From the EV Driver's Seat: A year after going electric, this Ann Arbor teacher says he's not going back

Tuesday, September 8, 2015Paula Friedrich

This story is part of a weeklong series on electric vehicle drivers leading up to National Drive Electric Week. Join us at our Ann Arbor event on September 20, at the Whole Foods on Eisenhower parkway to meet EV drivers and try one out for yourself.

After only a year of driving electric, Huron High School choir Director Rick Ingram is already convinced he won’t ever go back to a regular car.

“This has worked really well for me,” he said. “I really like the fact that I’m not making such a fossil fuel imprint as with a regular car. I really like the way it drives, it really handles like a regular car.”

Ingram said he decided on the Chevrolet Volt after an enthusiastic endorsement from his brother-in-law, Mark Froelich and Betsy Jackson, Mark’s wife (pictured, left). Still, he said he wasn’t sure he’d like it, so he decided to go for a three year lease, the cost of which he called “really reasonable.”

Upfront costs aside, it was the potential rise in electricity costs that Ingram was really worried about, but he said electric bill has only gone up a dollar a day. Of course, it helps that he lives only six miles from work-- there have been months where 97% of his miles driven have been electric.

And as far as the electric drive experience goes, Ingram loves it.

“People have a misconception that it’s like driving a golf cart, you just never get going very fast,” he said. “[But] people need to get rid of the idea that it’s not gonna be a powerful car, because they do very well.”

In the future, Ingram would like to power his car from a set of solar panels, to truly offset his carbon footprint. Going forward, he hopes that cities and lawmakers prioritize encouraging cleaner energy across the board.

“I would hope that policymakers would see alternative energy as a real positive for the state of Michigan and for the country as a whole and have as many encouragements as possible for people to do it,” he said.

Interested in learning more about EVs (and test-driving one yourself)? Meet local EV drivers at the Drive Electric Week Ann Arbor Car Show on Sunday September 20. They'll will be ready to answer your questions, and show off their cars, from 10 am to 3 pm in the parking lot of the Whole Foods on Eisenhower Parkway.

Published on September 8, 2015