By Imanol Lopez
Electric-powered cars have been increasingly being sold and put on the road at a significantly high rate year by year. This is affecting society when it comes to the environment, businesses, etc. To get the point of view of someone who may be affected by the evolution of cars that are being put on the road, Ralph Barbarian shared his expertise. Ralph is the part owner of Bob Auto Service which he shares ownership with his brother. Bob Auto Service is located in Riverside California and has been open for 35 years was open to an interview about how potential changes to the vehicles on the road could have on his business and his thoughts on the potential benefits of electric cars replacing gas-powered vehicles.
“In order to stay in the automobile business you would have to learn how to work on electrically powered vehicles”(Ralph Barbarian).
Q: How would your business be affected by the potential change in vehicles going from gas-powered cars to electric-powered cars?
A: It could potentially hurt my business, but we would have to move into the specialty business where we would start to focus on selling tires because every car no matter if they are gas-powered, hybrid, or electrical car they needs tires and every car also need to be aligned as well so we could also work on cars no matter what they are powered by we could do their alignment as well as working on their suspension as well. There are still many parts that are being used in electric cars as well as gas-powered cars that we can still fix but the main difference would be the engine’s source of power.
Q: Have you ever worked on an electric or hybrid car?
A: Yes, we do work on electric and hybrid cars. The most popular cars that come in and that we work on are Teslas and Toyota Priuses. We offer tires and alignment for these types of vehicles, but we just don’t get into the technical part of it which would be the battery.
Q: Would you consider sending your employees to school to learn how to work on hybrid and electric vehicles?
A: Eventually if you want to continue the automobile business you would have to do that to stay in the business but something to think about would be gas-powered cars would be viewed as classic cars since electric cars could push them off the market. Everyone wants classic cars, and we could go into fixing these classic cars which would up our price since their parts would be more difficult to find if they are not being produced anymore.
Q: Do you believe the potential positive effects that the environment could receive from gas-powered cars being replaced by electric cars will be significant enough to justify such a big change to our society?
A: I believe if everyone is on the same page globally, we could see this have a positive effect on our environment, but the likelihood of this happening is very slim due to many conflicts that are going on between many countries and other countries being too stubborn to change their ways. An example that I have seen is that in Norway they have 100% of the cars on the road to electric and we haven’t seen a huge change in our environment as a whole. If we cannot get on the same page with this maybe we should look at alternative causes that are damaging the environment.
Q: Could you see yourself buying an electric-powered vehicle in the future?
A: Electric-powered vehicles lack infrastructure because charging a car takes far too long and we still don’t see many charging stations, which could cause an inconvenience when you’re driving long distances. I would look into a hybrid vehicle because it seems that it is the best of both worlds and doesn’t require it to be charged. It also does well in saving money from the high gas prices that we are seeing nowadays.
Ralph Barbarian provided an insightful point of view on the effects that electric cars could potentially have on his shop since his business relies on repairing gas-powered cars. This was interesting because of the heavy increase in support for electric and hybrid cars that the government Is showing. It is becoming a reality in our society that shortly we could be seeing the roads have a similar look that Norway has in the present day. Which is filled with electric cars throughout the whole country.