Prius Personal Log  #304

December 4, 2006  -  December 9, 2006

Last Updated: Sun. 12/17/2006

    page #303         page #305         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom 

 

12-09-2006

Seeing The Forest.  As absurd as some of those hybrid type battles seem, they do actually serve a very important purpose.  Besides the obvious shake out of weaknesses (a method of debugging, if you will), there's the not-so-obvious step forward.  More attention paid to the hybrids means less attention to the non-hybrids and diesels... which is precisely what I've observed lately.  So no matter how compelling of a case someone can provide for the purchase of an alternative, some people simply won't be interested.  That's not what they've been talking about.  Hybrids are the rage, period.  Remember, the SUV was believed to be safer based on nothing but hearsay.  So lots of people bought them believing they were.  Then when the actual data revealed they were really a step backwards, putting you in greater danger, interest quickly waned.  Some hybrids have the advantage of truly being cleaner and more efficient.  Belief matches truth.  So the potential is tremendous.  They are the real McCoy.  That means don't look too intensely at a single tree (or in this case, just a series of entries).  What really counts is the big picture, that forest which often isn't noticed as a whole.  It's growing larger.  Those trees are hybrids... an intriguing analogy, eh?

12-09-2006

Assist Hybrids.  Obviously, I don't like them.  At first, I openly observed and kept quiet.  But over the years, they haven't proven a complete solution.  They work fine, but that not enough.  The newest configuration demonstrates that point all too well... for not that much lower of a price (note that the Toyota hybrids come with lots of extras, like the Multi-Display) you don't get any smog-related emission reduction at all, the system very dependent on an engine (no electric drive or electric A/C), and that platform cannot compete with the inevitable reality of plug-ins (since sustained electric propulsion isn't supported).  Time will tell.  My prediction is that genuine competition will only come from systems that don't compromise.  Assist inherently do; abilities are limited due to the very intent of the design: to assist.

12-09-2006

True Intentions, part 9.  "I really just like pointing out when you're wrong."  Yes, you obviously have a vendetta, always making it personal rather than just focusing on facts.  But it's the facts that you truly oppose.  And as we've seen countless times in politics... if you don't like the message, attempt to discredit the messenger.  You even went as far as confirming that intent with: "Way to diminish your credibility, dude."  I saw that coming when I pointed out how the current BAS design doesn't reduce smog-related emissions at all.  LEV is horribly disappointing no matter how you look at it.  Heck, most non-hybrids are cleaner than that.  There is a rapidly growing group of Two-Mode (FULL) supporters here, already growing aware of the advantages that type of hybrid has over BAS (ASSIST).  The better choice will become apparent, whether I'm the one pointing out the benefits or not.  You clearly fear this large new audience interested in FULL hybrids.  They'll gladly endorse this effort by GM.  Just accept it.  Change happens.

12-08-2006

True Intentions, part 8.  He's been campaigning a very long time for all hybrids to be treated the same way, rather than considering the benefits of the actual design differences.  Big hybrids like Yukon are the ultimate threat, one that will squash the appeal of the less capable designs.  So naturally, fear has brought about some rather transparent attempts to distract, dilute, and confuse.  Well, too bad.  I strongly favor the dynamics of FULL hybrids, like Two-Mode.  The limited features of the ASSIST system simply don't make much of a compelling long-term business, economic, political, or environmental case.  For a complete solution, FULL is the way.

12-08-2006

True Intentions, part 7.  FULL hybrids are becoming the new standard.  ASSIST supporters have difficulty accepting that.

12-08-2006

True Intentions, part 6.  "Was the Accord the first V6 hybrid? Yes or No?"  What part of ASSIST don't you understand?

12-08-2006

True Intentions, part 5.  "Honda had the first 6-cylinder hybrid.  You can't dispute this."  Fact is that Yukon-Hybrid will use the Two-Mode design, a FULL hybrid.  I've seen many efforts in the past where ASSIST supporters undermine threads.  This is a great example of that.  FULL hybrids utilize 2 motors and a power-split-device.  That provides the ability to propel the vehicle using only electricity.  It also provides a platform that supports plug-in augmentation.  The primary motor is big enough, it can operate independently of the engine, and it has active cooling.  ASSIST hybrids don't have a second motor, don't have a power-split-device, the motor is very small, it can't operate independently, and it is only cooled passively.  They are not the same.

12-07-2006

True Intentions, part 4.  "Don't even try to pretend the Highlander-Hybrid was anything but a bomb."  The size, speed, and power misconception was a nightmare back before Highlander-Hybrid became available.  It was a very ugly roadblock facing the acceptance of a hybrid Camry.  Highlander-Hybrid had a goal of squashing that false information.  That goal was most definitely accomplished, as we have seen with the remarkably successful introduction of Camry-Hybrid.  The hybrid market directly benefited from that previous effort.  It was basically money focused on market rollout rather than advertising, well spent considering the return from the real-world data it also provides.  So claiming "bomb" simply doesn't make any sense.  I participated in that history.  I heavily documented it as it happened.  What you claim doesn't match what I witnessed.  Looking back makes it easy to claim things were different, but it won't change those accounts recorded while the events actually occurred.

12-07-2006

True Intentions, part 3.  "The hybrid Highlander was a bomb."  You know very well that the purpose of that the initial design configuration was intentionally chosen to prove the size, speed, and power misconceptions are false.  Which is exactly what it did... a huge success, in other words.  Claims about hybrids never being capable of being fast or strong immediately ended upon rollout.  You also know very well that Highlander shares the same platform as Camry and that their hybrid components can be interchanged... which is exactly what Toyota has announced plans to do.  There is a Highlander-Hybrid on the way that will very closely resemble Camry-Hybrid inside, utilizing a 4-cylinder engine and configured with greater emphasis on efficiency.

12-07-2006

True Intentions, part 2.  "What GM is doing with mild hybrids for the cheaper cars and the superior-to-HSD Two-Mode system for the higher end is what Toyota should have done from the start."  Toyota has had both "mild" and "assist" hybrids for quite a few years now.  Do searches on Crown & Estima.  They already tried what GM is just beginning to now.  Toyota learned that investing in further development to reduce the cost of the "full" hybrids was the best choice... which is precisely what they are now doing.

12-07-2006

True Intentions, part 1.  You may find the following series of entries interesting... or perhaps not.  They're the result of yet another propaganda attempt, my responses to somewhat senseless message posts on the big GM forum.  It's amazing the lengths some people will go to protect their own interests.  But sadly, as in this case, that leads to loss of objectivity and even personal vengeance.  Oh well.  I do my best to avoid damage by just sticking to the "broken record" approaching, repeating the same song over and over again.  I've been singing about the benefits of "full" hybrids for years already and will continue to for many to come.

12-07-2006

17.8 Makes No Sense.  It's great hearing newbies make comments like that, this time was in response to a Vue-Hybrid review.  Some MPG reports certainly are bizarre.  I wonder what the heck they actually do.  We've read about measurement errors, extremely aggressive driving, fighting the system, and the old fashion not recognizing what's actually happening.  But you never know how well the test vehicle was maintained.  Stuff like squishy tires and overfilled oil make a difference, but unfortunately are very common but easy to avoid efficiency deterrents.  But explaining all that to a newbie is tough.  So today, I just went with this...  Welcome to the world of hybrids, where a brief test-drive for a review becomes the official gauge to judge.  It's a sad reality when a tiny sampling is thought of as an expectation.  But we've been victims of that for years now.  Rather than using long-term real-world data from actual owners, someone behind the wheel for only a brief time gets more attention and their extremely misleading information gets regurgitated countless times as if it was scientific fact.

12-06-2006

Will Sell Like Hotcakes.  Unfortunately, not everyone takes the full assortment of business classes followed by years of real-world observation.  So assessments like that can be disappointing after finding out that isn't what actually happened.  But to be open-minded, I asked: "How?" then followed with this...  Purchases of hybrids have primarily been based on upon long-term owner endorsements.  So there's a huge wait involved after rollout begins.  By then (2010'ish), Toyota should have reached their production goal of 1 million per year.  Planning to sell mass quantities of first model designs is quite a risk.  GM has yet to state they would do much beyond a wait & see approach.  Quantity intent is a very big deal, since dependency on battery supply will very directly affect hybrid supply.  GM, like Toyota, Ford, and Honda, will be at the mercy of a third-party.  Unless they plan ahead by commit to battery production contracts, there will be a painful delay between observed demand and the ability to respond to it.  So don't expect rapid acceptance shortly after the new hybrid becomes available.  The reality of large-scale economics is most definitely not supportive of overnight change.  In fact, the term "quick" equates to "only a few years".  GM had the opportunity and decided against it.  I witnessed that and complained for all to refer back to years later (now) in my blogs.  Now they are quite a few years behind.  Catching up will be hard enough.  Passing the competition won't be easy and it won't be quick.  They blew it.  Now a serious commitment is required.  Someday a friendly rivalry could happen, but not anytime soon.

12-06-2006

Two-Speed.  That's a new one.  Several people have used "two-speed" with respect to discussions about Two-Mode.  But none really know what the heck it actually means.  It's a buzz word without any apparent merit, though it does seem remarkable.  You get the impression this is a new ability from GM.  But in Camry-Hybrid, a second PSD was used in place of the reduction gear found in Prius.  This design enhancement provides a step up/down ability.  That is likely the "speed" functionality people have been inferring.  But with such vague comments and no reference to actual benefit, who knows.

12-05-2006

Saving Gas.  Same dance.  Different song.  We've heard comments like this many times now: "I'm pretty sure improving the highest polluting vehicles (new ones anyways) benefits the environment more than a few hybrid models."  And basically, you get the same repetitive response from me...  That is only true if the vehicle is used for the purpose it was designed exclusively.  A daily commute using a monster-size very powerful vehicle with nothing but a driver inside and no cargo is extraordinarily wasteful and most definitely not providing a benefit.  Remember the old days, when people had utility vehicles for utility and passenger vehicles for non-utility?  The mindset of one-size-fits all is the problem.  Imagine rationing fuel, where you only get 450 gallons per year and have to carefully choose how you use it.  Those "highest polluting vehicles" would most certainly only be driven for their designed purpose then.  Also having a Prius available would make that scenario no big deal.

12-05-2006

Online Activity.  Every now & then, it spikes for some reason.  That was quite obvious looking at my website activity report this morning.  I rarely find out why, though a few do eventually emerge as a hit on the search engines.  It's usually some obscure reference somewhere on a random forum that just happened to have a discussion mention Prius.  So naturally, a link to the website is provided.  In both good & bad situations, those webpages get a lot of attention.  I wonder what the heck people will think years from now, when they document history rather than serving as a research tool like they do currently.  Hmm.

12-04-2006

Tired of the repetition?  Oddly, I don't find that the slightest bit irritating.  Today, it was a statement that only the United States worries about NOx emissions.  The rest of the world apparently is only concerned about CO2.  I wondered how anyone could ever even make a statement like that.  True, the global warming problem is a big deal, but it most definitely is not the only problem.  Smog exists elsewhere... and unfortunately, some locations are far worse.  Breathing health is a concern, regardless of what supporters of less capable solutions might try to convince you of.  You don't have to make a choice.  Anyone insisting we have to is not being objective.  Both types of emissions are a problem.  Sacrificing one for the sake of another is totally inappropriate, since hybrids clearly prove that isn't necessary.  With a hybrid like Prius or Camry, you get both CO2 and NOx reductions.  So the MPG does not come at a penalty.  You really can have it all... something that the non-hybrid diesel supporters continue to oppose.  Sadly, those endorsing the dirty hybrids do too.  Hence, I find the need to repeat in response to hearing the same darn old stories about one emission being the only priority.

 

back to home page       go to top