Prius Personal Log #865
March 27, 2018 - April 2, 2018
Last Updated: Tues. 4/10/2018
page #864 page #866 BOOK INDEX
Lost Now. Those antagonists from the dead daily blog
have no where to congregate anymore. Each is trying to stir trouble on
new venues. It's not going well either. We're calling those
efforts out. For example:
"battery technology moved, today's is cheaper to have a big pack of low-cost
low-power cells than a smaller pack of fast charging cell" It was
an attack on Prime. They dispise the idea of sharing
public-chargers... knowing benefit is greater the smaller the size of the
battery-pack. That gain from a short recharge while stopped at the
grocery store is greater for Prime. In just 10 minutes, I can get from
my local shopping lot to home entirely on electricity from time I was there.
Efforts of those entusiasts-gone-bad were to never arrive anywhere without
electricity available... making the gain from recharging far less than what
Prime would experience. Again, this is more self-deprecation they are
now suffering from. They shot themselves in the foot with their choice
of how to promote Volt. Big Oops! Oh well. Too late now.
Being dishonest about the cirucumstances only makes it worse. I called
him out on it too:
Without actual data, there's no reason to believe that claim. The devil is in the detail. There are tradeoffs, not a single factor to making the decision. For example, that claim of "with at least 40 miles of range like the Gen 1" was very misleading with so much detail excluded...
2011 = 35
2012 = 35
2013 = 38
2014 = 38
2015 = 38
Notice how none of the model-years ever actually delivered 40-mile ratings. During the warm months, 40 could indeed have been delivered. But in winter, not even close... and heater type makes difference, a factor not mentioned anywhere.
Notice how vague GM's statement is? They thrive on ambiguity, releasing information that really doesn't tell you anything specific.
In other words, read with care and look for what's missing.
EPA Rollback. I'm seeing a look of advertisements now for Terrain. That's the next size larger SUV from GM than Equinox. It's a beast, yet they are presenting it as an everyday vehicle. The next size larger than that is the Suburban... which delivers a combined estimate of 18 MPG. Labeled as a "family hauler", there's no doubt of the obsession with size & power. The minivan and van are dead, family haulers long forgotten. Brainwashed into thinking a 355-horsepower 8-cylinder engine is necessary explains why the EPA finds the idea of rolling back the efficiency mandate so easy. Who is going to oppose when such a large voice in the industry is praising giant guzzlers? We are slipping back to conditions over a decade ago, back when few cared about oil dependency or clean air. It is sickening to find out some people just plain don't care. This is why I was so hard on the Volt enthusiasts. They were naive, they argued with hostilty claiming this could never happen. Yet, here we are... facing several enemies so selfish, they couldn't care less what our children inherit. Even though we had the technology to prevent financial, political, and environmental struggle, we chose not to use it. Ugh.
Easter Egg. Since today is April Fool's Day, Easter Sunday, and my 1st Anniversary with the Prime, I've been hoping for some type of surprise. I got one too. It's not mind-boggling. It's actually rather obvious. I hadn't ever given it any thought though. The HD radio has a 15-minute buffer. Being digital, that makes sense. You get the ability to rewind or pause what you are listening to. Since I rarely ever get calls on my phone, the idea of that feature applying to it hadn't crossed my mind. Today though, I witness it firsthand. The radio suddenly went quiet, a pause symbol appeared on the screen, then I heard the phone ringer. I answered (pulling over on the residental street was easy) that call, then hang up when done... all using the buttons on the steering-wheel. When the connection ended, the radio automatically resumed exactly where it had stopped. I pulled up buffer info on the screen. Sure enough, it was just like when you pause a DVR. I could pick up exactly when I left or jump ahead back to the live broadcast. Sweet. I'll count that as a "easter egg", since the feature would be something you'd need to hunt for. It's a stumble-across ability, rather than being an obvious benefit.
Daily Dump. The death of that daily blog has been a severe blow to antagonists. They had a venue to dump their rhetoric daily. Every morning there was excitement about the opportunity to refine propaganda material. Then at the end of the day, the thread would be abandoned. It was a seemingly endless cycle of undermine training... which finally came to an end. Hey, when you don't have a product capable of speaking for itself, you speak ill of the supposed competition. Quite a bit of hate emerged from those Volt enthusiasts. Thank goodness their collapse emerged from within... exactly what I warned them about for years. GM struggled with internal conflict prior to the bankruptcy. Seeing signs of that approach still existing afterward should have been taken seriously; instead, their mindset was to pretend all was going to be just fine. That fundamental mistake has cost them dearly. Bolt represents the ultimate antitheiss to Volt. That's left them completely defenseless. Their own beloved GM turned on them. All that anti-EV campaigning forgotten for what? Volt seems to be abandonly entirely. No message of the technology being used elsewhere has emerged. Bolt appears to be leading the way to an all-electric future, one where the idea of "range anxiety" is solved by just having a larger battery. It's so hypocritical, the enthusiasts are at a complete loss about what to do next. There are no steps forward. It's a dead-end they got to on their own with all that AER propaganda. All-Electric-Range was self-deprecating. Oops!
Almost 1 Year. Ownership in all 4 seasons, which are quite pronounced here in Minnesota, is almost complete. 1 day left until its first year anniversary. 16,292 miles on my Prime so far. 102.6 MPG average, which includes the nasty cold in this northern state and 2 trips to Wyoming each over 1,700 miles (mostly 80 mph travel and no plugging in). That's a solid real-world result, an easy to understand step-up from regular hybrids in an affordable package. We are at the threshold of that paradigm-shift becoming noticeable. The technology for plugging in is well proven. This next stage is delivering affordability. Toyota is pushing that message hard... and taking a lot of flack for it, from early-adopters with no concern for tax-credit dependency. Fortunately, we have Hyundai coming in close behind with their own affordable offerings. That endorsement is vital. You need choices in the market all sending the same message. That's why there was so much hostility coming from the GM crowd. We witnessed 7 full years of their don't-give-a-crap attitude toward affordability. There was much talk about cost-reduction, but none of that translated to a sticker-price appealing to ordinary consumers. So, it's up to those like me already driving the solution to share their experiences. Being able to report such remarkable results after a full year of ownership is very exciting. Hooray!
It's Over. They certainly are trying. The EV blog posted a review on Prius Prime and the troublemakers immediately emerged to do their best to undermine. I didn't bite. There's no reason to even bother. Volt is withering on the vine now, without any clear purpose anymore and subsidies about to fade away. It's really unfortunate the tech wasn't diversified. So much for the supposed leadership. Anywho, unwilling to play their game, I posted: Reading those same old attempts to degrade & belittle plug-in Prius over the years has been quite interesting. It's an exercise in futility. They don't understand the audience. As enthusiasts, they feel necessity for range & speed, placing that as a very high purchase priority. Ordinary consumers don't. They just want a well-rounded vehicle... reliable, affordable, with a nice mix of features. Toyota recognizes this and strived to deliver exactly that. They targeted mainstream consumers, as they clearly stated during the rollout. The couple looking to replace their older Prius and no longer have the young children have a compelling choice. You don't like Prius Prime, just wait for the other plug-in hybrids. There are a number which could also offer a Prime model. This isn't rocket science. It's an expected step forward in the phaseout of traditional vehicles.
Banning PHEVs. The first city in the nation to ban
plug-in hybrids from public chargers just made the new today. They
only want EVs to recharge. If the vehicle has an engine for when the
battery-pack is depleted, they feel it should be used. That counters
exactly what we've been trying to promote. Even a short-range PHEV can
drive entirely without gas if given the opportunity to recharge along the
way. Why should a vehicle with greater capacity be allowed priority,
especially if it isn't even going to be driven that far? Who should be
making such an arbitrary choice? Absolutes like that are trouble.
Worse though is that reality that true supporters of plugging in have failed
to address this... despite knowing that diversity is key to market growth.
Ugh. I jumped into the very active discussion today with:
I see a lot of complaints about vehicles with slow charging rates. I also see them about small battery-capacity. Notice how no one wants to address the next stage in being green?
Some plug-ins guzzle electricity. It's a very real problem when you step back to consider the bigger picture, when many are waiting to charge and time is limited. Why should those that waste be given priority to recharge?
31 kWh/100mi = 25 kWh/100mi
That equation is detail revealing the problem, because those electricity consumption-rates can make a big difference. They are not equal. Taking more to travel the same distance becomes an even worse problem when you consider the next person in line waiting to plug in.
This is why EVs are great for us enthusiasts, but still not quite ready for people still quite content with traditional vehicles. We need to work out these issues before they give a plug-in purchase some consideration.
Audience. It continues to be quite a challenge trying
to figure out if someone is sincere or not. When there is a person who
hides behind an avatar, there really isn't any reason to trust them
nowadays. That's why so many of the blogging sites have switched over
to account signon. It doesn't matter which of the providers you choose
for handling your posting activity. The point is to supply readers
with background information about you and a means of following your
comments. That accountability is priceless. It raises the
integrity of the site as well as reinforce rules of etiquette. You
simply cannot hide behind anonymity anymore without that effort looking
suspicious. That's why when things like audience are brought up, it
doesn't make sense that someone you see posting on a regular basis wouldn't
understand what you are talking about. How many times can the same
message be repeated? It's ok to call them out.
The internet no longer finds deception, misleading, or concealment
acceptable. Even so, I still try to
be polite: Wow, you haven't been paying attention. Knowing your audience is all
about consumer, dealer, and automaker relations.
Timing. The poorly informed... or limited
perspective... are not just antagonists. Some are supporters who don't
bother to study the whole situation. They prefer just their own little
corner of the world. Interestingly, they do reach out sometimes: "So
how many states is prime currently carried in?"
Asking questions is an encouraging sign. Of course, I don't know how
that information will be interpretted. Nonetheless, I shared the
2017 model-year cutover prevented the initial spread from growing. You don't send new inventory to dealers at clearance time.
2018 model-year rollout is impaired by the usual winter sales doldrum. You don't send new inventory until spring arrives.
It's all normal business. Profit is not made with unpredictable deliveries.
Keep in mind the first-year rollout was worldwide. Toyota delivered 51,000 spread across several major markets all at the same time.
New Combat, Old Foe. The death of the Volt blog has caused some to migrate, looking to resume their antagonist trolling elsewhere. Oddly, they don't even try to blend in. Their provokes are blatant. So, I'm left with the quandry of how to respond. What worked best in the past was direct confrontation in the form of a question. Today, it was attacking Toyota for not having rolled out an EV yet. The fact that the other automakers, including GM, have all annouced plans that are 18 to 24 months out doesn't matter. The fact that Toyota has been investing heavily to shift from traditional to hybrid doesn't matter. The fact that there's still a heavy dependency by the supposed leaders on tax-credit subsidies doesn't matter. All they care about is making Toyota appear behind. It's just like using me as a scapegoat. If they can direct attention away from their own problems, it makes them feel better. What a shallow & selfish attitude. It doesn't matter to that. Winning new combat of any sort, especially with an old foe, is considered a victory. Ugh. I kept my reply to that nonsense short: What do you suggest for quickly phasing out traditional vehicles on the grand scale? Think about the effort needed to first spread TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) in order to achieve the lower cost, higher volume potential.
Meritless. The title of this article sure caught my attention: "Hyundai IONIQ Leaves the Prius in the Dust." To what was that referring? The opening line made me even more curious: "Hyundai's extended-range hybrid proves the automaker knows more about EV technology than Toyota does." Huh? I was really baffled at that point. Knowing the source, it was promising to be a good read. That was posted on the Volt forum, since that old blog is totally dead now. The supposed new daily topics never happened. Perhaps the interval will change to something like once per week. Whatever the case, that group of individuals would surely tear that new fodder to shreads. So, I read the article before reading their comments. Nothing. There was literally nothing of any substance. It lacked any type of merit whatsoever. The detail seemed to be a strange mismatch of specs. It was quite confused. How should such a bold statement lead to such nothingness? Turns out, that article was written over 2 years ago... prior to rollout. The writer was just guessing and totally mixed up information. The comments posted were just as confused. Their lack of any unified message was obvious. Still, after all this time, they have nothing to fend of Prius with... even when dragging another automaker into the discussion.
Cost Effective. Lack of business understanding often leads to over-simplification. How to best deal with that continues to be a mystery. It's challenging to get someone to recognize something they have been overlooking for years. That's what makes exchanges online turn into intense debates which ultimately can lead to hate. They just don't believe you. Without training in the topic, its nearly impossible to convey the idea. Then when you consider the brevity of posts in forums & blogs, the odds of getting someone to see beyond their own exposure falls apart. It's pretty much futile. This is why concepts like being cost effective fall on deaf ears. They see a niche effort and give far more praise than it actually earned. That's why they insult & offend those that don't make advancement obvious. Those efforts behind the scenes aren't ever given credit. Only what's showcased is acknowledged. Appreciation for the complex doesn't happen. It's a sad reality. They judge the book by its cover and don't see the value in anything else. So, a rebuttal like this is basically a waste: Scaling up existing production is quite different from not producing at all. Any type of plug-in requires motor, battery, controller, and charger parts to be built. Refining that process prior to scaling up is time & effort well spent.
Perception. The idea of what leadership can be continues to suffer from the simple-minded, those believing only one path to success exists. Ugh. RAV4 provided a great example of that today. Toyota revealed the next-gen upgrade today. A number of plug-in supporters threw a fit, complaining about how Toyota isn't investing in EV production. Naturally, they turn to fuel-cell advancement as the primary argument. It's amazing how that lack of support for diversity blinds them to all the work being done to replace traditional choices. They couldn't care less about hybrid, despite that being such an obvious big step away from guzzling. That NPNS mantra overwhelms logic. They only perceive progress by a measure of how far EV capacity reaches. Change for ordinary people not needing or even wanting such range is not of any concern for them. That's really unfortunate. It's how we got into the SUV mess in the first place. If people in general actually cared about wasting resources, they certainly wouldn't have chosen that vehicle type. But they did. And rather than face that reality, they turn a blind eye and place judgement against Toyota for actually addressing it. Ugh. What can you do other than point out what's happening? I try: Notice how many SUVs are sold by GM; yet, there is still nothing beyond the traditional choice? No plug-in. No hybrid. What expectation should be set for an automaker with a perceived lead, but nothing actually revealed for their primary customer?