Alternative Fuel Folly?

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Is it time to invest in the equipment and training you’ll need to service electric vehicles?

According to a report in The Toronto Star newspaper, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives are preparing to end the province’s generous Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program.

The mainstream media is reporting that Premier Ford has made it clear he will no longer support the EV automotive push by co-buying electric vehicles for Ontario residents. I applaud this move. Wasting taxpayers’ money on a failed technology is just plain stupid.

Cart vs. horse

This is one of those cases where we literally have put the cart before the horse. Mind you, putting the cart before the horse does work if you’re a Porsche owner, but hey, that’s another column. The issue here is there are not enough recharging stations in the country to refill an EV fleet.

The simple answer is that EVs don’t fill fast enough. You can literally see the line move at the local filling station. Today’s fleet can refuel in as little as five minutes. EVs may take several hours to recharge. See an issue here?

EVs in your bays

As with all new technologies, it takes the aftermarket time to adapt. Servicing these vehicles, if history holds, will migrate to the local garage as the fleet ages. Can we, would we, could we, adapt to servicing these vehicles? The Nissan LEAF has been around for several years now, and these vehicles have started to enter the used car market.

Would you attempt a repair on the driveline, for instance, or just let it walk? Could you even locate a battery pack, if that was required? Personally, I would never invest the time nor equipment for this venture. I would send it back to the dealer and move on to more lucrative work.

It seems that forcing EVs on the market is a well-intentioned failure. The true answer is still out there. Plug-in hybrid? Hydrogen? Who knows. While we’re on this subject, has anyone ever heard of a plug-in hybrid pickup, or truck for that matter? Seems that is where gas saving would do the most good.

What I do know is that large companies with big cash flow can afford to be a little reckless. Small guys, like us, can’t afford to make too many mistakes.

Would I invest in EV repair? My answer… not yet!

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