Prius Personal Log  #885

July 30, 2018  -  August 4, 2018

Last Updated:  Sun. 10/07/2018

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8-04-2018

Turning a Blind Eye.  It's this kind of hate that become the real problem: "give it a rest already"  We saw that quite a bit when Volt was first revealed.  No one wanted to address GM problems of the past.  They all dismissed Two-Mode as a mistake that couldn't possibly be repeated.  When I pointed out that Volt was the successor to Two-Mode, retaining much of the original design in addition to much of the development engineers & management, they did everything possible to try to shut me up.  I see hints of that emerging again, as the tax-credit phaseout approaches.  My guess is news to confirm their error feels spiteful, so they turn a blind eye to the possiblity of being constructive.  They are tired of dealing with failure efforts and just plain don't want to accept overall defeat.  I could imagine how difficult that is, but still see the purpose of not giving up on electrification.  My response to that was:  Pretending the problem doesn't exist is terrible advice. I refuse to become an enabler.  What do you suggest the next step should be?  Keep in mind the talks of tax-credit renewal.  Not addressing how the first round was wasted isn't good for anyone.  Remember how the point was to reach ordinary consumers... not just enthusiasts?

8-04-2018

Rely.  This could become a problem: "I do think public charging stations should be limited to BEVs who rely on charging stations being accessible and not blocked by an ICE or PHEV."  It's the attitude many of us have been trying to prevent from spreading.  Sadly though, some choose to fight.  At least the vague "No Plug, No Sale" was easy to understand.  Unfortunately, it was very shortsighted.  Not being able to see beyond the sale is as bad as not understanding how important of a role the dealer plays in the sale.  In other words, you cannot cherry-pick.  Endorsing a product means understanding & embracing all aspects of it.  I fired back with:  Sure glad that attitude is not what our plug-in owners group endorses.  If someone has to "rely" upon a public charger, it means they purchased the wrong vehicle.  That dependency is a sign of a problem.  We make great efforts to ensure people are well informed prior to purchase.  The purpose of public chargers in non-corridor locations (basically, not highways) is for convenience recharging.  Being able to get home using electricity is a benefit to everyone, regardless of the tech employed.

8-04-2018

Minnesota Assumptions.  This was interesting.  Someone very new to the plug-in discussions made a comment about chargers not being available anywhere around Minnesota and surrounding states.  I hoping this large provision of data will change his mind about that assumption:  No charging in Minnesota?  The 35 corridor from the Twin Cities to beyond Duluth already has basic infrastructure nailed.  You'll find both L2 and SuperChargers.  The stretch from Wisconsin to North Dakota along 94 is getting a more elaborate treatment now, using some of the VW settlement fund.  There are random chargers throughout the state as well.  Most are either ChargePoint network or non-commercial offerings.  The first Blink chargers in the state were just installed at the Mall of America recently too.  Up in the tourist location I frequent, the Brainerd area, there's a SuperCharger.  Along highway 90 on the way to South Dakota, there are both available and proposed SuperChargers.  Just yesterday, a new set of ChargePoint stations opened up in Lanesboro, a great location in the south for biking a beautiful trail along the Root River.  So, long story short, you can charge in the wild in Minnesota.  We are much more progressive here than it would seem.  We also have a plug-in owners group with a strong & diverse presence.

8-04-2018 Problem Comparisons.  My encounteres with Volt enthusiasts provided lots of examples of arbitrary numbers.  They'll argue something based on circumstances of a design, rather than taking the actual technology into consideration.  It's a very common problem.  Most people back off when confronted with real-world data to counter their stance.  Those enthusiasts didn't, choosing instead to double-down.  When that failed, they'd begin with dishonesty, then keep fighting until desperation grows enough to turn to personal attacks.  It's an ugly cycle we witness far too often.  Anywho, I tried to deal with a comment to that affect about Honda Clarity being vastly superior to the current Chevy Volt due to it offering a faster charging-rate:

Those numbers are off.  That assumed time is inaccurate.

There is no possible way to walk from the car, get your item in the grocery store, wait at the register to pay, then walk back out to the car in just 3 minutes.  A fast visit takes 10 minutes.  More realistically, you'll have multiple items to get, which pushes it to 15-20 minutes.

I know this well, since I have been doing it for years.  My fastest stop ever is just under 6 minutes, to get a coffee... no line and they already knew my order.  Even that provides enough electricity to make it home from there using just the 3.3 kW rate.  Typically, I get anywhere from 2.5 to 7 miles of charge from a quick stop at the grocery store.

Why should a vehicle with a much larger battery-pack get preference at a local charger?  I could understand the situation being quite different along a highway corridor, but that isn't how you presented the supposed shortcoming of not being able to charge at the 6.6 kW rate.

Also, keep in mind that L2 is capable of delivering 19.2 kW from an 80-amp draw.  So, that "BIG" difference sighted is actually quite arbitrary.

8-03-2018

Braindead Comparisons.  Every single time there's a plug-in hybrid review, some Volt antagonists stirs the pot.  This time, it was an attack on Honda & Toyota with the same old brainless comparison.  Each time, you get references to hydrogen as a distraction too.  I ignore that bait as much as possible, choosing to address their trolling my way:  As for being "years behind GM in their engineering", that's simply nonsense.  Toyota has delivered a system that clearly more efficient and more affordable.  There is no contest in terms of kWh/mile (electric) or MPG (gasoline) measure.  There is no contest in terms of MSRP.  There is no contest in terms of targeting audience.  That criteria do you think puts GM further ahead?

8-03-2018

Non-Answer Replies.  Within minutes after my reply below, I got a response.  It was 3 paragraphs of literally nothing.  I guess some people feel if there are a lot of words, you don't need any actual substance.  I tried.  This is what started it:  "Being a loyal Toyota owner for years, I am disappointed that the Japanese are way behind in the PHEV and EV game, and I don't understand why."  I had really hoped something constructive in return to this:  Mainstream shoppers want affordability.  Dealers don't want to carry inventory dependent upon tax-credits.  Not recognizing that will prevent you from understanding why.  Toyota's focus is low-cost, something dismissed as important when the measure of progress is only range & power.  Their hybrid design supports a simple, yet very effective plug-in upgrade.  Take a close look at the next-gen RAV4 hybrid rolling out for 2019, then tell us how "behind" could apply to that design.

8-02-2018

Oh Really?  How does one respond to such a statement: "GM's resolve is suspect."  That's such an absurd point.  Suspect?  Umm, isn't it obvious?  GM just plain does not care.  Neither Volt nor Bolt were targeted at GM's own customers.  How is that not an issue of resolve?  We still have no idea what purpose or intent GM really has.  The fact that technology in Volt was never implemented in a SUV, despite the fact that its predecessor (Two-Mode) had already demonstrated plug-in hybrid ability, goes well beyond suspect.  There is no doubt after almost 8 years since rollout.  We saw how gen-2 of Volt never addressed the cramped seating in back or did enough to actually make it appealing without subsidy.  Yet, they are the ones who belittle Toyota for delivering exactly that.  There is now an affordable plug-in hybrid choice (Prius Prime) and larger hybrid platforms staged for the same (Camry & RAV4).  We are expecting both Corolla & C-HR to get plugs next years, plans already in play.  So, why is the "laggard" label supposedly appropriate for Toyota and GM gets off without any issue?  This is the very reason I brought up the "too little, too slowly" concern all those years ago.  I saw the hypocrisy and called it out.  Getting attacked for presenting facts is not appropriate.  Oh well.  Now many others are expressing the same concern.

8-02-2018

Audience.  The denial is slowly turning into acceptance.  None of the recent posts like this have been taken as a provoke.  That's not how the information is perceived anymore.  In other words, the enthusiasts have lost their audience of enablers.  It's over for that greenwashing as a norm.  What had been daily efforts to mislead is becoming a questionable portrayal of the past.  After awhile, people won't believe what actually happend and will call it a false narrative.  Problem is, I have proof to the contrary.  These blogs document those experiences to an extreme level of detail.  Now at that turning point, here's what I have to say:  GM learned this lesson the hard way, delivering a compact hatchback to their customer base of SUV buyers.  No surprise, those previous buyers of GM vehicle didn't care.  They just plain were not interested.  So, Volt was marketed to external shoppers instead.  The result was a disastrous waste of tax-credits... since the outcome was not a change on their own showroom floor.  Customers continued to shop for SUV offerings.  Nissan may end up with the same struggle.  This is why Toyota is setting the stage with RAV4 hybrid.  Stepping it up to offer a plug won't take much when there is already a loyal base of hybrid owners.  Same thing for Camry hybrid.  This is also why we're hearing about the potential for bring the AWD model of Prius to the United States.  To change the status quo, technologies must be adapted to what buyer preferences.  Know your audience.  This is why GM's failing to deliver a SUV using Volt technology after so many years is becoming such a big issue now.  That loss of a $7,500 subsidy makes the effort to finally do that even more difficult.

8-02-2018

Without Context.  Spin eminating from selective perspective is a challenge to deal with.  People with narrow view of the market draw incorrect conclusions.  It makes sense that being unaware of other things taken place would send you down the path of assumption... unknowingly, which is why I try to correct oversights as directly as possible.  In that regard, hopefully, this will be taken well:  That view of Toyota is the impression you get by viewing the raw data without context.  The real story is we are witnessing a market shift, combined with a styling disinterest.  So, the status claim is not an accurate reflection of what's truly happening.  Sales of the RAV4 hybrid remain very strong, despite the fact that the model has reached its life-cycle end.  The next-gen will be rolled out for 2019, with the lead offering a hybrid model.  Sales of Prime have been hampered by lack of inventory.  You can't buy what isn't available.  Distribution worldwide has created a supply shortage for central United States.  Sales of Prius always lagged for this generation because the style was so polarizing.  Either you liked it or you didn't.  That extreme is why the mid-cycle refresh will change the look rather significantly.

8-01-2018

Failure.  It looks like the upset revolves around GM's failure, not what Toyota could potential deliver mid-cycle.  That became easy to pick out from replies to my previous post.  My effort to draw attention to audience appears to have been effective.  I was always keeping focus on that "Who?" question.  Never being able to overcome their owh rhetoric is an ironic victory.  Some many times, the Volt enthusiasts choose to repeat the greenwash of Prius being the most traded vehicle for Volt.  It was true, at first, back when those killing lease deals were offered.  Why not swap an old hybrid for a new plug-in without any long-term obligation and payments so low you are practically stealing it?  The catch was, when those leases expired, most of the people abandoned GM.  Many either took advantage of Ford's great deals or popped for the expensive choice of Tesla.  And now that Tesla prices are becoming affordably competitve with GM, we see neither Volt nor Bolt stand a chance of conquest.  The entire burden of sales depends upon loyal GM customers... who couldn't care less about the tiny plug-in vehicles GM offers.  Here's my summary of that warned about sales disaster:  GM's choice to deliver a "superior" product in the form of conquest sales failed miserably.  Growth beyond enthusiasts was never achieved.  Now, it faces the challenge of sales without tax-credit.  So much opportunity wasted...

8-01-2018

Dismissive.  I confronted an antagonist head-on today.  The nonsense is going as fear of consequences from the upcoming tax-credit phaseout approach... or at least, I think that's what it is.  Many of the antagonists are poorly informed, since they only read what they want to acknowledge.  They have even stated that by recommending everyone to ignore & downvote.  It is likely that same old blind hope of something magically changing.  Perhaps not though.  Toyota has been extra quiet this year, which adds to the wondering if a mid-cycle upgrade will be significant.  Remember how quiet they were about the price of Prime?  Despite it being so impressive upon reveal, we didn't hear squat prior to the official sharing.  Oh well, that gives antagonists even more to try to deny.  I simply pointed out the nature of the problem this time, since that's more effective than biting at their troll bait:  Like the political scene… dismiss what doesn't fit the narrative.  Too bad, it's time to face reality.  You can only evade detail so long.  With so many attacks on Nissan & Toyota claiming they are unworthy offerings, it's time to face the music.  There are tradeoffs.  We now have real-world data.  You want discussion here.  That means it must be constructive… not dismissive.

7-31-2018

Not Lagging.  Efforts to push the mindset of "laggard" aren't going away.  They keep trying, despite the absence of substance.  It's the new version of "vastly superior" rhetoric, that old chant which had the effectiveness of chest-pounding.  It draws attention, but not much of anything becomes of it.  That's basically just for show... which would explain why there were so many complaints about lack of advertisements.  They truly believed a product would be better received if it was promoted more.  The very idea of a better design winning favor wasn't important.  So I pushed, especially due to the term "Eco Warrior" being used today in the original post:  What is your criteria for Eco Warrior?  40 km (25 miles) capacity delivers amazing efficiency.  So what if my last tank wad only 85% EV driving.  You are completely missing the point of a plug-in hybrid.  If you want to avoid running the engine entirely.  That delivered in an affordable manner is leadership, not lagging.

7-31-2018

Enthusiast Bewilderment.  Some genuinely cannot figure out what the problem is.  Others simply don't what to acknowledge it.  I tried to deal with the later with this:  You know why.  Just about everyone here does.  No one wants to face that reality though.  Production cost is far too expensive for plug-in offerings to compete directly with traditional vehicles still.  Toyota is well aware of this problem and simply does not want to be part of the tax-credit dependency.  Leadership is not about appealing to enthusiasts.  It's the ability to change ordinary people.  Delivering a product able to sway mainstream interest is very, very difficult... a topic rarely discussed on a venue like this.  Next year, we'll see the debut of Corolla PHV and an EV model C-HR.  That too is an effort to offer something mainstream, not really anything that may appeal to early-adopter shoppers.  Toyota wants their entire fleet of vehicle to move forward with electrification, not to just deliver token vehicles.  This is why the RAV4 hybrid will included right from the start with the next-gen rollout.  The endorsement of having a battery-pack is undeniable.  That makes adding a plug a very easy next step.

 

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