Prius Personal Log #676
July 11, 2014 - July 21, 2014
Last Updated: Weds. 9/10/2014
page #675 page #677 BOOK INDEX
Commute Work (Deplete EV) - Video. Driving to work, rather than the way home, was the next thing to film. The video & data capture went remarkably well. Conditions were near ideal for driving in EV until depletion, which made it great as a measure comparison for battery degradation. There still isn't any after over 2 years of plugging & driving. That's the period when the largest drop supposedly takes place too. Not seeing any at all is proof that Toyota really studied the need and the chemistry well. There are so many conditions to take into account. And with the extreme lows here in Minnesota, that isn't something to be taken lightly... as with the extreme highs in the southern most regions of the country. Staying between the 23.5% depleted and 85% full levels is a key to that. Avoiding too much stress on either side of the total capacity available for the pack is a major contributor to the longevity. And now I have another detailed video illustrating exactly that. I was particularly thrilled with the results too. It's not everyday I get to see results that nice. Traffic & Temperature variations impact the outcome, but causing lower efficiency... though, still quite noteworthy. Anywho, here's the short & sweets comments I included and a link for the video itself: Taking the scenic route to work, along the river, the performance on this beautiful summer morning was outstanding. 418 MPG for the 17.2 mile drive. Prius PHV - Commute Work (Deplete EV)
53 MPG. Well, today certainly was exciting. I took a stand-up-paddleboard class with my girlfriend. We had a blast, though I did get a bit sun burnt. That certainly is an interesting way to travel on the water. It's quite remarkable how stable they are, even when you are moving around on top in a standing position. Anywho, since we were going to the lake anyway, I brought along the kayaks. The round-trip was 37 miles, not far enough to bother covering the cockpits. That increases aerodynamic drag even more... as if a 12-foot and 14-foot object carried on the roof of the Prius wasn't enough. On the way home, it was particularly noisy too. With so much air being pushed through and around, that's no surprise. What did surprise me was the efficiency performance. I really wasn't expecting MPG to be so high, even when taking advantage of a full battery-pack. Most of the driving was at suburb speeds, though there was a few miles out on the open highway too. Knowing that my trip up north with the kayaks years ago with the regular Prius resulted in a 36 MPG average (lots of high-speed travel then), I was figuring somewhere in the mid-40's with the plug-in model. After all, efficiency flattens out after awhile. But with shorter travel and that extra electricity, perhaps upper-40's was realistic. Seeing a final result of 53 MPG was quite a delight. I had no idea that expectation could be set for that distance. Sweet!
Fuel Price. It's $3.29 per gallon here for gas and $3.89 for diesel. Such a large difference explains why we are seeing more greenwashing they usual from diesel supporters lately. They've been pushing statistics using the percentage technique. It's when you only show sales gain through the use of relative measure. By doing that, it gives the impression of more. But in reality, exclusion of detail (the actual count), it can actually be much less. They hope people assume more though. Not checking facts is important when misleading... and they are quite the pushers of that particular approach. It's sad to know that honest competition doesn't happen. That's why the "self regulate" mindset is such a problem. You are only fed the facts they want you to know. Sadly, comments posted about the article can be just as bad. We see the same old talking-points again and again. The most common is that diesel thrives on the highway and there's no benefit from hybrids at those same high speeds. The avoid posting actual MPG as much as possible and simply never explain how they came to the conclusion of no benefit. They also try to keep focus on highway, so the poor city performance isn't ever mentioned. They flaunt the "clean" label to prevent addressing actual emission ratings. Again, that's a relative measure. It's annoying to see this same nonsense so often. Fortunately, the much higher price per gallon keeps the situation in check. That's extra expense makes it a difficult sale. It makes you wonder how the loss of some truck space and extra expense is explained away for the diesel vehicles which spray urea into the exhaust system for emission cleansing. Hybrids like Prius are even cleaner, without even using special liquid & equipment.
Moderator Intervention, definitions. The refusal to acknowledge Volt was a hybrid led to heightened promotion of EREV, even though the other plug-in hybrids contradicted the very definition they embraced. It's screwy. But then again, arguing semantics is never straight forward. In fact, most of the time, it's pointless to even bother. In this case though, I at lease wanted to highlight the confusion he contributed to with: "11 miles Elec + Gas. All Elec: 0-6 mi <——– This in NOT a PHEV!" That didn't make any sense. Is Volt now a PHEV and this was an effort to disassociate? HV, EV, and blending is an expectation from PHEV. That's what the acronym represents. I found no reason to reply. It would just be a waste of time. Though, it is worth drawing attention to the obsession with EV purity clouding judgment. Any gas usage whatsoever is considered bad... even though Volt has an engine for use after depletion and for battery & cabin warming during the winter. It's so hypocritical. That's why posts are vague and requests for detail result in shooting of the messenger. It's rather annoying to have to deal with too; however, these incidents are so few and far between now that it isn't a big deal anymore. Yeah!
Moderator Intervention, facts. Refusing to accept reality is nothing new... but how deep in denial can someone actually be? We've known of individuals who made an assumption and never bothered to do any research. They continue to dismiss facts presented as clarifications to their error for quite awhile. But in this case, especially since the person is a Volt salesperson, there isn't much how of an epiphany. I keep trying though. At least others reading the posts will see his mistake and wonder what's wrong. Hopefully, this at least helped a little: 4.4 kWh is the battery-pack capacity. Avoiding that reality by hiding behind the EPA testing course is intentional misleading. The engine briefly runs at 6-mile mark, then shuts back off for the remaining 5. That's a total of 11 miles using electricity, not just 6. On my daily commute, that amount of electricity takes me an average of 12 miles before the engine starts.... because I don't have a spot where hard-acceleration is required and the traffic tends to flow along with very few stops. On really nice summer mornings, I can go 15 miles... all EV... all consecutive. Continuing to post "electric only" numbers by leaving out vital information is misrepresentation. There's no excuse for that. Then there's the misleading about blending by never including any numbers. It's just given a stigma and the message of inadequacy is conveyed, doing everything possible to avoid ever actually mentioning the resulting MPG.
Moderator Intervention, posted again. Not willing to accept the disappearance of his original post, he posted the same thing again. This time, I decided to respond, specifically to this: "The Feds tell us that 74% of commuters drive less then 34 miles a day. Driving a Prius PI in EV Mode more then 34 miles with blended gas and electric fuel would require me to plug in over 5 times a day, and still be using gas! If gasoline is at $4 a gallon I can go 50 miles in a Toyota Prius Plug-In for $4 dollars." The obvious exclusion of non-commute miles should be a dead giveaway about intent. It's rather blatant cherry-picking. You cannot just exclude the rest of the miles people drive. Going back & forth to work is not what people actually do in the real-world. That "5 times" claim is rather bizarre. Is he really that clueless about how PHV works? My guess is he actually believes that 6 miles is all the system delivers... even though it has been pointed out countless times that it doesn't. Heck, even video has been provided showing that's not the case. My choice of how to reply was as follows: I find such dedication a sign of desperation. Misrepresenting the plug-in Prius by continuing to imply that "6 mile" rating is the entire plug-in capacity available is just plain wrong. Or look at it another way, misleading about the plug-in Prius is a terrible way to promote Volt. It's been pointed out many, many times that the EPA's testing course triggers the engine briefly at the 6-mile mark. It's a simply on, then back off again, point during the drive. That causes it to get a "blended" rating of 11 miles total rather than the entire battery-capacity available being labeled as EV. Yet, we see on-going exploitation of people's misunderstanding of what that number actually means. In other words, it's greenwashing. You don't want to be any part of that by associating with those contributions.
Moderator Intervention, removed. There hasn't been anything even remotely "troll worthy" published as a daily topic on that daily blog for Volt in ages. All they get now is just a repeat of what's shared on the generic hybrid sight. Interestingly though, there was news about Prius PHV. So when that made it to there (usually a day or two lag), the reaction was something I was quite curious to witness. A record was set with it on a track in Germany. The Volt enthusiasts started posting responses with zeal. That's understandable. Most were fairly objective & respectable. One though... whoa... was an outright attack. It was from that same Chevy salesperson who's been doing everything he can to mislead about EV capacity. It's embarrassing to the supporters of Volt. Not competing honestly is something they just plain don't want to be part of. The moderator obviously feels the same way. The post only remained visible for able an hour. Then, it vanished. I was happy to see that happen. It was a rather blatant trolling attempt and he didn't want anyone to take the bait. Cool! That type of intervention to keep discussions constructive sure is a welcome improvement.
New Attack, resentment. The trolling attempt was so obvious, it abruptly ended. The matter was likely either not realizing he'd get called out so quickly or not realizing how intense the resistance would be. Whatever the case, it looks like the attack is over already. Remember the days when those baseless posts would go on and on and on? Now, we've got so much good quality data, there is little available for trolls to exploit. Gotta like that. It sure was a nightmare in the past. Certain members and their reputations still send quivers down some of our spines. We'd have to deal with their blatant lies of desperation. Undermining Prius at all costs was their intent. Now, especially with this particular individual, it's hard to know. As Volt leases expires, those former owners are finding themselves at a loss for what to replace it with. They didn't expect the plug-in market to be so fickle or anywhere near the money-loser. They didn't recognize the importance of the Who? question. They didn't understand how long or complicated the process to change would be. Prius owners did. So, naturally, there is some resentment.
New Attack, wake up. There was a second quote in his post I responded to as well: "More customers will wake up like me and trade in their last Toyota." That made me wonder if some of what we were seeing had to do with automaker fallout, rather than just Volt. After all, GM recall trouble continues to increase. The situation is quite remarkable. How it will or even can be properly addressed is anyone's guess. What is clear though is Toyota's stance is much stronger. Being closer to goals for the upcoming market and be much more diversified puts them in a far better position. That obviously feeds the frustration. Keeping objective, my post to that was: Not understanding audience continues to be the biggest challenge. Goals of cost-reduction and depleted-efficiency were easy enough to get agreement on. But as for that question of who, the claimed lost customers continues to remain a mystery. Toyota is focusing their hybrid technology squarely on the masses. It's a replacement for traditional vehicles. That means it must match up with mainstream purchase priorities... a reality some Volt owners don't want to acknowledge. In other words, it's the outcome that matters. Whether or not the system stays in EV mode or it accomplishes that efficiency through blending isn't of any interest. They just plain do not care... as they do now with transmissions. They don't care how an automatic works, they just want it to work well, be reliable, and be affordable.
New Attack, good riddance. How would you respond to seeing
this: "To the Prius Plug In, I say good riddance anyhow, because its
such inferior engineering (I'm a Volt owner, though I still love my old '08
Prius for what it does as a reliable and efficient "old" car)."
That was only his third post on the big Prius forum. The other two
were today too and both were as abrasive. I was rather surprised to
see anything like that anymore. With Volt's struggle and the
slow-but-steady growth of PHV, sounding off like that doesn't make sense.
What could it possibly accomplish at this point? All those
disenchanted had already go it out of their system... or so I thought.
Maybe it was just a simple lashing out before giving up. Who knows.
I chose to address the new attack with:
There have been a small number of Volt owners who flaunted "vastly superior"
and were happy to belittle & insult Prius PHV. Their attitude stemmed from
seeing what Toyota did well, especially when they clashed directly with
unmet expectations from GM.
It was quite interesting to watch the fallout back in late 2010 and early
2011. All these years later, we're seeing how claims of being "inferior"
don't actually hold up when detail is revealed.
Not Posted. I refrained from posting this. There was simply no benefit from stirring the pot. So, here in my blogs, those thought will be exclusively shared: Yesterday, a bunch of EV owners got together for a meeting. That was quite enjoyable. There were 5 Leafs, along with 1 soon-to-be-owner. 3 I-MiEV. 2 C-Max Energi. 2 Prius PHV. 1 Focus EV. 1 Tesla Model S. By far, the biggest market complaint was dealer disinterest. They had some very disheartening stories to share. The majority of salespeople simply don't have a clue and have no desire to even learn about the vehicles. So even when an excited consumer comes in to look, they end up leaving disappointed. Imagine what it's like trying to get help and finding out you know far more than they do. To make matters worse, the cars generally aren't even charged up. So when you want to take a drive, it's either really short or just with an engine. What a mess. There is a very real problem still. Those here still claiming just the act of making more available is enough to overcome the education barrier really need to talk to more owners. I stand stronger than ever behind the impression that Toyota is learning all they can in the established markets before moving on to the others. Spreading thinner by not addressing shortcomings with dealers first simply doesn't make any sense. Hopefully, it won't take too long. And since we know there is roughly 2 years until the plug-in Prius upgrade arrives, building up dealer confidence & support in the meantime is realistic. The new advertising campaign is should stimulate a sales increase in the established markets. It would be a good indication that expanding to new markets would reach more than just early adopters; otherwise, we end up waiting.
Half Million. This was the title of an article published today: "There are now more than 500,000 EVs on the planet." Right away, there was a comment posted asking for the definition of EV. Turns out, the writing was about a press release, which clearly said "Plug-In Vehicles". That's not electric-only, as the article implied. Misrepresentation like that makes some of us nuts. It confuses consumers. Calling anything with a plug will cause the same problem we had a decade ago. Writers figured anything with a battery was a "hybrid" vehicle. That led to quite a bit of online fighting and a number of purchase disappointments. People assumed they were all the same. We ended up arguing "not the same" so many times, it still stirs anger all these years later. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. Greenwashing starts with being vague. This was a contribution to that... rather than the celebration it was intended to be.