14 Ways to Try (Electric) Before You Buy
On test-driving, test-riding and test-living electric before taking the big plunge on a new vehicle or appliance.
Thank you, Cohort 7
Cohort 7 of My Next Electric, my 3-hour course on electric vehicles and homes, wrapped last night. It was a blast.
We had a full house at my shop here in New Orleans and a great group of Michigan friends on Zoom pulled together by Will Gallmeyer, a friend and Cohort 1 alum.
Big energy. Great questions. Willingness to share ideas AND struggles. Loud calls for more time together after graduation.
My Next Electric 8 starts February 27, 2023 and is filling up.
As we do in every cohort, we covered the ~10 big decisions we’ll each have to make over the next ~10 years.
Ten big vehicle and appliance decisions
Electrifying our personal stuff is about swapping out a few gas machines we use every day for ones that run on electricity:
Our air conditioners/heaters
Our hot water heater
Our clothes dryer
And adding a few if/when the math makes sense:
Solar on our roof (or via community solar)
Batteries (or a two-way charger to use our car battery)
A 240 volt car charger
A bigger, maybe smarter breaker box
Maybe a micro-car to cover the 50% of our trips under 3 miles
Most of these are four- or five-figure decisions that will work better and save us money over the life of the machine vs gas. But they're big hits to our budget. Risky moves. Stuff that if it doesn’t work makes our lives harder. Stuff that, for most of us, is just not worth worrying about yet.
But avoiding the topic means you’ll be making a big decision in panic-mode - right after your current vehicle or appliance breaks down. Learning science tells us that our brains make dumb decisions in panic mode. We need reps and exposure to fundamentals ahead of time so when the time comes, we’ll have some habits grooved in to help us make the better call.
That’s why I started the My Next Electric course - to give people a safe, fun place to start working on this stuff. I don’t promise a bulletproof plan for exactly what to electrify when, but over and over, alumni say they’re ready to approach this topic head-on and with a sense of excitement and curiosity, not fear.
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A key part of the My Next Electric experience is trying out electric before you make those big investments. Test-drives. Test-rides. Test-cooks. Test-living.
Try before you buy. Why?
Because electric stuff is genuinely fun.
Because our brains (and lifestyles) need a bunch of reps before we can really make this kind of change stick.
Because there’s a bunch of really affordable ways to try before you buy…
14 fun, affordable ways to try electric right now
Here’s a list of 14 fun, affordable ways to experience electric vehicles and appliances we talked about in cohort 7:
Taking these baby steps can give us the confidence we’ll need for the moments when our gas machines break:
Will we panic and replace a gas machine with another gas machine? or
Will we feel confident enough in this stuff to make the right call - for fun’s sake, and for our wallet’s sake - to go electric?
What cohort 7 liked and what’s next
One thing I’ll tweak for cohort 8 is a little more time on these baby steps. Even last night after class when we were hanging around my shop, more folks than I expected said it was the first time they’d ever tried an e-bike. Next time, I’ll make that option available more often, not just at the end!
Those are my favorite moments in this community - when someone’s wheels start turning about this whole electric thing - right after a ride around the block or a meal cooked on one of our portable loaner induction stoves.
If you’re on the fence about the class, here are a few things cohort 7 liked:
Excellent resources/links, great overview of what electrification means and encompasses.
Small and personal.
Felt like learning together. Really appreciated all of the online resources and ability to go through them on my own time.
The sense of hope and community.
I feel confident that this is the best resource for the electrification of society and that we’re on the cutting edge of something very big!
All the knowledge and brilliance, the can do-attitude.
Break outs and the spinning camera
The vast knowledge out there I was able to get in such a brief time, it really got me thinking and started seeing the potential fun things I can do. The value and financial benefit of electrifying my car + home. Connecting with like minded folks, hearing the passion from Matt on these topics.
I’m working through more feedback like this to make sure our next cohort’s even better. Cohort 8 is open for sign-ups now and starting to fill up, It kicks off February 27, 2023. It’s a great baby step to take.