Meet our friend, Raymond Malkiewicz. (Try pronouncing that one… We just call him Ray!) He will be our new video host. He’ll be telling people’s epic electric vehicle (EV) stories with his very special camera skills and winning personality! Ray’s had his own electric vehicle journey which makes him the perfect guy to help us learn about it too. He has had so many different jobs which has allowed him to meet a ton of people. He’s had a lot of chances to learn and teach about the wondrous world of electric vehicles. From serving in our military to driving Uber and almost everything in between, Ray has done so many different things and he says that it has all led him to where he is today. Since the beginning of his EV adventures, he’s been spreading and enjoying the benefits of electric vehicles. He is very passionate about EVs, but is also so ready to listen and learn from us as well. He is an excellent example of an everyday person driving an electric car that literally anyone else can buy. His excellent experience with electric vehicles proves that it is a very exciting and realistic option for everyone.
Ray was a Navy photographer and he applied when he was only 18 and, at first, they turned him down. Despite this rejection, Ray was still very confident in his exceptional skills from the past 3 years. He sent a letter to the Chief Naval Operations in Washington DC itself. He told them about all of his experience as a photographer. He had worked for 2 newspapers and had won a very special award from Kodak! Finally, after 9 months of waiting, the Navy responded to his letter offering him a deal. Yes! They agreed to recruit him if he promised to stay for an extra year. He agreed! He served on the USS Coral Sea (CV43) until he was discharged with honor after his 5 years of superb service.
After the Navy, Ray married the love of his life, a lovely computer specialist. They made a deal: he’d teach her about cameras, and she’d teach him about computers. After learning so much from each other, they decided to start a wedding photography company. This so happened because Ray and his wife got some very positive feedback on the beautiful photos they took at Ray’s sister-in-laws wedding. His sister-in-law said that Ray’s pictures were way better than the pictures from the actual hired photographers, they were that good! Seeing how much the photographers at that wedding made, which was a ton, Ray saw this as a really exciting business idea. He and his wife started their photography company which they kept running strong for a little over 15 years.
After his time in the Military, Ray discovered some things about the fuel industry that made him very upset. He found out that the government taxed him and everyone else who uses gas. They took money from him even though they didn’t even make any of that gasoline at all, can you believe that? He also learned that gas and oil money was being paid to foreign governments. These countries had tried to kill him and his friends in the military and they were still making money off of us! Ray was shocked. This didn’t rest well with him at all and so he decided he needed to do something about it. He promised never to use gas and oil ever again!
Ray was first introduced to electric vehicles by his brother. His brother bought one that was mostly electric and gave him the chance to drive it. Ray thought the tech was really awesome and slick and thought it was the perfect chance for change he had been looking for. He had found a way to cut his use of oil and gas and he couldn’t wait to get an electric car of his very own.
After seeing a big billboard advertising a new EV, Ray was led from dealership to dealership looking for the perfect deal. He finally came to Nissan, who let him have a 72 hours test drive of the new 2015 Nissan Leaf, which was a fully electric car. It was perfect! After a weekend of driving this car he was sold and he came back on Monday to buy it. Buying his first electric car at Nissan led to Ray getting a job there as a sales associate. With this job, Ray got to help sell electric vehicles and get other people super excited about them too. Ray stayed there for 6 months. He got to learn so much about the technology and the no-gas and no-oil lifestyle and he loved it.
Today, Ray is happily retired. He has driven and owned every electric vehicle he could get his hands on, from Nissan to Tesla. He’s always working on spreading the word about electric vehicles and his lifestyle. He gets to show people how awesome EVs are by driving for Uber and Lyft and using his photography and charismatic personality to teach others about the experience of owning and driving an electric vehicle. Ray has more than enough knowledge and experience to teach us all a little bit more about the electric vehicle lifestyle. He is sharing his talents and experience with us to help us learn how to make our EV journeys successful and fun. Thank you so much, Ray! We are so excited to work with you.
-Alicia & The REVD UP Team