Are EVs the Future OR the End?
Welcome everybody to Service Driver Revolution! Today, we’re gonna talk about whether Electric Cars are the demise of our industry? We’ll also be talking about how we should be going into junk yards as a new business model.
I’m Chris Collins, this is Christian Lafferty, and that’s what’s coming up on the big show right now. Let’s figure out the idea of “Are EVs the Future OR the End?”
Now I can’t speak for Christian, but I can say from the bottom of my heart, I missed you guys.
We did an SDR in the middle of December right before the holiday and what’s interesting is our downloads are up, even though we haven’t been putting up new episodes.
This is not a normal thing because previously when we would go a while without putting an episode, the downloads would decrease. But I think that there’s a little momentum going our way with that because our downloads are up year over year.
Before we get into talking about “Are EVs the Future OR the End?” I want to talk about my birthday.
I turn 50 in the middle of January for those keeping track on a Capricorn. Yep. That means anything to you. If it doesn’t, maybe you should look it up because you know, it’s good to believe in astrology and fate and all that.
I went to London, I did this because I did feel like there was pressure for me to have a birthday party.
I ultimately didn’t want a 50th birthday just because I’m not excited about turning 50. Also, I did the ultimate thing on my birthday. I flew to London and lost half of my birthday!
I took off from Los Angeles at like 9:00 at night and I landed in London at like 2:30 P.M. in the afternoon on my birthday. So I missed my birthday in the air in a sense because I lost it while traveling on a plane.
Before moving on, I asked Christian if he had anything else to say about our break away, and he said that he’s pretty excited to talk about this. Christian believes it’s a good subject and that this will be something people are gonna be like.
For me, I’m excited about the topic a lot.
Therefore, speaking about Electric Cars and the idea that Electric Cars are going to be the demise of service departments is something that I’m passionate about!
So, let’s get started and answer the question,
“Are EVs the Future OR the End?”
When you go down this path about the idea of Electric Vehicles and it’s future, it garnered very mixed opinions.
We did a survey on LinkedIn to understand where everyone is at and what everyone was thinking.
“Will you be the owner of an electric vehicle in the near future now?”
42% of you said, yes. And 55% said, no.
Now let’s go through some of the comments and just kind of set the stage for the climate out there. There’s probably over a hundred comments here…
Scott Higgins, who is a service manager at a BMW dealership said that he won’t buy an electric vehicle yet because the infrastructure for charging stations is not there yet. He lives 50 minutes away from the dealership and there are none between his destination.
I have to agree that this completely makes sense!
Scott Hansen says that the power grid in this country has enough of a job powering what it already has, which is already in use guarantee, the more electric cars going on it, the bigger the strain and the cost of electricity going through the roof.
There are many more responses to my poll, but these two pretty much sum up the idea of everyone’s current mindset about electric cars.
Danny Fulton asked some very good questions!
- Does anyone know about the longevity of these EVs?
- What mileage to expect for the life of the vehicle?
- What happens at the end of its life cycle?
- I’ve heard that the batteries are hard to recycle .. is this true?
- Are we trading cleaner air for polluted soil and groundwater?
I thought some of those were good questions. I never even thought about that before.
David Rogers here, who’s the President of Shop4D said that people didn’t ask for this technology. It’s being forced upon us by politicians and not to save the planet as the propaganda pushes.
Hmm… Seems like Roger is a bit in favor of conspiracy theories.
Before we move onto the next comments about “Are EVs the Future OR the End?”
Christian Lafferty said,
“I just think that it’s interesting because I don’t think that electric vehicles solve all the problems of the environmental issue. Having said this, I think it’s just about what technology is in transportation and what it’s gonna become.”
Shane Rutt says that the way he sees it, batteries don’t do well in the cold. What happens when the power goes out? What is this going to do to the grid?
James Yanno brings up an interesting point and asks where are people in apartments going to charge their cars?
Scott Desar, a Seahawks fan, says that in Eastern Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, the infrastructure simply isn’t close to supporting Electric Vehicles. Scott says that there’s simply no way you could drive across these states, without it being a large burden of stress, trying to find stations.
Carolyn Marie says that she would absolutely not buy an Electric Vehicle. Additionally she says that nothing is reusable, the batteries are harmful to the environment and cannot be recycled.
Robert Day commented and said that having very few moving parts will certainly change service department needs, as they become a bigger part of the mix. On the other hand, Electric Cars are not more environmentally friendly… When you include the mining, smelting, shipping, and waste from Electric cars, it is worse than internal combustion.
Bob Helwig talks about how power comes from what Feds are trying to remove..
Greg Hopkins says that Electric Vehicles have too much range anxiety and that he takes long trips.
After reading these comments, are EVs the Future OR the End?
Christian Lafferty chimed in quickly and talked about range anxiety. He says,
“Let’s talk about that for a second. Range anxiety is when you’re driving somewhere and you’re worried that you’re gonna run out of charge. Additionally, I wonder if it’s kind of the same thing on the combustible engine side.”
Furthermore, I wanted to build off of this and said,
“I have a range of like 250 miles. My chick’s Tesla, fully charged, has a range of like 389. It’s almost 400. Yeah. So the range of anxiety to me is interesting in the sense that the electric cars or just, you know, in my, in my circle, the electric cars go further than the gas one, but then you could make the case, but there’s a gas station everywhere.”
I own a Land Rover and you could not believe what I Christian told me during our new episode of SDR.
He told me that,
“I think that there’s a really good term that the team came up with for what you must have and it’s gas guilt.”
Scott Waddle left us a response and said that he owns 2 EVs and does multi thousand dollar repairs regularly.
Kim Staw brought up such an interesting point. She says that Norway has had EV sales of 80% in the last 5 years. But as an OEM, you must manage both worlds sometime. Be good at warrant repairs, and be good to get hold of the old carpark that is still a moneymaker. When EVs get out of warranty it’s also a new world to look into as new parts are expensive as hell. Used parts can get better income than ever thought.
So that’s the part of Kim that I thought was really interesting and it made me wonder, should we go into the junkyard business?
Moving forward onto the specifics of are EVs the Future OR the End of our industry…
Let’s talk about this in the sense of what is really going on here. A lot of these comments come from people in our industry that are Service Managers, Service Advisors, Dealers, etc.
Most of the comments are anti Electric Cars in the sense of range anxiety, infrastructure, it being bad for the environment, and that sort of thing.
This is where our industry constantly missteps and becomes reactive instead of being ahead of the curve.
We react to the situation, we have an opinion, and we look at it in reference to how it affects us personally.
What we’re doing again as an industry and pay attention to what I’m about to say, because we have a long track record of doing this.
What we tend to do is treat the symptoms and not the cause in these situations.
In essence, we’re giving them fish instead of teaching them how to fish.
We’re not fixing their mindset or getting them to want to do better.
We want them to understand the spirit of what we’re trying to do. Similar to when people ask us to train their Service Advisors.
Well training your Service Advisors a hundred percent of the time is treating the symptom, not the cause.
In the sense that most of the time, what you need is more Technicians. I don’t think we’ve gone into a dealership where we didn’t need more Technicians. If we train your Service Advisors and they sell more, they aren’t going to be able to get the work done.
It’s gonna compound the problem and it’s gonna run customers off. What we need to do is to fix your systems. We need to add more capacity in the production part of the business and then we can train the Service Advisors. By the time we get to training the Service Advisors, that really isn’t as important because the floodgates have opened up and the Service Advisors can do what they wanted to do all along.
The production of how the environment gets dispatched, all of that really fixes the problem. As an industry, when we’re talking about Electric Vehicles, we should see how we can get ahead of the game and solve these problems.
Are EVs the Future OR the End? What do you think?
If we understand that an issue here is the infrastructure and dealers are losing service departments. Losing their equity with consumers and the need for cars are more reliable than ever before…
Would we not try to put ourselves in front of the consumer, by having the infrastructure come to us?
Would we not install charging stations and be on every navigation map out there to make it easy?
Have a situation where they can get coffee, where they feel different about us as a dealership, and make sure that the charging stations work. Would we not want to be the solution and the answer instead of talking about change and the symptom?
If you would like Christian and I can do an episode where we sit here and debate about whether electric cars are good for the environment… We can sit here and debate whether manufacturers should be making electric cars or not…
But the train left the station.
In a sense, do we want to get ahead of this or do we wanna sit around and talk about what’s already in our future?
What we really need to do is we need to start treating the cause and not the symptom. We need to change our mindset and our approach to think of this as an opportunity! We’re not entitled to anything, so get over it!
Now it’s time to think about the question at hand, “Are EVs the Future OR the End?”
Christian Lafferty comes in and says,
“Become the destination. I think that that’s part of what goes into it too. The one thing that has happened in our industry over the last 10 or 15 years is that dealerships started to build a lot like those Taj Mahal looking places.
Then you start to transform your dealership into a destination and people have like a regular stop that they do with you. Just think about the relationships that you can build. I love the idea that we offer them a complimentary inspection, get the car in the air, make sure that the tires are aired up, etc.
Every time somebody comes in to charge their vehicle, what’s the issue with putting them in the shop then taking a look at them too.”
Building off of Christian’s thoughts, I believe that we could sell car washes, sell details, and measure their tires.
There’s all kinds of things that we could do on top of coffee!
Think about that in the sense of being the answer! Let’s figure out how we can get in front of and make it easier for consumers. Think about how we can help get rid of range anxiety by being the solution. Lastly, making sure that our charging stations are reliable because they like to break.
That’s my thoughts regarding “Are EVs the Future OR the End?” when thinking about our industry in specific.
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