Prius Personal Log  #1048

December 19, 2020  -  December 27, 2020

Last Updated:  Sun. 2/21/2021

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12-27-2020 Studying Quotes.  Some people take them without context.  That allows antagonists to thrive.  They do everything possible to spin meaning & intent of the original message.  Today, it was taking a closer look at the "The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse..." quote.  It has turned into one of those messages where no one actually ever looks back at the original statements that were made.  Adding to the opportunity to exploit & mislead is the reality of the text being translated from Japanese to English.  Word for word can cause misinterpretation; yet, no one has shown any concern for that until just now.  Everyone was just accepting what had been shared over the line... an interpretation of what had actually been said.  Ugh.  Needless to say, I had more to interject on this topic:

The reasoning for that should be obvious.  The low-end is being neglected. It's far easier to produce an expensive vehicle and get a decent profit in return.  This is basic economics... which is not being addressed.

Delivering an "economy" vehicle and squeezing out enough money to survive from a dependence upon high-volume to make up razor-thin profit-margins is an entirely different matter.

Toyota is very good a moving vehicles in that latter category.  Tesla has no experience.  Selling a vehicle with just a $25,000 price tag is very difficult.  It's quite easy to waste resources (transport, storage, time, etc.) on something that will yield very little in return.  This is why the American automakers focused heavily on SUV sales instead.  They lacked the ability to sell anything else.  This is also why we see Toyota changing to match market shift... since SUVs have become the norm.  RAV4 is proof of the sedan no longer holding interest for the average consumer.  New offerings... Corolla Cross and Yaris Cross... overwhelming confirm Toyota is striving to offer affordable "SUV" choices... which conveniently provide a nice location for large battery-packs.

The current business model for most automakers doesn't support such a shift yet, hence collapse.  Imagine trying to take all those steps and remain profitable by 2030.  That's only 9 years away.  Transforming the entire industry in such a short amount of time just plain is not realistic.

12-27-2020 Deliberate Confusion.  Seeing an antagonist get caught in the act, then attempt to explain, tells the real story.  They'll just make up something and claim that's the way things have always been, any confusion to the contrary is just a mistaken understanding.  Refusing to accept any other possibility is the give away.  There is never that type of clarity, ever.  They exploit the nature of diversity.  Different people have different backgrounds and different information sources.  Deliberately throwing some confusion into the mix is what a modern troll does.  Like their predecessors, they thrive on the resulting chaos.  Today, I completely ignored the nonsense to provide some exposition:  No, that is deliberate pushback spin to confuse matters.  It's what happens when clarity reveals ill intent.  Antagonists work hard to confuse.  In this case, for years "EV" has represented any vehicle capable of full electric-only driving that was not a hybrid.  In fact, this is how the "self-charging" came about, to identify the other category of electrified offerings.  It was Toyota's effort to distinguish the two.  But instead of that distinct label being accept by enthusiasts (mainstream consumers were indifferent), a big huff was made.  The reason why was simple, those supporting BEV felt threatened.  They didn't want to see PHEV in the same category, also being identified with an "EV" label.  It's quite remarkable how muddled that situation has become, but the controversy is undeniable.  There are some who clearly don't want PHEV that deliver a full EV driving experience... like the 42 miles from RAV4 Prime... to be thought of as being like a BEV.
12-26-2020

Reality Check.  Watching the "speak out" discussion wander deep into hydrogen territory, far off of the original "EV mandate" topic was quite telling.  Some just plain don't want to address the issue.  They enjoy online sparring, to earn points in a pointless debate.  Ugh.  I just in after silently watching it flounder for a few days:

It has been informative to watch this thread get undermined.  Whether the context was constructive or not, it wandered waaaaaay off on a tangent... which is the point of certain individuals not actually interested in the topic.

For the record, this is to remind everyone of what the discussion should have addressed, the actual text that the original post didn't provide.  There's only a link, which requires a subscription.  However, this content was available elsewhere on the wire:

"The cost of upgrading infrastructure to support a fleet consisting entirely of EVs would could Japan between ¥14 trillion and ¥37 trillion, the equivalent of $135 billion to $358 billion. "When politicians are out there saying, "Let's get rid of all cars using gasoline", do they understand this?"

It was all about the cost, how rushing to force a mandate for just 9 years from now is a massive commitment.  Heck, here in Minnesota, we are pursuing official California rules (committing to most of the CARB initiatives).  Approval this year means it will be effective 4 years from now and will only impact a small portion of actual sales.  That effort has been a huge undertaking with a very disappointing amount of pushback.  Imagine trying to get all 50 states to enforce a 100% switch within just 9 years.  How would all that impacted infrastructure be funded?  And what about the down-stream impact.  Think of all the businesses owning fleet vehicles, not to mention dealers.

Then there's the reality of unintended consequences: "The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets."

But disregarding all that, we still need to setup end-of-life processes.  How will all the batteries be recycled?

In other words, someone needs to speak out about what is not getting addressed.  Seeing Toyota get slammed for doing that and other automakers being given a free pass for remaining quiet is a sign of trouble to come.  Those of us who remember prior mandates see the warning signs already.

12-26-2020

Omitting Context.  When a comment is posted to provide context, but instead feeds a narrative, what do you do?  Upon reading this, I knew trouble was brewing: "One of the reasons Japan just can't seem to let hydrogen totally go is due to lobbying..."  It was about the push to ban any type of new vehicle with an combustion-engine by 2030 in Japan.  That's quite aggressive, an absolute with a very short timeline.  Mandates of that nature tend to result in unintended consequences.  Some things cannot be rushed.  Avoiding specifics about technology and instead focusing on some type of measureable emission rating or level is how you prevent falling into that trap.  That should be obvious.  It isn't though.  No one is actually paying any attention to goals.  It's basically just a blind ban, an absolute without context.  Fortunately, there are a few seeking context.  Sadly, you don't always get all of it upon request.  That was the case with the response to that post.  As we have witnessed over the past 2 decades, people are selective about their data.  Consideration of the big picture always remains a challenge.  That's how problems come about.  In fact, that is what enables dieselgate.  So much attention was put on carbon emissions that the smog type ended up going unnoticed... except by use driving SULEV & PZEV rating vehicles.  We were quite frustrated & angry about the data not making sense.  What was being presented didn't add up.  That's the same with this now.  You can't just focus on any single aspect.  It's rather hypocritical too.  Much of the battery mining & production for BEV comes from long-distance shipping... using ocean vessels powered by diesel fuel.  Ugh.  Sharing of technology is beneficial.  Yet, some absolutely refuse to consider it.  Regardless, I will continue to point out when context is omitted:  But without all the context, the situation becomes a narrative.  In the case of most of the articles on this topic, they focus entirely on the automotive industry... resulting in a distorting perspective... as we see playing out here.  Japan exports a lot of product.  Diesel to power those ships must be replaced with something.  Green hydrogen is the obvious choice for that.  So, there won't ever be a "let it go" situation.  That's just BEV purists refusing to look at our entire energy need.  Focusing only on personal transport is not constructive.  Hydrogen will be used elsewhere.  It will co-exist.

12-23-2020

Slowdown.  Typical from our resident troll: "I like the part of PHEVs now being a threat to BEVs."  Raising doubt replies about well established and often discussed facts are bizarre.  You wouldn't think such obvious mislead attempts would work.  They does though.  There are enough gullible newbies to help enable the effort to undermine.  They unknowingly take the bait, hence trolling.  I punched back with:  That is another confirmation, pretending a long-standing issue is new.  Next is to ask a question about it, as if it hadn't already been asked & answered many times already on many different threads.  It is the "U"ncertainty part of spreading FUD.  For years, their have been fights about BEV being the only viable solution, that PHEV were a waste of time and resources.  What has changed recently is the rollout of RAV4 Prime proving otherwise.  It's the first to break the stereotype, finding a means of reaching beyond early-adopters... which brings us back to the original topic of how long change will actually take.  Again, Toyota's CEO is being realistic, enthusiasts are hyping expectations.  Again this is nothing new.  We see the pattern of thinking change will happen a lot faster, but refusing to acknowledge the factors causing slowdown... like infrastructure shortcomings.

12-23-2020 Several Days of Spin.  It get's old.  But if you stick with it long enough, something will eventually shake out: "Why is there such an intense focus on public chargers?"  That came from someone new stepping in, wondering what all the hype was about.  I was happy to provide an answer:

That's what the pattern reveals.  Availability gets sighted as a selling-point for BEV.  Yet when called out with detail, the enthusiast divert attention elsewhere, rather than address shortcomings.  That evade is becoming quite obvious.

You can tell they aren't being sincere either, when 50kW speeds (level-3, tier-1) are mocked and belittled despite fully supporting a form of level-3 (DC Fast-Charging, aka: DCFC).  They insist speeds well into tier-2 (in excess of 150kW) are absolutely required.  The reasoning for that is to accommodate those who would own a BEV but don't fit your "leaves the long distance drivers as the ones who need a supercharger" criteria.  In other words, that massive chunk of the population who is unable to have a level-2 charger (basic is 3.3kW from 16-amp, fast is 10kW from 50-amp, with a max of 19.2kW) for overnight recharges.

This is why it will take much longer than they hope.  So, the narrative of hydrogen not ever co-existing is inevitably pushed each time the topic comes up.  They know the reality of automakers selling more than just passenger vehicles.  They know Toyota will thrive with their fuel-cells being a critical aspect of the industrial & commercial shift away from fossil-fuels.  Diesel use must come to an end.  They worry that effort will interfere with plug-in options and refuse to acknowledge the benefit of shared components.  It will take a combination/overlap of solutions to fulfill needs.  A single solution for all is unrealistic, especially when we look at the speed & scale at which change is needed.

Public chargers also provide an appeal boost for PHEV, making the argument for BEV more difficult.  Opportunity charging at the grocery store, coffeeshop, or restaurant supply more EV range.  That doesn't require an expensive or spacious install either.  A simple commercial level-2 charger will do the trick.  They don't like that at all.

Pay attention to detail.  Watch for the pattern.

12-22-2020

Looking For a Pattern.  Eventually, if you stick with the topic long enough, the discussion tends to provide a reward.  I stated the outcome of the recent long exchange (more like an old-school battle repeated) this way:  The pattern has become easy to recognize and quite predictable.  When some constructive criticism is presented about setting realistic expectations for the pace of plug-in acceptance, those who agree get personally pounced on and attention is diverted to hydrogen.  Every single time the discussions end that way.  It's quite telling.  In this case, lack of charging infrastructure was brought up and details were presented.  That was quickly dismissed with a vague no-need-for-concern.  The same old players think their tactics and talking-points will continue to work.  They are wrong, as history has confirmed about the observed pattern.  They repeat mistakes.  With regard to specifics of this topic, it's quite obvious the absence of a charging standard will continue to impair any type of serious progress.  Then when we finally get it (most likely CCS), there's the very real problem of capacity & ownership.  Business & Landlord interest toward investing in chargers is almost a dead topic.  It's sad.  Then when you do get a charging location, there's no guarantee that the fastest speed offered will actually be available routinely.  Grid demand and the higher tier prices make offering that a costly challenge, every step of the way.  There's on-going support to address as well.  Take any metropolitan area, look at quantity & distribution of SuperChargers.  So far after so many years should be an indication of the pace to set for realistic expectations.  It will happen, just not anywhere near as fast as enthusiasts & early-adopters hope.  That's what the CEO of Toyota was pointing out.  He's well aware of how difficult it is to even get level-2 equipment installed.  It takes time & money, along with education & confidence.  PHEV rollout will help with the latter.  Both dealer & consumer need exposure to the technology before they will invest in it.  Patience is required... a necessity some here refuse to acknowledge.

12-20-2020 Plenty Available.  It's really annoying when certain individuals just plain don't care.  Today, it was that former Volt owner who replaced his two vehicles at home with Teslas years ago.  He feels he can speak for the masses, despite being an obvious early-adopter with lots of deposable income.  The attitude of constantly being dismissive is quite a pain, especially when he trolls the big Prius forum.  He jumped into a discussion to claim there are "plenty" of SuperChargers available, that we had no idea what was being claimed.  I called him out with actual detail.  Verifying facts on the map, I found a variety of things to respond with.  Pricing & Speed continue to be issued avoided to an extreme.  Few owners ever share any information about how fast the SuperChargers actually deliver power, especially when several of the stalls are being used at the same time... think holiday travel concerns a few days from now.  And of course, the pricing is basically never mentioned.  I only found out about the different tiers after several attacks using nothing but vague claims.  When you dig for detail, you never know what you'll find.  Anywho, I just stuck to basic numbers in this case.  It was pretty easy to turn around his own cherry-picking statement with one doing the very opposite:  No, the response is clearly an evade.  With a population in the Twin Cities of around 4 million (far from cherry picking), your focus solely on early-adopter sales is just plain not constructive.  Plenty is simply not true.  This topic is about addressing the masses, targeting mainstream consumers.  That means a dramatic increase for infrastructure.  A quick glance at the SuperCharger map, I'm seeing 3 locations offering 250kW (St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minneapolis) and 2 offering 120kW (Robbinsdale, Oakdale).
12-19-2020

Peak Demand.  It's quite remarkable how many enthusiasts have no idea how electricity is actually handled.  At most, we get a reference to "the grid" without any type of context.  It's just the place they can get energy from to recharge their vehicle.  The reality that it is nothing but a means of transportation which temporarily holds isn't common knowledge.  They think solar energy will be converted to electricity then somehow be available late at night to charge with.  It doesn't work that way.  If there is nothing to store the electricity, the opportunity is lost.  That's why the concept "excess" keeps getting brought up now in new discussions.  Fast wind and bright sunlight can be too much at times when there isn't demand.  Not being able to put it into a battery or use to extract hydrogen is a very real problem.  The opposite is true as well.  If supply isn't available, something must still be done to provide electricity.  Not doing that results in blackouts or brownouts.  Unfortunately, some people need reminders of that.  Sadly, some people have never been aware of it.  So, I point out some facts:  Don't forget, during times of peak demand, the provider will use their secondary power sources.  Those are always dirtier than the primary.  Firing up a diesel generator to supply electricity for charging vehicles is a very real problem... one easily overlooked.

 

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