EV Driver Spotlight: Rick loves his electric lifestyle in West Virginia

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Driver Profile Card - Dr. Rick Walker

This post is part of a series of EV Driver Spotlights that shine a light on why people choose to drive electric. Drivers, want to be profiled? Tell us your EV story.

Dr. Walker is an early EV adopter and champion living in West Virginia. After being a surgeon for 40 years, Dr. Walker taught at a university. He now gives multiple presentations on EVs to audiences across North America in his “retirement.” He loves driving electric for many reasons, from saving thousands on gas and maintenance to the “quiet, responsive ride.” While he’s driven his EVs widely, he loves charging in West Virginia state parks most of all. Hear from Dr. Walker about his EV journey directly:

Something changes in the EV world every day.

- Dr. Walker

What made you decide to go electric?

Being an early adopter, I decided to go electric based on my belief that the future of transportation would be moving people and goods by electric power.

When did you make the switch?

I visited the Dayton, OH Auto Show in late 2016 and bought my first electric vehicle, a Chevy Bolt EV, in Frederick, Maryland in May of 2017. I had to buy my first EV — the Chevy Bolt — in Maryland because, in 2017, no Chevrolet dealers in WV were selling any EVs.

What was your first EV charging experience like?

My first Bolt charging experience was at a ChargePoint station near Washington, DC, having picked up the EV just hours before in nearby Maryland! I have been a ChargePoint member since 2017.

Do you see many other EVs around where you live?

The numbers are increasing. Many Teslas are in WV despite Tesla’s being unable to sell one here. Mine is the only Ioniq 5 I see locally.

What do you do for work (and fun)?

I am retired (twice, age 66 & age 75). I give (5 different) presentations via live streaming, about EVs, to audiences across North America. I am a docent at the Huntington Museum of Art. I perform (small parts) intermittently in a community theater group. I read many books each year.

How has driving electric affected your work, if at all?

While being on the faculty of Marshall University (2013-2021), it was an easy and economical trip to the Marshall campus where I taught. I researched and wrote, for the President of the University, a thesis on electrifying the Marshall University fleet of cars, vans and trucks.

What’s something you’ve learned from driving electric?

I enrolled as a college freshman in 2021 at Weber State University in Utah, under Professor John Kelly, learning how to do diagnoses and repairs on EVs of all makes. This course of study had two online courses followed by a week-long “boot camp” in Utah, where we took EV components out and apart for five 8-hour days. We were able to safely handle voltages of 800-1000 volts!

Where do you usually charge?

Most of my charging is done at home, overnight, while I sleep.

Do you have a favorite charging spot?

I travel to Maryland frequently for family visits. I try to learn about and use different DC chargers and AC EVSEs along the several routes I take. My favorite charging spots are the WV State Parks, all the lodges of which have free AC charging, with multiple plugs.

How much do you estimate you’re saving on gas and maintenance?

Driving electrically has increased our home’s electric bill by about $300/year or $25/month. Our gas and maintenance costs have dropped by around $2,400/year. 

Dr. Walker standing next to his Hyundai Ioniq 5

Where’s the best place you’ve taken an electric road trip, or where would you like to take one?

I have made EV trips to Washington, DC, Columbus, OH, Baltimore, MD, York, SC, Bowling Green, OH, Rehoboth Beach, DE, Ann Arbor, MI, Bel Air, MD, Richmond, VA, and Nags Head, NC. My favorite trips are to the high (4800’ MSL) hills and National Forests of Pocahontas County, WV.

What’s your favorite thing about driving electric?

Saving money, which, as a retired person on a fixed income, is always important. The quiet, responsive ride is also a large plus!

So many myths abound, many spouted by people with an anti-EV agenda. The truths are exhilarating and mind changing.

- Dr. Walker

What’s a fun EV fact about you?

I have displayed my EV(s) at over 20 EV car shows for NDEW, DEED and other functions. I love talking about EV travel.

What’s one thing you think people should know about driving electric?

Learn about them! So many myths abound, many spouted by people with an anti-EV agenda. The truths are exhilarating and mind-changing.

What’s something you love about charging with ChargePoint? 

The stations are reliable. Also, I have called ChargePoint with many app suggestions and PlugShare corrections, always receiving a polite and helpful response.

Anything else you want to share?

Something changes in the EV world every day. You must never stop learning, which is very beneficial for an older individual.

Thanks, Rick, and happy EV driving! Drivers, want to be profiled? Drop us a line!

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