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John M commented on Better, Cheaper Heated Winter Jackets

Great to hear it Boratha! Me too. I think heated hoods will turn out to be a particularly welcome innovation. We'd have to cover our faces a lot less often in Winter with better heated hoods, which means we'd see each others' expressions a lot more, which is great for connecting emotionally with others in our communities.


John M commented on Better, Cheaper Heated Winter Jackets

Hey Mackenzie!

Affordability is a great question. Entrepreneurs globally will have their own ideas for that.
Whether we get a cheaper solution soon or later may depend on how much incentive we give to entrepreneurs, and whether they can get venture capital. The TAM (total addressable market) seems huge for this. In one scenario, someone with political influence might champion this idea, fund a market study, send a bunch of the best current heated jackets to Northern mayors and leaders to try for free (after getting their size) and get someone to offer a financing plan for them for those with limited income. Even if the version I described cost $200 each, that would not be a problem for many residents if low-interest financing were available. I'd love to see a City smart enough to pay the interest on a $10/month installment plan for purchasing these jackets, and advertise that on billboards around the city.

Their use would scale rapidly once people really know about their benefits, and costs would drop according to Wright's law for automated production lines (usually between 3-10% drop in cost with every doubling of production of any standardized product).

In another scenario, unfortunately a much more likely one, this idea will sit around for a number of years without a champion, until someone finally makes the version I outlined. That version seems so convenient its demand will very likely start to take off on its own, even without a lot of promotion. Most great ideas get done in time, but in my experience it often takes great strategy and execution to get good ideas done when first doable.

As for how these jackets would transform mobility in Winter in Detroit, I think that people would spend a lot more time outdoors, walking or riding. I'd bet the average person would spend 5X more time outdoors in Winter, enjoying themselves and each other a lot more while out in natural environments. I'd argue they are the best money you can spend on urban mobility in northern cities today, as they give the greatest personal freedom to get around outside, in Winter. Most every other Winter mobility solution is also subject to being comfortable in the cold, at least during transitions, so this solution helps most of the others work a little better or a lot better, like Pedelec Trikes.


John M commented on Shared Pedelec Trikes

Hey Chris, great to hear from you!

Yeah, Winter is rough. The best mobility solution (walking mobility) that can make Winter enjoyable for everyone is good, heated clothing. I used one of the newer heated jackets in Winter last year out here, and it really helped. Better, lighter e-heated clothing makes it easier for urban residents to get and stay outside, in general. Thanks to your nudging, I just submitted an Idea to the platform for that, Better, Cheaper Heated Winter Jackets:

To your questions:
1. Yep, I've ridden lots of pedelecs in different form factors. These Trikes are the best for Winter, in my opinion. One great thing about them is their big battery. You can use it for lots of things. Let me give you two examples:

A. You can attach a small waterproof tablet with GPS on the handlebars, and give CMS residents Google's Turn-By-Turn Navigation. That is hugely valuable for getting around. Or if that is out of the budget, you can just give them a secure clip-mount for their phone, and popular dongles for charging it during the ride.

B. You can add a charging dongle to the back of the seat that runs from the Trike battery and attaches to any heated jacket. That will heat your jacket and recharge its battery if it is low or dead. Motorcycle riders use such dongles on their jackets today, they are entirely safe and they don't limit mobility. The dongles *break away* if you forget to detach them when you get off your Trike/Motorcycle, as many folks do, at first.

2. Yes, Trikes are completely stable, unlike bikes and scooters, which only the balance-confident will ride in snow. Trikes are excellent for those with mobility concerns. A key is to have a big, well-cushioned seat. You can also add a heating element to the seat, with a lighted switch on the side of the seat, just like in cars, which makes it even more comfortable in the cold.