LIMA — Like clockwork, a group of local car enthusiasts show up at Lombardo’s every Wednesday to solve the world’s problems. And a some point, the discussion turns to cars.
“The future is definitely going to be electric cars, and we have got to see that coming and we have got to accept it,” said Jim Thoman, of Lima. “The technology is already here, and it’s here to stay.”
The benefits of owning an electric car are it is ecologically friendly as it does not emit harmful gases; it does not create too much noise; and the maintenance cost is cheaper, he said.
Dave Semer, of Lima, has leased a 2018 Ford C Max Hybrid.
“I love it. It would have been neat to have it back in my days when I was not walking in the light of the Lord because you could sneak in and out, there’s no noise,” Semer said. “It would have been perfect when I was a kid because when I left the house, nobody would have heard me. It’s just eerie, it’s so quiet.
“I was encouraged by the fuel economy. It had been out for a while before I decided it’s time to get my feet wet and check it out.”
According to Semer, the electric vehicle has “much, much, much more torque” than the gasoline engine does, causing the car to go faster.
As with all car enthusiasts, these guys gain their knowledge of the automobile industry by reading.
“A famous drag racer, Don Garlits, is trying to get up to 200 miles an hour on an electric car. He’s like at 185 now,” said Gary Swallow, of Lima. “You put a Tesla against a Corvette, my money is on the Tesla.”
The men feel that in another five to 10 years, the majority of the vehicles on the road will be electric cars, citing the driver assistance features already on newer cars as the step towards total electric vehicles.
While the emergence of electrical vehicles was met with positive comments, all of the men, except one, agreed they would not feel comfortable in an autonomous vehicle. Their main concern with the self-driving cars is being in control.
“I don’t have any desire for the autonomous car. I want to be in control,” said Dave Dotson, of Elida.
Andy Maravola, of Lima, agreed.
“I like sitting in the car that I have control over. I like shifting gears, I like lifting the hood and looking under it to see what we do, and I like to be in control of driving,” said Maravola.
One holdout was Semer. His focus was on how well people drive.
“There’s a lot of people out there driving that I would prefer that they would be in an autonomous car!” he said. “As far as me, it’s coming. When it gets here, if I trust it, I’ll try it.”
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.