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Pat Bombard Interview With Linda Ballesteros


Have you ever dreamed of one day owning your own business, but just don't know where to begin? Then you've tuned into the right show on all things franchising. You will hear from top national franchises, successful franchisee attorneys, CPAs and others who support this fast growing business model. So grab a cup of coffee and pen a notepad because you will want to capture the invaluable information you hear on today's show. And now here's your host, Linda Ballesteros. Hey, welcome to All Things Franchising.



This is Linda Ballesteros. Thanks so much for spending some time with me today. I'm always honored when someone that is able to carve out a few minutes to to spend with me today, we're going to be talking about electric vehicles. That's right. The electric vehicle industry in the U.S. The U.S. sold over three hundred and thirty thousand electric cars in twenty nineteen. You may be surprised to know that California is not the only state that is welcoming the idea of using EVs over traditional fossil fuel vehicles.



There are noticeable spikes in the EV usage in New York, Florida and Texas as well. So my guest today is T.J. Bombard. He is the founder of E! Truck L. S the D. One hundred percent electric trucks have a hundred and twenty mile range. They are ideal as replacements for full sized transport, transport trucks in universities, municipalities, manufacturing centers, gated communities and so much more. E truck. Ellis the was recognized as the customer value leader in the electric truck as the industry by Frost and Sullivan help me in welcoming P.J. to the show.



P.J., welcome.



Good morning, Linda. It's an honor and a pleasure to be speaking to you today.



Well, I'm excited because I think this is an industry that is certainly getting ready to take off, especially with everything that we hear about that Elon Musk has done. And I want to know first, T.J., how were you drawn to this new cutting edge industry? Well, that's a great question, and it all started with a dream, and around 2016, when some friends and team members now got together and we decided there was an opportunity and a unique niche to develop something different.



And with our automobile experience and our Amitay experience and engineering experience, we came up with the concept and idea of creating a low speed electric truck. And I like to explain to you a little bit more about that. So Mr. Tesla is up on the highways and everyone in America is usually going 45, 50, 60, 70 in some places even more. So, we found an area and a unique part to go on STS. In villages, towns, gated communities, state parks, where speed limit is five, 10, 15, 20 or 30.



So our truck is a low speed vehicle, which is a low speed truck. So we like the city streets and the low areas. And you'd be surprised really at five or 10 or 15 or 20, you can still do a lot in that market. And then we created the opportunity to develop it and move forward.



So, T.J., I'm thinking when you're talking low speed, the only low speed I know is a golf cart. But this certainly is is like a golf cart on steroids or something, right? Well, that's a good way to put it. So what we are is actually a truck. So we took a truck frame and then we put a body on it and we made sure that it fit. Someone sticks to comfortably and then another person, which we call our regular cab.



And then we also created a truck, which is a four door version. So you could actually carry four people. And because we're on a truck train and we have bigger tires, Goodyear tires, more technology, it was easier for us and more safer for us to present our product to everyone now so that they can have a window, a door like air conditioning and be able to go on a low speed streets. And if you think about your neighborhood or gated community, the speed limit is five, 10, 15, and our campus campuses a state park.



So it really sits in a great place for us. It sounds like a market that is, I would say, probably relatively untapped other than the golf carts. Well, that's very true. The golf carts have been running around for a long, long time. And there's been some other companies that have tried different areas, but they're not as unique as us because it's like be a bobcat to lift things and move things. There might be a golf cart that they added a little box on the back or a John Deere tractor, which they call gator.



Those are all completely different and they do not fit the low speed vehicle industry because you can't go on the street with them. You can't carry people with them safely. And you can't do the things that are important today because usually either gas or diesel, there are very few electric and we are totally electric.



So let's talk about the fact that it is electric. Is it electric or is it solar powered? How what are what do they look like? So our design team and our engineers came up with a totally electric truck, and I mean by that is we are zero emissions and carbon free. So it starts from the braking system. The braking system has regeneration of brakes. So when you're moving, you're actually charging your batteries on your truck. We also came up with the design.



The design is a solid case area where six batteries go and they power the truck, as well as an auxiliary battery that goes underneath the body on the driver's seat so it can power the radio, the windows and the door locks. The batteries underneath that are really unique. We have three different versions. We have your typical glass mat battery that would be lead acid. We also have a new technology, which is called crystal batteries, which is a little bit different, and then the technology even change more.



We have lithium batteries are on our trucks now, so we're able to store them in a nice place. We're able to keep them safe. We're also able to charge them at different variations, depending on how the customer needs it. And our great one engineer came up with a brilliant idea of putting a solar panel on the roof. So we added a solar panel, which is semi flexible, which is really neat, unique, so that when the truck is in Florida or Texas or California or New York, you could actually use the sunlight to slowly charge your truck and keep it so that you really have power all the time.



So it's an added value which makes it unique. And no one in the industry has done that now. And we're proud of that. And everyone likes it.



Yeah, absolutely. Because, you know, there could be a time when you can't find a charging station. Even though I see more charging stations in and shopping centers, I believe that we will probably see more of that, don't you, P.J., as this becomes more an acceptable way of driving people looking at electric? Absolutely. You're starting to see in certain states where they're actually putting them in designated areas on the interstates as well as grocery stores, drug stores.



So when our unique situation, we will have our truck so that we have the opportunity to charge it at a university and we will be putting in multiple charging stations in multiple different ways. You'd be surprised and excited to know that our young generation of college students are driving hybrids and electric vehicles as well as other clients now. And people are getting onboard with the electric way of doing things. And it's really neat. It's a very important part because we do need to protect our environment and save.



So you'll be able to see a charging station at a college or at your local grocery store where you can plug in and do what's necessary. Also for us, when we have like the city of Sarasota or Houston or Buffalo, New York, when our trucks can go around and deliver pizza or metal or flowers, there will be stations down there. So not only we can charge, but also the public will be able to plug in their car and be able to charge to keep everything moving forward.



And I think it's the best way to do industry because we will make things cleaner on our beaches and in our cities.



Yeah, definitely. You know, it's interesting, folks, if you're listening to the recording, just to let you know, this is September the 17th. Twenty twenty. And as I say, that's all I need to say. It's twenty twenty. I don't need to explain anything. But when there was the shut down and the quarantine, P.J. Moore, the environment seemed to start cleaning itself up. So the skies over the big cities, they were clear.



The waters, the streams were clear. So this just supports the the really need to look at electric vehicles as a serious way to protect our environment, don't you think? I agree totally, Linda. It's way overdue, I understand, and if you look at the big market, which I'll talk about for a minute, you know, there's some big companies out there now, the Reveillon and our friend at Tesla making full sized electric trucks and full sized delivery trucks.



And you see that market starting to change, too, because they all realize, too, that we need to make it a cleaner place. And if we start. In the villages, in the cities, in the gated communities, at the malls, at the state parks, we can build a ground up force that will say, hey, this is the better way of doing it. It makes more sense. And the resorts and the beaches and you'd be surprised what a difference it makes and how much more people are excited and happier about that.



Plus, the cost of fuel, incredibly, will even continue to go down because we have a major, major way to do things differently, which makes sense in the range of vehicles today has gotten better and better and better. And the technology is getting better and better and better. And we all need to be part of that. And I hope and pray that everyone takes a good, hard look at it. It makes more sense financially. Also from an investment standpoint, instead of spending fifty thousand dollars for a truck, you could spend thirty thousand dollars for an electric truck and make a big difference.



So let's talk about the expense of that just a little bit to the expense of, you know, buying gas once a week, twice a week depends on how much you you really travel vs. just charging your vehicle. So what are some of the cost differences between a a gas vehicle and the E truck? Well, let's start at the very top. First, let's talk about the cost that you're going to pay. If you buy a truck, it's usually going to be in the range, incredibly, of 40 to 50 thousand dollars for a truck.



And also with that truck, you're going to have to buy fuel oil changes, insurance. That's all added costs. That's going to cost you to do business with that truck on a college campus. So let's use the University of Central Florida as an example. It's about 20 miles. So imagine a truck driving around and that's the cost factor that's going to be there. So what we've been able to do with our low speed electric truck is have a truck that comes starts out at twenty nine thousand dollars.



So right off the bat, you've got approximately 10000 to 20000 savings immediately for a University of college to do business on their campus, to carry product and to carry people. Now, the other added values are we and every university, college and business Americans can sign up for federal tax credits. You've heard about them. You've seen them sometimes are up to seventy five hundred dollars per unit. Our truck does qualify and it depends on who you are, university business or college and how much of a federal tax code you've got to make it even stronger.



Other states have put in state tax credits as well as rebates. And if it's a rebate of five hundred dollars or four thousand dollars, it would come off the price of our truck. The unique part of what we've done is we've also created a leasing department and today everyone needs to be financially smart. In a sense, you could lease one of our little trucks unless the low speed truck, whether it's the regular cab or truck and depending on. The terms that you like from a year to five years, anywhere from two hundred and fifty dollars a month to five hundred dollars a month, depending on what options you put on the truck and how it works, once you apply the credits and the other and the incentives it makes the cost of owning or leasing any truck, LSP substantially less, which is allows everyone to be smarter in the way we do business.



We've also added the ability to take in trade ins and there's a lot of colleges and businesses that have fleets sitting there that they need to get rid of. So we will look at that and give you a dollar for dollar the value. So we'll be able to apply that towards the purchase or lease of our truck. And leasing lets you get three trucks compared to one. And it's also. So much smarter because now your insurance costs go down because you're staying on your campus, you have no fuel costs, it's a plug in and it might let your cell phone, which everyone does, the maintenance is gone because you don't need to change your oil or put breaks in.



Our truck has our favorite. Three things were affordable, sustainable and reliable and reliable because we have a five year warranty on the truck. So the batteries, the software, the controller, the solar panel are covered for five years. So that separates us and also gives our customers the safety and the assurance that they're going to be taken care of from day one all the way through the next five years and move forward. And that's an important part of business today, taking care of them, making sure they have no worries.






So you may be wondering, this is a franchise show, right? Why why would he be on here talking about electric vehicles? So let's talk about why you're on here, because there is a way that you can partner you can be a part of the E truck online business because there's a licensing opportunity here. T.J., why don't you explain that just a little bit for us? Sure, so we. I have thought about and looked at how to do business a new way with a new concept, and we are going to be licensing our trucks for candidates and prospects across the United States of America.



And we're looking for great traits in the. Candidate, we're also looking for areas that have strong ability to grow, also areas that will be designated with the license for their responsibility and a license gives you the ability to really, really be in tune of what's going on with today's world so that your costs of doing business will be less. But more importantly, licensing to is a greater way of everyone being part of each city and growing our market, as well as growing the business across the United States of America.



And we want our licenses and candidates to have an area of responsibility, also to have the ability to grow and to take care of our customers from start to finish.



So if someone's listening, T.J., and they're interested in hearing more about this licensing opportunity, how would they contact you? How would they find out more information about maybe investigating this a little bit further? Sure, great question when then it's real simple to catch us and me, I'm going to give you my email address, which you can put up. It's real simple. PG it e truck online, dotcom once again, P.J. E truck online dot com.



Also, we have a phone number you can reach us at, which is the simplest way. I like to answer the phone all the time for all our customers as well as anyone who is interested in becoming a licensee in the states that you live in, in the area of responsibility. And that number is nine for one. Nine nine three seven eight four six. Once again, nine four one nine nine three seven eight four six. You can go ahead or email me and or call me and I will respond to you.



Really quick, because we're excited about what we're doing and we want everyone in every state. To be part of the E truck, LSP momentum and make a difference. So when someone's looking at the licensing opportunity here. Does that mean that they need to have like a car dealership where they've got all these vehicles sitting out there? What would that look like? So so our model is completely different and it's unique. So what we look for is someone that has a great location and I mean a great location and a great location in our square.



Footage for a location is a showroom which has approximately maybe a thousand square feet. And you would have our electric trucks in that showroom. The nice thing is they're electric, so you can pull them in and out. So you have to do is have a showroom door, let them go in and out, and then in a area where people could actually drive and see the truck. We also saw things that differently, that if you see our truck at our showroom are we would bring our truck to you so you could actually drive it, see it, touch it and feel it.



So we're going to be like the old Kearby. Guy used to go door to door, our philosophy is bring our truck to you and let you see it at your school, at your business, and our showrooms are going to be very small, very unique. There will be a showroom so you can see, touch and feel our truck and go from that standpoint. Our technicians that we train for our service will come out of our home base in Florida and we would go directly to each and every client.



To take care of any service needs when we deliver our trucks to our customers and businesses and schools will come directly to you. We will demonstrate to truck with you that they show you how the teachers work and make sure that everything is one hundred percent. And then we go on our merry way. We also have our toll free number, 866 E truck number one that you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need something.



And we will come to you and take care of whatever your truck needs from a flat tire to anything else. So we want to take care of our customers. We're going to do it the truck way and come to you, pick it up, take care of it and bring it back so that you're always on the move and satisfy completely. You know, it sounds like a perfect model, T.J. I'll tell you what, I need to take a real quick commercial break.



And when we come back, I would love to hear more about your ideas, about how you see iTrust benefiting campuses and the gated communities and other organizations out there. So we'll be right back with more from PJ Bombard with E Truck online. Ready to update your tired old kitchen or bathroom than you need to call again, bones, custom home improvements and bones us all phases of remodeling, specializing in kitchen and bath remodels, bones, custom home improvements is a company you can trust, family owned and operated with an eight plus rating with a BB called Game Bones.



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Contact Linda today to start the process of being your own boss. Linda at Empower Franchise Consulting got a three to six four zero four nine two two. Hi, folks, welcome back to All Things Franchising. This is Linda Biasutto. I'm here today with PJ Bombard with E Truck online. I was thinking during the commercial break, does someone that is considering being a licensee, do they need to have experience in electric vehicles or even car sales, if that important?



It would be nice to have that, but with our training program, we can train a candidate or prospect and I'm glad you brought that up. Regarding our licensing, we are taking applications as well as phone calls and interviews between now and the first of the year. So October, November and December, so that we can go through the process, make sure we have the right candidate for the right area with the right location, and we will be setting up our licensing by the end of twenty twenty so that everyone will be ready to launch in twenty twenty one in their area of responsibility.



So it's an exciting time and once you call we can get into the areas and the cost and what's needed to become part of the new truck, the low speed market movement and make a difference in their community.



T.J., one more time. If somebody is listening, what is your email address again? It's P.J. at E! Truck online, Dukkha, and the best number to reach me is that nine four one nine nine three seven eight four six. Text me or call. We will I will respond to you very, very quickly. Very good. So we're down to those final three questions. And these questions are about franchising. But I think it also applies to licensing because I believe that in certain industries, certain areas, licensing makes much more sense than even franchising, to be honest.



So the first question here, P.J., is if there is someone listening who's concert considering purchasing a franchise or a license, what would you suggest that they do to prepare for that process? Well, I the first thing I would do is prepare as I would look at your responsibility, where you live, your city, see how many colleges are there, how many gated communities are there? See how many. Businesses are in the area, state parks, and then look at your speed limit, if you live in a city or in a village or in a community, that it's five, 10, 15, 20 up to 30 miles per hour or you have a business or someone that you can think you can lease or sell our trucks to.



That's the first place you look. And believe me, when you start to look around and also instead of going on the highway, take the low road, take the low speed, you'd be surprised what you see along the way. You'll see friends and people and you can make a difference. That's number one. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. You know, I think market research is important no matter what industry you're looking at. And sometimes people skip that piece of it.



But that's so critical. It's so very important. So the next question here, P.J., is what are two traits that make a successful truck licensee? Well, the first traders you need to be a people person, and when I say that, you need to have the most important things that we talk about every day at Truck God, family, fun and work, and that's the biggest traits that we love and anyone, because when you have that, you can make it.



And I'll repeat that God family fun and work. And when we do that every day at each rock and when our candidates have that, it makes the biggest difference. And we all believe in making a difference. And that's the most important thing. I'd like to share that one sentence says it all on what our philosophy is and what we believe. And we're trying to spread that everywhere. Definitely. And of course, as we mentioned before, it's not necessary for someone to have that industry background.



It would be good, but it's but it would also be important for someone to have most self-motivated and to have a passion about this. So that would be another great trait for someone in this industry that that they're interested in our environment. Don't you think?



Absolutely. That's really you have to love what you do like you do, Linda, which you show is amazing and great. And it spreads the word that it's so important. And, you know, I want to bring this up. You know, we on our team have some powerful women that have made a huge difference in our company. And we're looking for anybody that's, you know, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, because decades and generations, when you believe in something as strongly as we do and you can help make a difference and everyone can make a difference, is the most important part or trait that we're looking for.



And it's going to be fun. And when you hop in your truck for the first time and you turn the power switch on and you go and you laugh because there's no noise that really makes everybody have a good time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Very. And I can't wait for you to drive one. And Linda. That's right. I'll be here for sure. So the last question here is, what do you see the future of franchising or licensing look like?



I see the future is bright, citing and if. We look at today's world that we're in. Everyone can be their own. Business owner, everyone can live their own dream. Everyone can have their own franchise or license, which you talk about in your show to franchising, but licensing is. Such a great way to go, because the requirements and the opportunities to do things are more easier for people to understand and we're excited about it. I think you'll see more of it.



We plan on leading the industry in the low speed vehicle with our electric truck, with licensing across the United States, and we're excited about it. And I think if we can set a new way and a new concept and a new idea and make it brighter and safer and cleaner and fun, we're ready to do that, Linda.



Yeah, definitely. P.J., is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners before we wrap up the show? Not a thing. I think if you visit our Web site, iTrust, online dot com, you call me, you text me, you do a little bit of homework, you get excited and you look to see what having a license is for each truck, LSC and to enjoy it and have fun and be one of the first to start a new wave in a new way of doing things.



This fourth quarter of October, November and December, you'll have a great time and you'll have a lot of fun. And that's what we're all about. Yeah, P.J., thanks so much for being on the show today, talking about this great cutting edge industry out there, and I'm so excited for you for E truck to see where this takes everybody, because it's when it takes off into in twenty, twenty one, we may be surprised. You may outrun Elon Musk Musk he's ever done.



That would be fun. We'll give him a run for his money or our own little world. Thank you for having me today. It was fun. Absolutely.



So folks, I like I said, I always love to bring you information that's kind of unexpected. And this certainly was. But you have to admit you have to admit that the electric vehicle industry is growing. It's getting a lot more exposure. It's it's being pushed in front of the spotlight and for so many reasons. So I want to leave you with this quote. You know, I always leave you with a quote. You might be surprised who said this, I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power.



I hope we don't have to wait until oil coal run out before we tackle that. That's a quote by Thomas Edison. Even back then, he saw the value of solar power and we need to get on board with that. Folks, thanks so much for joining me today on All Things Franchising. See you next time.



And another great episode of All Things Franchising is now in the books. You can listen to past shows by following all things franchising on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for joining us today. And be sure not to miss this next time when we bring you a brand new episode of All Things Franchising.