Prius Personal Log  #225

October 1, 2005  -  October 2, 2005

Last Updated: Sat. 10/08/2005

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10-02-2005

Fourth Generation.  For years I've been saying that accepting the label of "second" generation for the HSD Prius was asking for trouble.  True, it was from the North American perspective.  But in this now global marketplace, ignoring what happened overseas is a poor idea.  Back in Japan, there was an additional generation.  It occurred entirely out of sight (and mind) of those here in the United States.  But nonetheless, it existed.  And now many of the newspapers are accepting that.  But online, certain antagonists have helped to spread the "II" identifier and continue to.  That has worked well to confuse and undermine.  But when generation is referred to for Honda hybrids, the term "fourth" is used.  See the problem?  Those advances were smaller steps.  And one (the absence of VCM in the newest version) was actually a step backward.  It's yet another example of how vague references and changing definitions can serve to benefit the anti-hybrid.

10-02-2005

300 Miles of Highway.  This unexpectedly warm weekend (about 85 F degrees) called for a biking trip on Saturday and a drive to my Uncle's new place by a lake on Sunday.  It was a final fling before the cold season established itself here (for the next 6 months).  To my expectation, the Prius averaged above 50 MPG through all of that.  It was nice to see it on the Multi-Display.  The headwind on the way to the trail and lack of any wind on the way back was naturally a source of annoyance.  At least I go to vent about it here.  It's all those little real-world gotchas that people forget about... like the fact that the car was pack with 4 adults and a very full hatch on the way to the lake.  The hybrid system delivers.  I'm quite happy.

10-02-2005

49.4 MPG.  The rapidly approaching cold season is making that high average from last year rather illusive.  This will be the first of the years where I didn't see an annual increase in lifetime MPG.  Dang!  Real-World driving has a way of canceling out benefits like break-in, as I witnessed this year.  Bummer!  Of course, the 4 MPG better than I anticipated from the HSD design over the Classic has proven to be true.  So mission accomplished anyway.  Now my thoughts will dwell on just how long this Winter will last and how many Artic blasts we'll end up having.

10-02-2005

Lost track of the cell-phone.  When I started up the Prius this morning, it successfully connected the phone via Bluetooth... as usual.  However, I didn't realize it was still in the house... until I had driven several blocks and the Multi-Display informed me that the connection had failed.  Sometimes, devices like that can be a little too capable.  A shorter range would have proven more helpful.  I was amused though.  The Prius found where I had left that phone from the previous evening.  I couldn't.  In fact, I was so oblivious to its location that I ended up using my old-fashion land-line phone to help me find it.  I went to the extreme of dialing the cell's number, then listening for the ringer to figure out where it was.  I wonder how long it would have taken me to realize I had left the house phoneless without the aid of my Prius.  Hmm?

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Conclusion.  This analysis of anti-hybrid behavior was a long time in the making.  I spent years of dealing with their anti-hybrid nonsense.  Those antagonists did everything they could possibly think of to impair the progress and undermine the success.  It really ticked me off!  Whether it was fierce loyalty to a specific automaker, stubborn refusal to accept new technology, having something to lose, or simply the fear of change... all the issues always boiled down to the same goal of reducing emissions & consumption.  Nothing else has proven capable of achieving that, especially when you take into account that it must also be done in a reliable and cost-effective manner.  Smog continues to get worse.  Gas prices remain awful.  Yet, some people deny there is anything to be concerned about.  Others know it, but fight against the solution hybrids offer anyway.  But now that you have been made aware of the situation and know what to look for, you can challenge them with great confidence.  Good luck!

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Vehicle verses Technology.  To my delight, this very aggravating method of brainwashing people is something those antagonists can't use anymore.  For years, they asserted that Prius wasn't for everyone... pushing the belief that the size & comfort were inadequate, that there were too many compromises... insisting that bigger was needed, that the options were far too limited ...convincing you that a hybrid simply wasn't appealing enough.  They acted as if an anti-hybrid movement wouldn't even be necessary.  People just wouldn't ever want a vehicle like that, claiming hybrids would fail due to a poorly thought out layout.  In reality, what they were really doing was trying their very best to keep people from ever figuring out what actually made the hybrid was the technology, not the vehicle.  The introduction of the hybrid SUVs this model year proved it... much to their horror.  And next year, the most popular car in the United States will get that very technology: Camry.  Seeing the same HSD system inside of a vehicle that doesn't resemble Prius at all is their worst fear.  Too bad!  The hybrid enthusiasts have overwhelming won this particular battle.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Why Bother?  Read the anti-hybrid posts carefully.  Notice how almost none of them ever actually have a definitive conclusion.  Of course, they'd have a hard time doing that anyway.  It's a side-effect of evading detection, no detail.  Each antagonists tries their best to convince you to not buy a hybrid without speaking too much of alternatives... since when carefully analyzed, the hybrid is revealed to be the best overall choice currently available.  So they just leave it at that, competing for a stalemate instead.  They appear set out to prove you wrong.  And when they feel they have, at some arbitrary point they simply stop, implying the dirty gas-guzzlers are now entitled to keep right on wasting & polluting.  Their reasoning is that if you cannot absolutely without any doubt confirm that hybrids are the very best choice for absolutely everyone, why bother?  Then the surprising part is that the back off, as if having declared a victory.  Later on though, the cycle will inevitably begin again... and the same old nonsense repeats itself again.  At least we know why they bother.  It's fear from the continuing success of hybrids.  The fact that newbies are the ones that sparking new debates with the same old anti-hybrid people is the proof.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Improper Comparisons.  It should be blatantly obvious when a stripped down compact is being compared to a very well loaded midsize.  Yet, it isn't.  They've done it a mind-numbing number of times too.  The key is that people have a extremely difficult time making comparisons using only the crude text interfaces that the online forums provide.  So the anti-hybrid people get away with it.  They won't ever refer to a matrix providing lots of detail.  They keep it as vague as possible, focusing mostly on just the money.  The comfort of the ride, the convenient options, and the safety devices mean nothing.  And of course, to them there is no such thing as smog or asthma.  The fact that reducing the amount of gas you use to help reduce our dependence on imported oil is senseless to them to.  They just antagonize, doing what it takes to make hybrids appear bad.  So if you step back and just ask yourself, "If neither vehicle being compared had anything under the hood, would it still be a fair comparison?"  If the answer is no, their choice was improper... a clear attempt to misinform.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Hybrid Types.  Have you ever noticed how frequently the term "hybrid" is used without any qualifiers whatsoever?  All the various designed get lumped into a single category when they are compared to traditional vehicles.  You won't find any detail, like voltage, wattage, or even the number of motors.  They treat the two very, very different types of CVT (one is "Planetary" and the other "Cone & Belt") as if they operated the same way, which couldn't be further from the truth.  Heck, even seeing information about which generation the data they are discussing is from would be a miracle.  They just treat them all as if they are the same.  The anti-hybrid absolutely love the concept of believing they are all the same.  With that, they can cite examples of weaknesses hoping you will assume that they all behave the same.  It's wrong.  It's deceitful.  It's dishonest. 

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Smog-Related Emissions.  A simple way to avoid pointing out this extremely important benefit of hybrids (the SULEV rated ones, naturally) is to never mention it.  You'll find countless examples of this too.  Both the online discussion antagonists and those reporters that are anti-hybrid will provide detailed hybrid analysis information, where the topic of smog-related emissions is totally absent.  They'll even attempt to make their report seem thorough by pointing out the reduction of global-warming emissions.  But no where do they ever speak of the other type, that kind which causes breathing-related health problems.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Stop & Slow Driving.  In the past, automakers would mention both the City & Highway values from the EPA testing results.  It was the only industry standard available for comparisons.  So despite having no reflection of what actual real-world efficiency the vehicle will deliver, they used it anyway.  Now, they've switched to only reporting the Highway value.  I wonder if they got that idea from the anti-hybrid practices they've observed, because only stating that is extremely misleading... some would even consider it dishonest.  It doesn't even remotely inform you of what to expect for Stop & Slow driving, which is the type many people have to endure every day on their drive to & from work.  And of course, it's the type of driving that a "full" hybrid like Prius does extremely well with.  But the antagonists don't want you do know that.  So they screw up your understanding of MPG by only reporting Highway data, specifically only high-speed cruising... worthless information for the daily commuter.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Generalizing.  This anti-hybrid technique takes on many different facets.  The most obvious is when only a few samples are used to draw a conclusion.  Limited data is a far too easy trap to fall into.  For example, all you have to do to make the MPG of a hybrid look bad is only report Winter data.  Countless reporters did this back when the HSD Prius was first introduced.  They only had a few months of real-world MPG, all from the cold season, to report and very little patience.  So naturally, their claim was that efficiency was not as promised... even though all of the samples were from the worst possible time.  Imagine if only Summer data had been used instead.  The opposite extreme would be reported, saying MPG was quite impressive.  So when it comes to the anti-hybrid, they go out of their way to seek out that worst data and pretend that is well represents what an owner can actually expect.  In other words, generalizing is rarely ever a good thing.  It also comes in a less obvious form, when people fall into the "one size fits all" mentality.  They just assume other people have the same wants & needs, which is definitely not realistic.  But it happens anyway.  Antagonists take full advantage of that opportunity to mislead, and you typically don't even realize they did it.

10-02-2005

Anti-Hybrid: Discrediting.  By replying in a condescending manner, the antagonists attempt to discredit you.  They use belittling statements to make themselves appear to be better informed.  Their hope is to irritate you enough to prevent a response.  The belief is that you will be afraid of embarrassing  yourself.  And pretty much no matter what you say after, they will convey to everyone that you are confused, making it sound as though you are a victim of an innocent mix-up.  An example of this, that is actually rather creative, is when the anti-hybrid tell you that you don't understand the difference between a "full" and "assist" hybrid.  They claim that there is utterly no possible way the second motor, that's only available in the "full" design, could ever deliver an efficiency gain.  The penalty for converting physical motion to generated electricity will always be greater than any benefit you would attempt to achieve.  That is absolutely false, of course.  But it is extremely difficult to prove with only a text response.  In fact, even a video-clip isn't enough.  Demonstrating the advantage from that design is basically futile in any online format.  You just can't.  And they know it.  They also know that the odds of anyone being able to verify this with an in-person comparison is highly unlikely as well.  The result is a victorious discrediting, because you simply cannot provide the proof in an fashion that the forum supports.  By knowing more about hybrid design than most people, the anti-hybrid can actually get people to believe that you know less.

10-01-2005

Anti-Hybrid: SULEV Not Important.  Even some hybrid owners have fought fiercely against this important aspect of improvement.  Most Honda hybrids were only ULEV before the 2006 models.  That's dirty.  In fact, it is no better than traditional vehicles... since many of them are also ULEV.  The substantially cleaner EPA emission rating of SULEV is what Toyota had always strived for and delivered with their hybrids (some are even better, achieving the PZEV rating).  The anti-hybrid people, most notably non-hybrid diesel supporters, hated this reality.  The newest vehicle using clean diesel don't even deliver ULEV.  So you can imagine how much they hate SULEV.  Needless to say, they do everything in their power to justify that current technology is plenty clean.  A common argument is to point out how much of an improvement exhaust from the tailpipe is compared to that 30 years ago.  The fact that we the population is now dramatically higher, we drive a lot more miles, and commutes are significantly more congested never gets mentioned.  The reality that smog is increasing over high populated areas doesn't either.  And of course, the dramatic increase in breathing-related health problems like asthma being caused by vehicle emissions is outright denied.  SULEV is very important, don't allow them to convince you otherwise.

 

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