentage of 18% against the total number of active EV Car warranties currently held on the model by Warrantywise. Some of the most common repairs being due to issues with the air conditioning system and the car’s electrical systems. BMW’s closest combustion-engined equivalent, the 1-Series, saw a higher 21% repair rate.

Our CEO, Lawrence Whittaker, said:

Scepticism surrounding the reliability and powertrain longevity of EV technology – particularly the ability of the batteries to consistently hold full battery charging capacity – has been a concern in the early uptake of plug-in electric vehicles. It is really encouraging to see that the major EV components such as the powertrain, outperform petrol and diesel counterparts after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Overall numbers of repairs and the severity and complexity of them are encouragingly low for anyone eyeing up a second-hand EV bargain. Our reliability data index provides the most accurate snapshot of real-world data anywhere in the market and helps to prove that plug-in EVs can be a great used buy. With a Warrantywise plan in place, buyers have complete peace-of-mind that they are fully covered against any major mechanical defects for the duration of their cover.
Lawrence Whittaker
Warrantywise CEO

While the Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 delivered strong results in our Reliability Index, the long-term performance of the Tesla Model S does fall behind that of the more established manufacturers. The first mass-produced EV by the Californian technology giant, 41% of the vehicles required remedial work, however the majority of the recorded repairs centered around electrical faults rather than any major repairs to the electric motors and batteries.  

 NOTE: All Warrantywise data based on a minimum sample size of 100 vehicles per make and per model. All data contained within the Warrantywise Reliability Index relates to repairs between 01/01/2018 and 30/04/2020 and may not represent the reliability of new vehicles as the cars Warrantywise has on cover are all over three years old.

Warrantywise and Warrantywise Logo are trademarks of Warrantywise. The website "" and contents herein are for information purposes only. This does not form part of any contract of protection. Any and all Warranty Plan confirmation including Warranty Plan Documents and Application Forms will be issued upon purchase. It is important that you read our information supplied and then make your own choice of warranty cover together with any plan additions that you may need as a vehicle owner who demands to ensure that your vehicle warranty requirements are met now and in the foreseeable future. Terms and Conditions apply and are provided by Warrantywise available to download here or upon request by calling 0800 169 7880. Warrantywise Limited (No. 07963594 ) and Warrantywise UK Limited (No. 14775172) both trading as Warrantywise are companies registered in England and Wales at The Rocket Centre, 3 Trident Way, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 3NU and both are part of Wise Group Holdings Limited, Company No. 10613336. Warrantywise Limited (VAT registration number 264 8618 71) and Warrantywise UK Limited (VAT registration number 437 8119 76) are VAT registered companies. All prices and monetary figures are quoted include VAT at the current rate.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
*Please refer to specific plan terms and conditions.