Prius Personal Log #858
February 18, 2018 - February 24, 2018
Last Updated: Mon. 4/02/2018
page #857 page #859 BOOK INDEX
Cooperation. You don't state goals when you want a someone who shares your values to remain a foe. The idea of cooperation makes the "vastly superior" sick to their stomach. That's why we get a constant stream of "fugly" & "slow" comments. They literally have nothing useful to contribute, so they revert to the childish act of being a bully. Calling names and drawing attention is something the rest of us learned as what not to do as some of the first lessons taught in school. It's hard to believe such primitive acts can dominate situations so often. But when you have nothing else to lose, they don't see any reason to play fairly. That sounds a lot like the political situation we are in now too. Unfortunately, it is a reality it both the plug-in hybrid and the electric-only vehicle markets. That's really sad... but also an encouraging sign, since it confirms very real change is taking place. The problem with that is progress forward means some initial efforts will be revealed as unsuccessful... and not everyone deals with failure well. Learning what works and doesn't work isn't supposed to hurt someone's pride. Most people take the constructive criticism as upgrade suggestions. But when a product like Volt comes along, where there's no realistic chance of upgrade money being available, those stuck with that product unable to achieve high-volume sales face a very real problem... and having to cooperate with a former foe for help is too much to accept. So, they fight. Ugh. I certainly try to extend a hand though: The reason why this group has such repugnance for me is now becoming difficult to deny. What I've been pushing for all along is exactly what they need. Those with long-term vision and experience see it as obvious. They have had an extremely difficult time with just getting beyond the tax-credit though. Volt's dependency on it meant only an audience of enthusiasts would be interested. But in 2018, there's a necessity to deal with sales that are not fully subsized. Next year, that financial crutch will be gone. That means reaching mainstream shoppers. They key to that is an concept this group hates with a passion... cooperation with other automakers, giving up superiority for the sake of moving beyond the initial market.
Sending a Message. Being clear & concise is a dead giveaway that the person is making an honest effort. That's what is often hated about me. I'm that broken record, the scratch they keep hearing. Over and over again, my message is present and cannot be avoided. Stating it today certainly stirred a lot of anger: "My message was has always been that the offering must be targeted directly at showroom shoppers and be both profitable & affordable with sustainable high-volume sales." That's how you get labeled as a troll... especially when it is posted about the topic of sales. They feel emotionally stirred and take that as an effort to provoke, rather than being a reminder of purpose. See, when purpose goes unfulfilled, the group struggling will come up with other achievements to focus on instead. It goes back to the teacher giving the student a failing grade for not following instructions. Even if the student did remarkably well with whatever homework was turned in, the failure to actually do the work assigned is a very real problem. They get anger for not getting the reward they feel they deserve. I see an attempt to manipulate. So, you said a message so clear, their is no doubt of the attempted deception. In this case, those needed sales were not achieved. You must deliver what is required. Period. Then if you do, there's always the opportunity for extra credit.
Facing Reality. It is very difficult; though, some do
"I still think GM is in the EV market kicking and screaming."
I found that intriguing, especially as it invites the opportunity to respond
with some closing insight:
The reason why this group has such repugnance for me is now becoming difficult to deny. What I've been pushing for all along is exactly what they need. Those with long-term vision and experience see it as obvious. They have had an extremely difficult time with just getting beyond the tax-credit though. Volt's dependency on it meant only an audience of enthusiasts would be interested. Volt was doomed to being a niche as a result.
But now in 2018, there's a necessity to deal with sales that are not fully subsidized. Next year, that financial crutch will be completely gone. That means reaching mainstream shoppers. Growth isn't possible otherwise. The key to that is a concept this group hates with a passion... cooperation with other automakers, giving up superiority for the sake of moving beyond that initial market. Gasp!
Having to reach out a hand in partnership is difficult. I sucked it up right away, seeing GM as the automaker with the greatest potential of being able to break out from those challenges holding back plug-in vehicles. I saw that they had to opportunity to exploit batteries once production-cost came down and energy-density went up enough to make them directly competitive with traditional vehicles on the showroom floor.
They are too proud to also suck it up at the moment. Hopefully, that will quickly change. Joining me in the fight against the reign of gas guzzlers isn't a level of maturity this group wants... yet. Read the previous posts in this thread. Their attempts to mislead and divert attention are clear evidence of them kicking and screaming like GM. Fortunately, there are now other partners are showing very good potential.
It's really unfortunate that so much time & effort was wasted on conquest. It is not too late. There is opportunity to make up that lost ground.
Purpose, antagonist. They respond with efforts to
divert attention: "BTW, over the same time
frame, PHV/Prime sales: ~61,000" I was happy to sound off about
that: That is not a BTW, since
the purpose of PHV/Prime was profoundly different than Volt. GM bet
the farm on Volt, placing the entire fate of plug-in offerings on its
success... and failed miserably. That's why the namesake of Bolt came about.
GM was forced to start over, abandoning all that "range anxiety" campaigning
to now endorse the very thing it was against. Toyota never had
high-volume plans for gen-1. It was simply a mid-cycle rollout to just 15
states for the sake of research to build a viable gen-2 upon. Phase 2 of
that research never happened. Toyota learned what it wanted sooner than
anticipated. So, the effort was halted. In the meantime, rollout of new
hybrid models to someday also offer a plug took place. We got 2 new models
of Prius, a compact SUV, and a compact CUV. They also ramped up lithium
battery production, moving all but an ECO model of Prius away from NiMH. Now,
we see there is indeed a viable gen-2 offered... and Toyota didn't
squander tax-credits on conquest sales... leaving them in a profoundly
different position than GM.
Purpose, advocate. I ask questions: What is the plan for Volt?
We see GM favoring Bolt, but that's only in the realm of plug-in support...
which is tiny. GM's presence at the autoshows is all Pickups & SUVs. Their
interest in cars is basically abandoned now, just like it was leading
up to the bankruptcy. They are slipping into the same financial trap again. With
the GM tax-credits hitting phaseout the end of this year, it makes
that struggle with Volt even worse. The growth necessary to be able to share
a presence with Nissan, Hyundai, and Toyota simply isn't realistic. Those
legacy automakers have a clear advantage in terms of both production-cost
and market-targeting. What will GM do?
Lost Purpose. It came down to pointing out the fact they did everything possible to avoid acknowledge of: This is a fanboy site that doesn't want to admit it is a fanboy site. That identity clash ultimately tore it apart. There was always a push for EV purity, but an anti-EV sentiment. Then when Bolt came along, Volt became a lost cause. What is the purpose of this site now?
New Audience. Abandoning the dead fanboy blog to post on websites more in tune with the plug-in market as a whole presents new challenges. That new audience isn't well informed. They don't think things through either. They just see how the technology works and assume that's the only issue. It goes far beyond just good engineering. Those nasty Volt antagonists learned that lesson the hard way. Blinded by enthusiam, they didn't bother to study acceptance, hence my repeating advice: Know your audience. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an outlet available. For that matter, even fewer have enough amps. There are very real legistics issues needing to be addressed. I brought that to their attention with: Initially, it's easy to embrace the plug. The lack of diversity presents a simple path to follow. The situation becomes quite complex as you try to move beyond that though. The perfect example is the dead silence that comes from facing the reality of a multi-plugin household. The effort to supply enough electricity to that first charging location is thwarted by the need to add a second. It's much more difficult to find a convenient place for the second charger and there simply may not be enough amps available without major rework. It's unfortunate they don't recognize the problem yet, but it will emerge as a very real barrier at some point... as will other unforeseen challenges related to mainstream penetration.
Old Audience. Attempts to join in, to say that's what they wanted all along is a sign to watch for: "Most people here have been yelling for the past several years for a AWD, EREV, Voltec power plant in a Equinox/Terrain platform." Their true stance is easy to confirm. Just look for patterns. They didn't ever actually do anything. It was nothing but an online campaign to build an impression of progress. No outreach beyond posting messages is a complete failure. The point of exchanging information online among enthusiasts is to build support, to become supporters. They never did. They just kept reciting rhetoric to each other, the same old audience. If you don't make at effort to entice mainstream consumers, what's the point? I sounded off to their nonsense with: Barely a whisper with no lasting effect, drown out by those fighting to keep the spotlight on Volt. Opportunity was missed. Calling the effort to break that status quo (finally move on) trolling is sad. This site was founded as strong endorsement of what was hoped to come. Why is there still no effort whatsoever to do the same for the supposed desire for diversification? Making excuses and diverting attention elsewhere only makes it worse. That total absense of a message forward is why some other site will take over.
More Innovation. Clearly annoyed by my comprehensive
reply about being innovative, I fired more ammunition at their attempt to
recover. There is no way I'm letting this go. Their reign of
greenwash is over. It was amazing how terrible some of their posts had
become. Attacking the messenger turned to dishonesty on an entirely
new level. At least in the past, there was some basis of truth.
Now, they are just saying whatever they want, without anything to support
their claims. It's what happens when pride takes over. Facts
don't matter anymore. Goals don't matter anymore. Cost doesn't
matter anymore. All they want is to protect reputation. That's
sad. This is how I responded to that nonsense:
btw, in Japan you can options from Toyota that aren't available here...
- AWD option for Prius
- Thermal-Resistant paint
- Solar-Roof recharging
- CHAdeMO recharging
...which is why this group associates anything not related to power or range a waste, not considered innovative.
Innovate. Desperate efforts to spin the loss as something else, we got this: "I keep hoping Toyota will innovate again." Their fanboy site is dead and they know it. Today marks 2 full weeks without a daily post and I was delighted to chime into that attempt to lick their wounds: Innovate = to introduce something new; make changes in anything established. Delivering extremely low-cost way of offering EV drive doesn't qualify. Delivering high-efficiency electric-only cabin heating doesn't qualify. Delivering carbon-fiber for a lighter weight hatch door doesn't qualify. Delivering aero-glass for higher efficiency and wiper elimination doesn't qualify. Delivering a collection of safety features standard on all vehicles doesn't qualify. Rolling out hybrid systems to all vehicles for a simple path plug-in offerings doesn't qualify. Transitioning hybrid systems from NiMH batteries to lithium doesn't qualify either. The word "innovate" doesn't mean the same here as anywhere else. That is why this is a fanboy site... which is what makes this a fanboy site without purpose anymore.
Ask Questions. My follow up to that group of losers... those who ulimately lost their greenwash venue... by doing what I routinely do, ask questions: What is GM's electrification plan? With Toyota, we already see that Corolla & C-HR hybrids are selling well elsewhere. So, they are now faced with the decision of whether or not to roll them out here or go straight to plug-in hybrid. Next year, the EV model C-HR will be rolled out in China. So, there will be that option here too at some point. For larger vehicles, the production of Highlander hybrid in Texas will become a reality next year. From GM, we have no clue what the next steps may be, just vague ambitions… which is what this group used to thrive on. But even that has faded. It's that lack of any message that cause people to stop participating. So, what is or should be the plan?
Status Quo. It is interesting how some spin what you just said to mean the opposite: "Sounds like you are happy with the status quo." That's a clear indication they actually did read & understand what you posted. The hope is by firing back the same sentiment, readers won't notice. Somehow, they think the reversal will hide the behavior. It's like when someone guilty of something accuses you of that very thing. Anywho, I see how desperate the Volt enhusiasts have become. Their venue for daily greenwash has collapsed and they want someone to blame, even though they are the ones who brought it to that end. Gotta love the irony. I let them have it with this dose of reality: Sounds like you are unfamiliar with diminishing returns. Investing heavily in faster & further did not result in market growth. In fact, quite the opposite happened. The risk of cost, resulting in a MSRP too high too compete directly with traditional vehicles, has been confirmed too great of a tradeoff. Sales dropped. GM should have kept the power & range unchanged for gen-2 and focused on making Volt an affordable choice for their loyal base of owners looking to replace their aging GM vehicles. Status quo for an interim generation would have been a wise choice. Gen-3 could have been the upgrade which offered the next improvement for power & range. Now, there's a risk of losing everything. The generous tax-credit will expire prior to having established profitable & sustainable high-volume sales... the return GM sacrificed by choosing to not deliver a well-balance design. Their favor for faster & further resulted in a vehicle mainstream consumers (Chevy shoppers) weren't interested in.
Costly Mistake. There are some who still don't get it. That trophy mentality will make them pay the price. In the meantime, there's still a state of blissful ignorance... well, flat out denial. It's clear certain individuals just plain don't care. The hollow victory of a short-term lead is all they are interested in. I'm happy to point out that focus should be on the long-term, changing the status quo rather than just celebrating a perceived lead: Prime is designed to take on direct competition with traditional vehicles. Owners will experience many drives that are exclusively EV and get absolutely outstanding overall efficiency regardless of when the engine runs. The smaller battery-pack gives it that edge needed to keep MSRP business strong, no tax-credit required. Starting at $27,100 makes it a very realistic for deep penetration into the mainstream. I drive my Prime hard, with 2 no-recharge trips over 1,700 miles each (much at 80 mph) and having to deal with the extreme cold of Minnesota winter. No big deal. 98.5 MPG as of 10.5 months (14,500 miles) and climbing as the temperatures warm. Remember audience. Prime's target includes showroom shoppers. Being able to grow the market is vital. Focusing only on low-hanging fruit (early adopters) can be a costly mistake.
Efficiency Rating. Wow! Some EV supporters are totally clueless about what the numbers actually mean. Confusion that emerged from my mention of an efficiency rating resulted in a number of bizarre responses. You'd assume someone promoting plug-in vehicles would be aware of how their consumption is measured and what the various related terms actually me. Turns out, many don't. They just latch on to the concept of plugging in, then support it without actually studying the topic. It almost just boils down to Oil = Bad and Electricity = Good. That certainly covers the mindset of those troublemaker Volt enthusiasts. They couldn't care less how inefficient their vehicle was, just as long as no gas was used. That's really unfortunate. Waste is still waste, even if the fuel is clean & renewable. Frutrated about having learned how much this new audience still has to learn, I posted: Writers here really need to publish & promote an article explaining what those number actually mean. Far too many EV supporters assume incorrectly. I have seen quite a few comments in various articles with that same mistake repeated. "kWh/100 mi" is a measurement of EV efficiency. It states the amount if KWH the vehicle takes to travel 100 miles. It has absolutely nothing to do with how many miles you'll get per charge; yet, we see replies everytime a rating is posted with that belief.