When you buy a vehicle with a conventional gas engine, you know even the worst of garages will have some idea of how to diagnose problems and make repairs. The same basic mechanical set-up has been around for years and garages have built up experience. But when it comes to the modern makes and models bringing hybrid technology to the marketplace, the presumption disappears. Now think about an all-electric, plug-in vehicle. There are even fewer all-electric models on the roads and most garages would never have had the chance to see one let alone work on one.
From 2012, California has had a law which requires manufactures to sell a minimum number of all-electric vehicles each year. These are called “compliance cars”. This has forced a number of garages to learn how to maintain these vehicles — Toyota has fifty-three dealers who can service the RAV4 EV. So if you don’t live in California, you should think very carefully about whether to buy one of these vehicles. Even if you live in a California, which is a geographically large state, look for the nearest dealer who can maintain and repair the model before you buy.