Prius Personal Log  #417

May 17, 2009  -  May 23, 2009

Last Updated: Tues. 6/16/2009

    page #416         page #418         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom 

 

5-23-2009

Cash For Clunkers.  This idea, which has been implemented in other countries, is getting lots of attention here now.  For those wanting to part with their old guzzler in place of a much more efficient vehicle with a cash incentive may get an opportunity to.  The government is working out details to pay for those exchanges, providing a large sum of money for an old vehicle not actually worth much and very expensive to operate.  Making the purchase of a much more efficient (and cleaner) vehicle easier is the objective.  It is intended to help consumers while at the same time revive the automakers and stimulate the economy.  We'll see.  You know how it is often said that "no good dead goes unpunished".

5-22-2009

Coffee Shop.  I had my annual get-together today with a friend from California.  He drives his Prius here to Minnesota every year.  It's a great way to kick off Summer.  I always look forward to our meeting.  But this particular time, it's much more exciting.  Both of us have 2010 Prius on order.  Mine should be delivered before he leaves too.  That's means we'll meet again.  I'm really looking forward to contributing to his delivery excitement.  Anywho, we met at the usual place.  It's a strip a few minutes from the capital where the population of hybrids heavily concentrated.  The number of Prius we saw while chatting was truly amazing.  They were everywhere.  Lots of other hybrids drove by and stopped at the coffee shop too.  Heck, we even saw 2 different original model Insights.  But even so, our 2010 sighting next week will top that all.

5-22-2009

Delivery Status.  I finally got the call about delivery status.  Of course, at that point, I had already reached out to my contacts asking them how close my 2010 Prius was.  Knowing there were others already on the road locally meant mine had to be mighty close.  I really want to get a jump on the photos & documenting.  It sure sounds like we are about to be flooded with newbies.  Helping out with the overwhelming numbers of repeat & vague online questions will benefit everyone.  But to do that, I need a new model of my own.  They told me within a week it should happen.  I can't wait!  What a surreal experience.  This will be the third time being a pioneer.  Delivery is now just a few days away.  Hooray!

5-21-2009

Roof-Rack Measurement.  I played with the roof-rack on my 2004 today.  It appears as though the 2010, despite all the glass on the roof, won't be an problem at all.  I was somewhat concerned about the rubber feet.  But it turns out the lip doesn't reach into the gutter deep enough.  And my extra long crossbars make placement (over an exercise mat, just in case) over to the other side of the car easier than expected.  The weight will sit on the metal edging over the door and attaching it won't be that big of a deal.  Of course, I'm still not sure if the length of the clips will be dead on.  But it looks darn close.  I should be able to try it on a 2010... soon.  Stay tuned.

5-21-2009

Photo Count.  I was curious how many personal Prius photos I was able share to before taking delivery of my third model.  The day I finished choosing & touching up the last batch was 8-8-8 for me.  That's 8 years, 8 months, and 8 days of Prius ownership.  With a significant event like that so coincidently timed, you wouldn't expect another amazing numeric coincidence... would you?  Well, guess what.  I checked.  There was indeed another.  The count of photos was exactly 1701.  How about that!  It sure will make remembering how many easy before accepting delivery of the 2010 easy.

5-20-2009

Dust Inside.  It was 95 F degrees outside.  I wanted to simulate what the new solar panel will do for interior cooling.  There was no concern of rain or theft.  So I assumed (bad idea) all would be fine leaving each of the windows open about an inch.  It never occurred to me how much dust could settle inside during those few hours.  Everything was coated with a nasty fine film.  What a nasty surprise!  No wonder I grew up with always leaving them up and having to tolerate a baked car afterward.  I must have learned that lesson decades ago and forgotten.  Sure glad the 2010 is coming soon.

5-20-2009

At The Dealer.  There was a 2010 Prius.  It was not the model I ordered, nor the color.  But it was the real thing, at the dealer.  That's a very good sign.  Another dealer in the cities here had a delivery too.  The time for mine is quickly approaching.  It could be tomorrow.  It could be the day after.  If neither, it won't be until sometime next week after the holiday... or even longer.  I can't stand the suspense.  So close.  This opportunity to upgrade is very exciting.  The wait is totally worth it... though quite a test of character.  Fortunately, the dealer is well aware of my anticipation.  That should mean a call shortly after it comes of the truck.  In fact, they even suggested I might have the chance to remove the transport material myself.  We'll see... soon, I hope.

5-20-2009

Mumbled Comment.  The instructor at a class I took today lost credibility quick when she mumbled a negative comment today when someone mentioned I owned a Prius.  It was hard to believe she would express such an attitude... especially in that setting.  What surprised me was how poorly informed her comment sounded.  When, if ever, did she actually verify that information?  It was just like those reviews we'd read where you'd question if the person ever drove a Prius.  How could errors so blatant be printed?  But seeing that happen many times makes it easy to understand how some consumers don't really have a clue.  Thank goodness Prius are a common sight on the road now.  Eventually, those like her will figure out they made a mistake... misunderstood... assumed... drew an incorrect conclusion.  In the meantime, I still have to tolerate stuff like that.

5-19-2009

Plug-In Market Limitations.  Certain Volt enthusiasts love to distort & obscure whenever Toyota makes a comment about the plug-in market.  Again, I had to point out how PRICE was a major factor.  The market will be limited if the battery-pack isn't affordable.  Why do they insist on dismissing that?  Their claims of superiority totally disregard overall production.  What good is a small number of extremely efficient vehicles when the rest of the fleet isn't?  Focus on selling FULL hybrids by the millions should be seen as a sensible approach.  Instead, that thought is treated as an attempt to undermine EREV technology.  Geez!

5-19-2009

No Accountability.  It's hard to believe how extreme the Prius misleading from some Volt enthusiasts has become.  The recent climb in gas & oil prices combined with the availability of the 2010 must be making them crazy.  The first Volt sales, which are only to a limited area, are still a year and half away.  Having nothing to work with in the meantime is causing desperate efforts to make the competition look less appealing.  My favorite examples were the claim that the plug-in Prius only delivers 55 MPG and the claim that the battery-pack upgrade will cost $10,000 for just a 5-mile range.  Who do they think they are fooling?  Greenwashing that easy to prove wrong doesn't make sense.  Aren't they aware how just a few searches online reveal a totally different story?  Don't they have any concern about being held accountable for spreading false information?  Oh well.  Soon I'll have a 2010 Prius, so I can contribute to the real-world data for those wanting to research benefits of different hybrid technologies for themselves.

5-19-2009

$2.39 Per Gallon.  The price of oil climbed to $60 per barrel.  That was the first time since last November.  Gas prices quickly shot up as a result.  The travel season we call "Summer" has officially begun.  The holiday coming this weekend will make the situation quite clear.  Paying more to feed your vehicle is inevitable.  Why in the world fight the push for high-efficiency when it's already expensive to keep that guzzler going?  Offering vehicles with much better MPG should be a no-brainer.  Yet, some still resist the change.  Don't they care about the consequences of emissions or consumption not improving?  Can't they see the opportunity this makes for the struggling automakers to introduce more competitive vehicles?

5-19-2009

Cheaper Design.  I discovered a cost-saving measure Honda took for the new Insight.  They eliminated one of the two internal clutches in the hybrid system.  Unfortunately, that reduces the efficiency of the regenerative braking.  I honestly don't know how the motor will behave differently.  But I do wonder where the heck the electricity will come from.  Will forced recharging happen more often?  Does re-capture from slowing provide enough to compensate?  ASSIST hybrids don't use anywhere near as much as FULL hybrids anyway.  But having less available raises the question of overall efficiency.  Actual implementation doesn't always look as good as the on-paper calculations.  How effective was the change?  Was the cheaper design worth the tradeoff?

5-19-2009

Expected Sales.  The efficiency mandate is upsetting to some.  Others simply see it as something easily offset by "100 MPG" vehicles like Volt.  But do either actually crunch the numbers?  Actual sales make a huge difference.  If an offset strategy is taken rather than actually improving 30 MPG vehicles, how many should we expect to be sold?  The mandate indicates a 35 MPG average is required.  100 vehicles driving that for 100,000 miles each would result in 285,700 gallons being consumed.  To meet that equivalent, it would take 21 vehicles like Volt to offset the 79, giving a total of 284,307 gallons.  Using a 50 MPG hybrid instead, it would take 36 to offset the 64, giving a total of 285,312 gallons.  So...  For every 100 vehicles, is it realistic to expect 21 of them to be a plug-in vehicle like Volt?  With a price somewhere around $35,000 by 2016, that seems like quite a stretch.  For every 100 vehicles, expecting 36 of them to be a 50 MPG hybrid selling for $20,000 by 2016 is though.  How many can be sold is the biggest factor. There won't have much of an offset effect if the quantity is limited.  Of course... that's not taking into account vehicles that get MPG lower than 30.  If you do, even more of the higher efficiency vehicles are required.  The importance of them being affordable should be obvious.  Lots will not be purchased if they are priced too high.

5-18-2009

Snowy Remembrance.  On the verge of getting a 2010 Prius, I'm still trying to pick out the best of my unpublished 2004 Prius photos to share...  The first weekend of April this year certainly gave me an exciting opportunity to add to the collection.  One the drive home Saturday evening, it was snowing really hard.  Everything was coated with a fresh heavy layer of the white stuff, including the Prius itself.  The way the light hit the large flakes meant I was about to get wet & cold.  Sure enough, I drove by a fantastic location to break out the digital camera.  Trying to figure out where to place the car to avoid unnecessary tire tracks or footprints, then jump out while attempting to protect the lens from getting wet in the windy snow, sure made things interesting.  But it was totally worth it.  In fact, I ended up driving to two more locations to take advantage of those rare conditions.  See...  photo album 131   photo album 132

5-18-2009

80,000 Orders.  That's the estimate in Japan upon the start of 2010 Prius sales.  What the number is here is anyone's guess.  Heck, we don't even have an effective way of contacting all the owners.  The sale claimed to be first in North America has already been contested.  The typical consumer just snaps up their Prius and doesn't say much, if anything.  Promises to share lots of good photos are hit & miss too.  But at least it's something.  After all, the posts on the big Prius forum are dominated by the 2010 now.  It won't be long before those interested in the Iconic model will be stuck with reading old threads.  Interest in the new model is intense.

5-18-2009

Accelerated  Progress.  Change is upon us.  It's finally happening.  This new wave of hybrids made the argument against higher MPG standards a difficult one.  Tomorrow, that condition will be even more so.  It appears as though the anticipated announcement from the Obama administration will be to accelerate the efficiency mandate by 4 years.  Instead of 2020, the requirements will need to be met by 2016.  Who's going to argue with that?  Both Toyota & Ford are seeing encouraging numbers immediately upon new hybrid rollout.  Both Chrysler & GM are deeply in debt with the government.  None of the other automakers are big enough to mount a resistance.  In fact, just going with the flow at this point is the best strategy.  It's a fantastic way to introduce change without getting blamed for doing it.  We needed to part from the guzzler market... which really only existed in the United States anyway.  The rest of the world already embraces the idea of using less fuel... as well as reducing carbon emissions.  These are exciting times!

5-18-2009

Deliveries Have Begun !!!  Without surprise, those on the coast are seeing the 2010 Prius first.  Not having to be loaded onto a train then a truck, like mine, makes for faster delivery.  That's ok.  All most of us care about is progress being made.  Hearing reports allow us witness the new ownership experience anyway.  Unfortunately, as with the past, many don't deliver much for photos and don't stick with the forum posting for long.  Sadly, many of those with the now older model will drop off due to the discussions changing so much.  That's what happens.  We've seen it before.  History is repeating itself.  The handoff to the next generation is taking place.  The bar has been raised.  I can't wait to start reporting about my own observations.  Soon.  I know.  Patience.

5-17-2009

Snobbery.  Certain reporters just rub you the wrong way.  One in particular, who clearly doesn't like Prius, did that today.  He mislead about the new Insight, giving it much praise by comparing to the older model Prius.  Knowing how close delivery of the new model is, it was to be expected that one final insult would be attempted.  But to chose the label of "snob" for Prius owners was a bit of a stretch.  Who actually acts that way?  His claim of Prius owners looking down on Honda's design with "this is a real hybrid" comparisons simply isn't true.  We have always called it an ASSIST type... which shouldn't be a big deal, since that is what the "A" stands for in Honda's own name for their technology.

 

back to home page       go to top