Do Electric Cars Use Coolant? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re considering buying an electric car, you might be wondering if it uses coolant. It may sound obvious on paper, but electric vehicles are so different from traditional cars that it’s a common question.


Yes, electric cars do use coolant. Like in petrol and diesel vehicles, coolant is used to regulate the temperature of components within the engine bay to help improve efficiency and reduce damage and wear and tear.


Want to learn more about the relationship between electric vehicles and coolant? Read on to learn everything you need to know about how coolant is used in EVs. 


Do Electric Cars Use Coolant?

Electric cars use coolant, just like traditional gas-powered vehicles. The coolant is necessary to regulate the battery’s temperature and other components, such as the drive motor. Without coolant, the battery could overheat and become damaged, leading to safety issues and costly repairs.


While electric cars don’t produce as much heat as gas-powered vehicles, they still generate some heat that needs to be managed. The coolant helps to dissipate this heat and keeps the battery and other components at a safe operating temperature. In addition, some electric cars use the waste heat from the coolant to heat the car’s interior, which can be more energy-efficient than using an electric heater.


The coolant used in electric cars is typically a low-conductivity coolant, which means it doesn’t conduct electricity very well. This is important because electric cars have high-voltage batteries and electrical components that could be damaged if they come into contact with a conductive coolant. The low-conductivity coolant helps to prevent electrical shorts and other issues that could cause damage to the car or pose a safety risk to the driver and passengers.


It’s worth noting that the coolant used in electric cars may need to be replaced periodically, just like in gas-powered vehicles. The frequency of coolant changes will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendations and the specific model of the car. If you’re not sure when your electric car’s coolant needs to be changed, consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.


Why Do Electric Cars Need Coolant?

Electric cars use coolant for the same reason that traditional gasoline-powered cars use it: to keep the vehicle’s components at a safe operating temperature. The coolant helps to regulate heat which can warp and damage components while driving, especially over long distances.


Electric cars, like traditional cars, generate heat as they operate, which needs to be dissipated to prevent damage to the vehicle’s components. One of the main components that require cooling in an electric car is the battery. 


The battery is the heart of an electric car, and it generates a significant amount of heat as it charges and discharges. If the battery gets too hot, it can cause damage to the battery cells, which can reduce the battery’s performance and lifespan.


In addition to the battery, electric cars also use coolant to cool other components, such as the electric motor and power electronics. These components generate heat as they operate, and if they get too hot, they can also be damaged. 


The battery, electric motor, and power electronics all generate heat as they operate, and if they get too hot, they can be damaged. By using coolant, electric cars can keep these components cool, which helps to ensure the vehicle’s overall performance and reliability. 


Coolant in Electric Cars vs. Gasoline Cars

Coolant requirements in electric vs gas cars change based on how they generate heat. Gasoline cars produce heat as a byproduct of combustion, which means they have a lot of excess heat. In contrast, electric cars generate much less heat but still need to regulate their temperature to prevent damage.


When it comes to cooling systems, electric cars and gasoline cars have some similarities and some differences. While both types of vehicles need a way to regulate their temperature, the way they do it can vary.


Most electric cars, like gasoline cars, use a coolant to regulate their temperature. However, the coolant used in electric cars must be a low-conductivity coolant. 


Conventional gasoline-fueled automobiles generate considerable amounts of heat, causing strain on the coolant when circulating through the engine compartment. However, electric vehicles do not face this issue. In electric cars, the coolant is responsible for regulating the battery temperature, which is a critical component. Neglecting the coolant can result in battery overheating, causing harm to the battery in the long run.


Another difference is the way the cooling system is set up. Gasoline cars typically use a radiator to cool the engine, while electric cars may use a heat pump. A heat pump is an efficient way to regulate the temperature in an electric car because it can both heat and cool the battery, depending on the situation.


Overall, while there are some differences in the way cooling systems are set up in electric cars versus gasoline cars, both types of vehicles require a way to regulate their temperature. Electric cars use a low-conductivity coolant to regulate the battery temperature, while gasoline cars use a radiator to cool the engine. 


Understanding the differences between these systems can help you better maintain your vehicle and keep it running smoothly.


How is Coolant Used in Electric Cars?

Coolant is used in electric cars to regulate the temperature of the battery and other components. The coolant absorbs the heat and carries it away, preventing the components from overheating. Most electric cars use a glycol-based coolant, which is similar to the coolant used in traditional gas-powered vehicles.


That’s why it’s essential to keep the battery temperature regulated, and coolant is used to do just that. In addition to the battery, other components in an electric car also generate heat, such as the drive motor. 


However, the coolant used in electric cars must be a low-conductivity coolant, as the high voltage in electric cars can cause the coolant to become conductive and short-circuit the system. It’s worth noting that not all electric cars use coolant. 


Some electric cars, such as the Tesla Model S, use a liquid cooling system for the battery and a separate air-cooling system for the drive motor. However, most electric cars on the market today use a liquid cooling system for both the battery and the drive motor. 


Overall, coolant is an essential component in an electric car’s thermal management system. It helps regulate the battery’s temperature and other components, ensuring the car operates efficiently and reliably. 



Although electric cars use fewer fluids than gasoline cars, they still need maintenance to ensure the coolant works well and can cool the battery properly. Changing the coolant regularly is essential to keep the vehicle safe, and it will help keep the car in good condition.


The heating and cooling of the engine bay of electric vehicles needs to be more efficient to avoid loss of range. You may need to adjust your driving habits to maximise your electric car’s range, such as preheating or precooling the cabin while the vehicle is still plugged in.


Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

Do electric cars use coolant