Prius Personal Log  #948

June 22, 2019  -  June 23, 2019

Last Updated:  Mon. 7/29/2019

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6-23-2019 EREV is Dead, personal.  It was nice to see a complete lack of substance in the most recent reply.  All he could do was go after me with attempts to discredit.  That's the most telling clue of having nothing left.  Death is confirmed in every regard.  It's not damage-control at this point or even trying to feel better about making such a colossal mistake.  It's plain old vengeance.  I find that amusing... and quite ineffective, as my reply back should reveal:

Shooting the messenger, rather than even bother to address the issue of consumption & emissions... nice.

Toyota has a solid plan for advancing their entire fleet forward.  From dealer to consumer, they address the impact change of among all beyond production who will be affected.  This attempt to stir old rhetoric is just a final desperate act to distract from your preferred approach.  It failed.  Get over it.  I remember those posts.  In fact, that's how some of my videos came about.  I used them to shot back.

Losing many battles puts you where on the "dragging" claim?  It's easy to see how GM has no plan whatsoever to actually deliver something compelling anytime soon.  Toyota on the other hand is pushing forward, showing undeniable progress in war as a whole to replace traditional vehicles.  RAV4 hybrid and Corolla hybrid, the latest rollouts, show just how wide of an audience Toyota is striving to appeal too.  Those are very much mainstream vehicles, both of which their hybrid systems could easily offer a plug model for later.  We also see the push with larger vehicles.  Highlander hybrid will have a next-gen rollout by year end.  Rumors of Tacoma hybrid mule testing continue too.

What I find especially vindicating from all that is your irritation with "we" references.  Knowing that there is power in numbers and that failed legacy automaker efforts are quickly becoming just a footnote in history, there's no reason to worry about shooting from that direction anymore.  The industry simply isn't interested in that approach.  Toyota is moving forward by offering a very wide range of hybrids, expanding to PHV offerings with Prius & Corolla, while also exploring EV models with C-HR.

Again, no amount of "dragging" nonsense will hide what everyone else sees.

6-23-2019 EREV is Dead, math.  A big part of the propaganda related to the "EREV" label was to avoid detail.  The category was ambiguous.  The definition kept changing.  The accountability was missing.  It was very much a marketing scheme conjured up to promote a product unable to actually compete.  It's the name-recognition concept twisted into a plan to lead without merit.  Fortunately, after 2 generations of deception, the effort fell apart.  Substantial growth was needed.  Dependency on subsidies made that far too unrealistic to continue.  It was a terrible gamble, one that produced too many losses to be competitive.  Remember, automakers are for-profit businesses.  The show of a trophy vehicle would only take them so far.  I continued my awareness raising by emphasizing origin, drawing attention to the recent sighting of hybrid impact: 

btw, that assumption of "This cuts the emission they are counting in half." is the outcome of successful greenwashing.  You've been misled.  Measurement of Miles-Per-Gallon has been exploited to conceal the reality that there's an aspect of diminishing returns.  Even under the best circumstances, the approach is commonly misunderstood.

This is why the rest of the world has been using a quantity/distance measurement instead.  In fact, that's why our own EPA now includes "2.0 gal/100mi" in their published materials.  Notice how that now appears next to the "50 MPG" value on the window-sticker?

The reason for this is simple.  An improvement of 5 MPG for a vehicle that was only getting 25 MPG represents far more gas than one that goes from 35 to 40 MPG.  Just take a moment to do the math to see why.

For 15,000 miles of driving, the 25 MPG vehicle will consume 600 gallons.  The jump to 30 MPG reduces consumption to 500 gallons.  That's a 100 gallon improvement.  For 35 MPG, the quantity is 429 gallons.  That upgrade to 40 MPG changes it to 375 gallons... which represents only a 54 gallon improvement.

Adding a 25-mile rating EV capacity to that 40 MPG vehicle gets messy to standardize.  But real-world data coming from Prius Prime reveals their driving to be around 75% electric.  That makes the 15,000 miles of driving only 3,750 that depend upon gas.  The result from a 40 MPG return in HV mode would come to 94 gallons.  That's an improvement of 281 gallons.

See the problem?  The temptation is to simply divide that overall distance of 15,000 miles by 94 gallons.  What does that resulting 160 MPG actually tell you?

Now consider what the impact to gallons would be if EV range was either 20 miles or 30 miles.  Not only does it get confusing, but there's also the reality of diminishing returns.  None of which most people (even those here) take the time to consider.

To complicate matters even further, there's the fact that gallons only reflects the reduction of CARBON emissions.  So, even if that better way of measuring consumption is used, it doesn't have any reflection upon SMOG related emissions... which means you have to ask what "cleaner" actually represents.

In other words, no crazy study necessary.  Heck, no emissions target even needs to be set.  It all comes down to replacing the fleet with electrified choices.  Putting emphasis on using more and more battery should be the goal, but not until much later.  At such an early stage, just getting rid of vehicles without any battery-pack should be the concern.

After all, we have already seen how easy the transition is from hybrid to plug-in hybrid and how much that contributes to the desire for the next purchase to be an EV.

6-23-2019

EREV is Dead, cleaner.  Back when Volt was doing everything it could to retain attention, the idea of "cleaner" was pushed aside.  Use of electricity didn't count.  It was all about not using gas.  That obviously fell apart once EV choices became the focus of being green.  GM's gamble of that not happening, that EREV would dominate the market for generations to come, was a senseless risk.  Now, the idea of EREV is becoming an associate with guzzling electricity in a costly manner.  Volt was an expensive vehicle that inefficiently used electricity.  EV propulsion focused on power, using an unnecessarily large battery-pack to compensate for losses.  The decision to use a resistance-heater for electric cabin warming only made the problem of electricity guzzling even worse.  So with it's death, we can now have constructive discussions about hybrids... well, kind of:  "If you were really looking at a more effective way to reduce emissions, at least in the US where average fleet mileage is 24-25 mpg, you would set a minimum vehicle mileage limit on all vehicles to 50 mpg.  This cuts the emission they are counting in half."  I was a bit annoyed to see that.  But you never know.  This newer post-Volt audience may be receptive.  So, I gave them a chance:  Setting an arbitrary MPG minimum won't actually change the status quo.  Powers resistant to change will simply fight it, as we now have countless examples of.  What they'll struggle to counter though is upgrade mandates.  Toyota is leading the way with across the fleet upgrades.  Their upcoming next-gen Highlander hybrid is a great example.  34 MPG is quite remarkable for a SUV that large.  With regards to pickup offerings, their hybrid system currently in a Lexus is the rumored to be what will end up in Tacoma.  That would deliver an expected 30 MPG.  So even before consideration of adding a plug, Toyota would have already achieved a significant reduction of emissions & consumption.

6-23-2019 EREV is Dead, looking back.  In addition to the anti-Toyota position, there's the anti-everything-that-is-not-an-EV position.  That can actually be even more of a problem.  It's when an early-adopter loses touch with the market.  They found a means of overcoming obstacles and doesn't recognize others as not having the same priorities or resources.  That makes them a terrible source of feedback.  Yet, they are the ones we hear most from.  For example: "You buy a hybrid if you really need or want to pay for two engines.  They are more expensive to produce, the worst of both worlds, battery has to pull a stupid ICE around, ICE has to pull a heavy battery around.  20,000 miles in a Leaf never looked back will never go back."  That's the same old argument we've heard for a decade.  Only, the technology has been significantly upgraded and the market much changed.  Remember back when GM was first promoting Volt and the term EREV was coined?  Pretty much no one does.  That lack of background is how mistakes are made by repeating history.  I pushed back with:

That's a blatant misrepresentation of what "hybrid" actually can deliver.  It implies optimization isn't possible and neither is a plug.  The example of Prius Prime demonstrates that Toyota can affordability deliver the BEST of both worlds.  You get an extremely efficient HV system in addition to extremely efficient EV driving.  With the addition of a plug, battery-capacity, and a one-way clutch any of their other hybrids can deliver the same thing.

Think about how popular a RAV4 plug-in hybrid would be for both dealer & consumer.  It's a winning solution for Toyota's business.  Everyone wins.  Dealers get a product that's easy to transition to, with little to no interruption to process or profit.  Consumers get an affordable plug-in that will deliver EV without any change to their driving habits.  All they have to do is take advantage of the standard 120-volt outlet they already have in their garage.

Never looking back means not acknowledging the challenges still faced by most of the industry.  Expecting everyone to just abruptly abandon old technology without any means of bridging to the desired long-term end-result is madness.  It doesn't work.

6-23-2019 EREV is Dead, position.  The fall of Volt has brought about a recognition of problems.  Naturally, that means a round of shoot-the-messenger exchanges.  It's different now though.  Rather than rhetoric from enthusiasts, there's the actual death declared by GM itself and the obvious positioning of Toyota to take the market by storm.  Nonetheless, dealing with stuff like this is a pain: "How do you and john 'infer' what toyota's position is... with the BEV trash talking video ads and all?"  I'm far from being alone now.  These exchanges are taking place in new venues too.  Those days of the daily blog are long gone.  Here's what things have evolved into:

There's nothing being inferred.  We look at the big picture.  Those articles feed rhetoric by cherry-picking.  Portraying the current Lexus position as the entire long-term plan for Toyota is just plain wrong.  Yet, many choose to enable the antagonists spreading that spin.

You cannot deny that the "self-charging" promotion is an attempt to overcome the confusion related to "hybrid" labeling.  It is a clear attempt for Toyota to set the stage for "plug-in" promotion.  They are readying the market by trying to establish a new term to more accurately inform their audience.  Again, this is why the KNOW YOU AUDIENCE aspect of advertising is so vital.  Toyota doesn't have any concern what a group of online enthusiasts think.  That's not who they are targeting.

That's a fundamental mistake GM made with Volt.  The essential question of "Who is the market for Volt?" was dismissed as unimportant.  GM continued on with their own trash talking of BEV, but not in a limited scope as Lexus has done.  Volt was a Chevy, intended for appeal to the masses, not a Cadillac.  Those who doesn't recognize the difference between luxury & mainstream consumers hope to take us as fools, spreading nonsense about position.

It's really sad when that message is spread.  But that's how spin works.  Notice how vague the message actually is? That lack of detail is the message people pass along a message without any critical thought.

We study what Toyota has done over the decades and recognize the pattern.  We also recognize the mistakes others have made and continue to repeat. That's how we get the big picture.

Think about how chaotic the market has become as a result of tax-credit phaseout.  Those weak offerings heavily dependent upon subsidies are now showing their weakness.  We saw that coming by looking beyond the cherry-picking.  Others "inferred" that wouldn't be a problem.  They were wrong, very wrong.

6-23-2019 New kWh Meter.  A recent update to the aftermarket app for monitor extra vehicle data has me yearning to capture that drive again.  Having a gauge now that displays a total kWh consumption/regeneration value is quite empowering... so much so, it will kill discussion threads from going on and on without certainty... just like the one where I posted this:

I'm at the coffeeshop now, the quarter-way mark, looking at the resulting captured data.  It's 7 degrees cooler and I got hit by an extra stoplight, so battery capacity (actual) was at 70% rather than the 72% in the video.  (That's an estimate of 79% rather than 80%.)  It's all real-world data regardless.  The more, the better. In this case, that's 23% of EV capacity available (87%-13%=74; 17/74=23%).  The value shown for consumed/regened overall for the drive was 1.215 kWh.  Now, this is where things got messy...

I consistently measure 5.75 kWh as a "full" charge from my JuiceBox Pro charger.  That's a complete restoration of EV capacity, including losses from charging and whatever overhead there may be for cycling overhead during the charge and excluding sessions that pre-condition.  Some would argue that's not the entire usable EV capacity based on the 8.79 kWh measure of the cells all added up.  But my drive often doesn't end as fully depleted (13%), despite being in HV mode.  That's due to the long regen I experience just prior to turning into my neighborhood.  \Sometimes, it's enough to actually show a little bit of EV available.  We know that low values (such as 0.8 mile) will often be suppressed from display.  So, you must have an aftermarket gauge to really know what SOC the battery is actually at.  But then again, a single percentage point that's truncated falls into margin-of-error territory.  With all that being said, I could use a higher value as the measure of "full" for EV capacity.  But including a from-the-plug value makes no sense when you are only measuring against consumption/regeneration results.  So, I stick with 5.75 kWh.

So doing the calculation.... 23 of 5.75 is 1.322 which is not 1.215 kWh.  However, it's close enough.  We have a means of collecting & analyzing data that's more comprehensive than in the past.  Combined with consistent capture approach, it's as accurate as you can get in real-world conditions.

6-22-2019 Video - Summer EV miles.  Warm weather is back.  I haven't filmed anything since the extreme cold.  Time to take advantage of better video hardware & software.  Here's what I did, then shared:

It's very easy to exceed the 25-mile rating for EV miles during the summer months.  Armed with a new tablet for better aftermarket data capture and 2 upgraded cameras since the original drive 2 years ago, the time was right for a new video to show that.

Watch for the commentary added to highlight specific points.  Like before, you'll see me drive out to the coffeeshop twice.  That route just happens to be the perfect distance, 15 miles total.  So driving it twice to demonstrate the 30-mile EV range available under the ordinary circumstances I'd see on that drive, it's a good real-world example to share.

In this case, the temperature was mild but the wind rather strong.  Being a round-trip, that influence of push or pull doesn't matter. You witness all the factors impacting efficiency in great detail.  At the bottom, you see my dashboard.  To the right, you see output from an ODB-II device presented on a phone app.  Notice the wide range of information available while you drive.

In the end, the drive went just a little over 31 miles before plug-supplied electricity was used up.  At that point, the gas-engine started and the system switched to HV mode (regular hybrid driving).

View the video at this link:  Prius Prime - Summer EV miles

 

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