Prius Personal Log #868
April 13, 2018 - April 18, 2018
Last Updated: Sat. 5/12/2018
page #867 page #869 BOOK INDEX
Overlapping Threads. The short-sightedness came up on another thread, that one about things not being free: "It is not a big deal. It's $0.72 per 100 miles." I caught him in the act, attempting to downplay. Refusing to consider the bigger picture is another form of short-sightedness. Counts are just as important as timelines. I let him know it too: Just because something is affordable is no reason to waste it. Switching from guzzling gas to guzzling electricity is not a comprehensive solution. Emissions are still very much a problem when that consumption is considered on the large scale. 17,000,000 new vehicles are purchased in the United States alone each year. Worldwide the count is somewhere around 60,000,000. We don't have enough solar, wind, and hydro power to supply that much clean electricity, nor do we have the infrastructure to support it. This is a perfect example of the short-sightedness problem I just pointed out on another thread.
Short-Sightedness. This was the response I got to posing that question about about Lexus: "point me to a thread/post where John has said something negative about Toyota/Lexus....would be a sight to behold...like a unicorn or the Yeti" It was a great opportunity to highlight the effort to dodge the bullet. Rather than actually make an effort to answer the question, it was trying to shoot the messenger. Could it be possible that I actually have researched enough to know what I'm talking about? How would a something negative reinforce that anyway? For that matter, why was my message considered positive? Just because I pointed out another perspective does not mean I took a stance. Of course, not doing anything makes routine observers enablers, making them supporters because they don't speak up. In other words, some like to spin so much, you lose track of intent. I go out of my way to remind everyone. That restating of purpose usually becomes annoying, like a broken record, but it keeps us focused on what's really important. Like today: Point me to a thread where long-term plans are discussed without short-term noise drowning out the message. Notice how many are actually discussing the market beyond tax-credit dependency? That short-sightedness a very real problem few are willing to address.
Lexus Plans. They are uncertain, but we do know there will be electrification pressure coming from legacy sources like BMW. There's an obvious aware of Tesla too. Early-Adopters got hung up on the past: "So... about those "nobody has 4 hours to sit around and charge" ads?" With so much time having passed since then, I was curious about that too: What about them? Since then, investment in extremely fast DC charging has taken hold. Wasn't that the point of drawing attention to the need to wait? What harm came from having taken that chance with advertising? We certainly haven't observed any with respect to the addition of a plug for Prius. Keep in mind that short-sightedness of both marketing & audience. Times change and negative publicity can be a powerful motivator.
Reflection. This quote posted today came from an
antagonist whom I fought for quite some time about misleading statements,
exactly like what he's complaining about now: "The EV miles are not free
miles, so the 'Inflated' gas mpg numbers are not good for anything, except
misplaced 'bragging rights'." Is this a case of reflection, where
he continues to do what he accuses others of, or a situation of reform?
I'm hoping to get an answer. Finding out someone who pushed
misconceptions in the past can be taught to step back and look at things
objectively would be great. Hopefully my effort to find out will be
Yet, that's what we have to deal with. Volt owners set that precedence, despite the obvious attempt to mislead. We fought the "not free" for years... and still do...
31 kWh/100mi for Clarity
31 kWh/100mi for Volt
25 kWh/100mi for Prime
How often do you see those efficiency numbers posted? Eliminating gas usage entirely reveals not all electric travel is the same. Some use more than others to drive the same distance. Posting inflated values will conceal that fact.
For Clarity, that value isn't so bad, when you consider how much larger it is than Prime. But when you look at Volt, it's a guzzler of electricity compared to Prime. Requiring an addition 6 kWh to go 100 miles is a big deal. Those EV miles are not free miles.
New Misconceptions. The battery-pack in Prime is small enough that a high-speed charger (Level-2 type, those that connect to a 240-volt socket) isn't required. It's a nice-to-have feature you can upgrade to later. Being an entirely new product makes it good fodder for misconceptions. Sure enough: "The wall mounted ones, you take nothing with you. It's more or less permanently connected to the wall." That was posted on a thread asking the difference between 240-volt chargers and a EVSE... which in itself is a misconception. That's the same device, just referred to in a different manner. EVSE stands for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, which is rather vague. Making the assumption that only means the slow-speed (Level-1) type is understandable. Ironically, that is actually the opposite way it is used among the early-adopter posts. Anywho, there is obvious confusion. I jumped in to help: Looks like the Home-Charging guide will need an additional photo, since that appears to be a new misconception in the making. My wall-mounted charger takes 2 seconds to remove. All you have to do is unplug & lift. That's it. The unit hangs from a bracket. You can even purchase extra ones for convenient mounting at each location you transport it to. You can even purchase a bag for transport.
Buick Enspire & Velite. Both will be coming to China within the next year or so. Enspire is expected to deliver 550 horsepower and do 0-60 mph in 4 seconds. Talking about gross overkill. It's more of the GM nonsense we've been dealing with for years. Rather than offer a product for the masses, they focus on high-end choices. Do you really need 370 miles capacity? That would be nice, but imagine price for so much range. Velite (the plug-in hybrid model) seems as though that could be a potential mass-market choice. Details are quite vague though. Velite (the EV model) will supposedly deliver 434-mile capacity (700 km based China estimations). Nothing has been said about choices for the United States. It does make you wonder what to expect. We've been led astray so many times by GM over the years, there's no reason to plan anything... especially considering GM's history of slow and lack of commitment.
Subaru Evoltis. That's the automaker name recently registered. We assume it's for their first plug-in hybrid offering, the one planned to use components from Prius Prime. Configuration of engine, motor, and battery are completely unknown still. Speculation isn't held back though. There is clearly interest in this first offering beyond Toyota's intial choice. It's hard to know what will be delivered. There's a lot of opportunity. It will help shape the market for whatever follows from Toyota. Ideally, I'd like to see the Prius V replacement be the next. Equipped with a more powerful engine, motor, and battery could make the rumored CUV a complimentary alternative. It won't deliver MPG as high, but the larger body & components are what some have been yearning for. We'll see. I suspect details will remain sketchy for a few months still. Holding off on vitals until the approach of Fall wouldn't be a surprise. Much will happen with plug-in vehicles between now and then.
Cold & Unplugged. My Prime was parked outside for a day and a half without being plugged in. It snowed and the temperature was still below freezing. We jumped in for a drive. Just a quarter-mile from there was a very long, steep hill we needed to get onto and quickly get up to 45 mph... which is great for regenerating electricity from on the return trip. This was the other direction though, we everything still quite cold. I was quite curious if that extreme condition, yet ordinary situation, would necessitate the engine starting. The full 68 kW draw would likely not be possible, but the rapid acceleration to 55 mph a half-mile from my house never triggered the engine either. The promise of all-electric has been confirmed again and again. Prime delivers EV whenever called upon when the temperature is above 14°F. Sure enough, this aggressive climb did just find too. My Prime made the accent using only electricity, without any concern for more speed or power. We are over a year into the proving that this design will be able to reach a very wide audience. When the other variants become available, this choices will draw new attention. Market growth is quite realistic.
Wild Guess. This came from that Prius PHV owner who continues to make vague claims and draw uninformed conclusions: "For those who use their phev as a phev, 15% loss is no big deal. for those of us using it mostly in ev, you get used to the initial range, and are disappointed when you can't reach the places you used to without the engine." Oh well. All you can do is provide information so posts in the future are better: That's just a wild guess, based on assumptions from early-adopter purchases. In reality, we have no idea what the situation will be +7 years from now. Think about how many more charging-stations will be available. If you can easily plug in to top off, what's the problem with some normal age-related degradation? After all, capacity fluctuates more than that each Winter anyway. Think about how compelling the new choices will be +7 years from now too. We've seen other families use the older Prius as a hand-me-down, using that as a great excuse to purchase a next-gen offering. Why would this be any different? Think about how inexpensive the option to upgrade the existing battery-pack could be. We are already seeing Nissan & BMW experiment with used packs. The capacity remaining is quite sufficient for other needs. After all, a trade-in program would be a new source of revenue for legacy automakers.
Logic & Reason. I enjoyed the irony of this statement: "Why Toyota even decided to go with this look for the fourth-gen model is beyond logic and reason, but here we are." It came from a source unwilling to see beyond the tree they are looking at. It's the classic "can't see the forest" problem. We are surrounded by a sea of blah. There are plain looking SUVs everywhere. There's nothing to make them stand out or even appear special. There's a crowd with your vehicles somewhere in it. This nothingness is the very reason people seek out different. They get tired of what's been identified as normal, which is really just a trend. The market cycles, eventually. Whatever the hot new thing is that begins to outsell all the rest, later to become a trendsetter, started as an outcast. That logic & reason doesn't make sense in the moment, but looking back afterward it certainly does. Remember how the SUV started? For that matter, remember the birth of the minivan. People claimed they wouldn't be caught dead in one. Then years, they purchased one anyway.
Topics Vanished. Curious to see what became of the daily blast, I checked up on that forum blog site. To my surprise, 2 of the 5 new topics had vanished. They were removed entirely. What I had in cache on my computer was proof of their previous existance. The one was titled: "A question for our readers." And the other: "Next Chevy Bolt EV Reportedly Not Coming Until 2025." It doesn't take much imagination to recognize how the one soliciting feedback resulted in a lot of controversy. That's what the group of enablers thrived on. More conflicting posts attract more posting activity. Don't ever allow any proof of shortcoming get attention. Fight. Fight. Fight. The other confirmed my concern of "too little, too slowly" was far more of a problem than anyone ever wanted to acknowledge. I suspect the stir that topic brought about angered the enthusiasts. The last thing they ever wanted was a moderator taking my side. So, all we have now are the titles of the topics. The link saved in my browser's history no longer works and there's no evidence of them ever having been available.
Car Sales. The reason GM gets mentioned so much is GM keeps denying its own wants. I was asking "Who is the market for Volt?" long before rollout, back when the vehicle was still being designed. It simply made no sense that an automaker obsessed with SUVs would abandon their behemoth hybrid system in favor of a small car with a plug. That's why there was so much conflict with enthusiasts. They knew I had identified a key weakness. Volt would die simply from disinterest. No amount of engineering could bring about mainframe sales from management unwilling to promote. Cars were never a priority. Dropping purchase numbers overwhelmingly confirm that. Spin about Prius sales being a struggle requires the omission of the entire market shifting to larger vehicles. This is why Cruze is seeing such a decline. Trouble is, Cruze doesn't get the investment Corolla does. The new transmission Toyota will be delivering the end of this year will carry it for years to come. That CVT with a launch-gear is a move back to simplicity without sacrificing power or efficiency. GM hasn't taken any step like that. You'd hope something would be made available for those unable to take the step to plugging in, especially when a hybrid model won't be offered. Needless to say, the news making the rounds today highlight a consequence of such inaction: "GM cuts hundreds of jobs as car sales continue to slide."
Daily Blog. Every day in and day out, it was the same old nonsense. That daily blog kept the routine going for an entire decade. A new topic would be published at 6:00 AM Eastern, then enthusiasts would come out to feed on their prey. They would pound their chests and dump on all other plug-in vehicles until the day came to a close, then it would all come to an end. The topic would be abandoned. New attacks would begin the next day on whatever was published then. That cycle repeated hundreds upon hundreds of times. Unless you were paying careful attention, striving to see the bigger picture, the cliff they were racing toward wasn't visible. GM delivered a vastly superior vehicle, period. Nothing from any other automaker ever made any difference. Those enthusiasts would just spin excuses. Many became hypocritical. You cannot avoid facing goals for that long without them finally catching up to you. Their inflexible nature ultimately led them astray too. GM delivered Bolt. That basically killed Volt in every respect. Watching the battles from day to day made that clear. It was an enemy from within. Time had been squandered. Ironically, they rested on their laurels... the very thing they accussed Toyota and supporters of doing. Each topic was a celebration of the past. Having no future become evident to even the most stubborn, eventually. Today was that day. Friday the 13th ushered in new topics, almost 10 full weeks later. Only a hint of what might come had been revealed prior to that. This was the full introduction to what the restart of that dead blog would bring. There were 5 new topics all at once. The site has become an ordinary news outlet! That place for antagonists to breed has vanished. Killing the venue that encouraged hate actually happened. Ownership was taken back. They want integrity to return. Being overrun by fanboy attacks is now just an unfortunate memory of the past. They made it quite clear too, by reaching out and asking for topics & purpose to be agreed upon. No where in those statements was anything about Volt superiority. To make matters worse for the troublemakers, people like me would have specific goals to refer to... which makes undermining, impeding, and misleading far more difficult... if not impossible. Needless to say, that chapter has come to a close. I toughed it out, reading everything they posted. Participation on a hostile forum is how you get the most direct & comprehensive feedback. No such place exists anymore... for Volt, anyway. GM can still screw up their next effort. But there's far less potential for the antagonists to gain control as they did with the daily blog.
Hybrid Option. Some people are in agreement: "I have looked forward to the day (and we're
slowly getting there) when a hybrid drivetrain is just another option -- 4, 6,
diesel, hybrid, and other variants." Seeing that shared
sentiment, I joined in:
- Camry hybrid
- Avalon hybrid
- Highlander hybrid
- RAV4 hybrid
They are all available here from Toyota already.
- Corolla hybrid
- C-HR hybrid
They are available already elsewhere. The entire passenger product-line is getting the hybrid option... exactly as Toyota has been targeting for 2020.