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Tess Goes To The Mechanic, & The EV Transition Gets Personal

Tim has looked after my two Hyundais and my classic Wolseley for the past 20 years. He has taken care of everything from regular servicing to rescuing me from the mountain when my automatic gearbox stopped working halfway up Cunningham’s Gap on the way to Warwick. I respect him and trust him. When I got interested in EVs, I tried to talk to him about it, but he wasn’t interested.

Image by David Waterworth

Now I drive a Tesla and thought we wouldn’t be seeing much of each other. No oil changes, no coil replacements, no fan blades coming off the old classic. But Tess still needs tires. So I took her in to have the back tires replaced. (Seems I have been doing too many launches.)

When I went to pick the car up, I asked the mechanic what he thought of the car. He was interested but said Tim wouldn’t let him take her for a drive, only the boss drove it. Paying the bill, I asked Tim what he thought. I got a look and a dry comment: “Very impressive.”

“How’s business?” I asked. It seems business is pretty good. Lots of work. I hope it lasts, but I doubt that it will. I’d like to help him prepare for the transition, but I don’t think he is ready to listen yet. The apprentice got talking to me later and I asked him what they are doing at TAFE. Apparently, they are training them to service an old Nissan Leaf and a Toyota Prius. I’m not sure about the details, what they do with them. 

My grandson who is 12 wants to be a mechanic. What do you say? I talk about niche markets and conversions of classic cars. How do I tell him that petrol car sales peaked in 2017 and have dropped 25% since then. His Dad is replacing the valve seals on the head of his HD (1964) Holden. He had it there on the bench in the garage. Dad is rightfully proud of his work — I was amazed, having forgotten how complicated the engine was.

There will be a need for top-notch mechanics for a long time I’m sure, just like we need large animal vets. But no so many of them.

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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