Prius Personal Log #999
April 2, 2020 - April 5, 2020
Last Updated: Tues. 4/07/2020
page #998 page #1000 BOOK INDEX
20 Reasons Not To Buy, spare tire. At this point, I am already growing tired of reading such nonsense. Roughly 75% of new vehicles don't come with a spare tire anymore. So, it doesn't matter anyway. After all, there's plenty of cargo room in a Tesla. The frunk (trunk in the front of the vehicle, space available for a spare since there is no engine) is an option. There's the usual repair-kit that vehicles without a spare include. That's a jack, pump, and goo to seal the tire. Again, how often are you going to travel long distances anyway? If you are just roaming around the metro area and suburbs, help is always near by. Getting a quick patch or replacement tire can be done anywhere and has absolutely nothing to do with being a plug-in vehicle. This article tries to misrepresent electric propulsion as somehow being different. If your combustion engine dies while on the road, you don't expect the repair to take place on the spot. Towing to a shop for service is routine for any type of vehicle.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, scary. Fear is a tactic I was surprised not to see right away. The message conveyed was service would be limited & expensive. If you have a problem on the road, it may be impossible to get help. Ugh. It went on to stress: "Also, roadside service won't help you if you run out of electricity, which is the most common problem." That is an outright lie. Some services offer generator service to allow you to charge enough to get to an electricity source. Those that don't will simply provide a tow for the same purpose. It's not like you would ever be complete abandoned. After all, how far away is the nearest public outlet? It's not that big of a deal and it a rare circumstance anyway. Gauges in the car and apps on your phone make it very easy to recognize state-of-charge and where to replenish. After all, 100% of all vehicle service providers have electricity. If all you needed was to just plug in, they could provide that. It's amazing how fear is used to scare people into resisting change.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, time. Again, spin in the article required you to imagine charging only takes place at charging stations and is required for any type of travel. That made the "too long" narrative for timing easy to emphasize. No mention of any charger availability at home is key. If people don't ever realize a EVSE is available... or even see the acronym to wonder what it means... they'll just assume the worse. It stands for "Electric Vehicle Service Equipment". That non-descript label & term does actually serve a purpose. It draws attention to the fact that there is something else involved in the process. When you tell people it is basically just a large adapter, they can readily understand how it can be used at home. Just like plugging in your phone to recharge, it's all you ever need to do. That's simple and requires no thought about how long it will take. The device is ready whenever you are. So, conveying a message of overnight recharge is no big deal. It just works. No worries. No need to ever hunt down a charger when you are out & about your daily routine.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, charging. The usual lack of charging stations was brought up, as if that was the only place you could ever refuel. No mention whatsoever was made about the convenience of simply plugging in at home. Again, it was all horribly vague, nothing but a paragraph for each claim being made. Travel was emphasized to draw attention away from everyday use and multi-vehicle households. It's that mindset that a single vehicle must deliver absolutely everything you would ever need for transport. That's how we ended up with giant SUVs that never go off-road and never tow anything. You must always be prepared for an extreme. Ugh. Though, this is a know your audience propaganda piece. It appeals to those not wanting to actually consider want verses need.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, environment. Next came a rant about battery production. It was horribly vague and claimed: "...their factories pollute the air as much as driving a conventional car for eight years." I found that especially amusing. Since when is the lifetime of a vehicle only 8 years? Why was the write so afraid of mentioning what happens in the following 4 years? After all, that is what vehicles tend to average now before being replaced. And why no mention of recycling? Even if the initial production pollutes, what about the significant reduction that comes from reused those same components again later? Of course, the whole "pollute" reference was rhetoric anyway. When there is no distinction between carbon emissions and smog-related emissions, be suspicious. That type of detail omission is a red-flag. Though with an article listed nothing but a paragraph for each reason, that isn't anything you'd call journalism anyway. Lastly, there's never any perspective given. How dirty is any of that compared to a traditional vehicle burning petroleum and the process used to acquire that vehicle & fuel?
20 Reasons Not To Buy, hype. The second reason was just plain stupid. It focused on the "look at me" attitude supposedly coming from owners. That's so hypocritical, it's hard to believe that was so high on the list. A quick glance on their homepage was exactly what they were complaining about. Every single photo screamed exactly that. They are major source for hype. Simply driving around a Tesla is not a statement for attention. Most owners are just endorsing what they believe by making that purchase. They are voting with their wallets. Driving around a muscle car, especially those featured in the photos with fancy paint & highlights, is a statement of what? Ugh. Sometimes, you are just left in dismay.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, highway. The first reason setup the tone of the article: "And since there isn't much braking on the highway, the battery rarely gets recharged, so the range is small." It also treated the audience as idiots by conveying a long-time debunked misconception. The claim was efficiency was the opposite as cars with a gas engine. They try to portray the use of electricity as a penalty. But to do that, you must disregard the past 20 years of real-world data from hybrids. If that was the case, there would be no MPG improvement from them. Reality is, there is no such thing as a highway that has neither hills nor traffic. Both engage regenerative energy capture, without ever touching the brake-pedal. That helps to prevent loss which traditional vehicles have no means of dealing with, that opportunity is lost... wasted energy. The other loss is from the inefficiencies related to city & suburb driving. That's obvious with a traditional vehicle. Even with start/stop ability, there's simply no comparison to the complement/supplement of power from an electric-motor. Of course, you must disregard the law of physics related to aerodynamics to believe any of the enthusiast gibberish anyway. The faster you drive, the more resistance there is. Air pushing against the car presents a greater penalty at faster speeds. It's not linear either. The cost to efficiency is quite dramatic as you speed up.
20 Reasons Not To Buy, propaganda. Today got off to an interesting start. It was obvious from the beginning it was an attack article written to mislead about Tesla. You could tell it had been circulating media sources for awhile; Model 3 was listed as "recent" and no mention of Model Y. Those electric vehicles have captured the imagination of consumers; however, there are supposedly 20 reason they should not be purchased. Coming from an enthusiast source... you know, those old-school collector & muscle publications... this was no surprise. In fact, that kind of nonsense is the propaganda we saw 20 years ago, unchanged. The comprehensiveness of their campaign to undermine is what we've come to accept. They simply don't care and willingly circulate incorrect information. It's really unfortunate, but understandable. There is no way to compete with electric. The performance from motor & battery is impressive. Tesla has exploited that, fundamentally changing the "sport car" experience. The silent speed & power is difficult to compare. Making a gas-engine capable of that is far more difficult. As for responsiveness, there is no way to deliver such an experience. Tesla is a clear winner in that regard... and they don't like it. In fact, this is a case where "vastly superior" actually has merit. Whoa!
Behind? I found this intriguing:
"If GM is one of the 3 furthest behind in electrification, then how come
they were just 3 months behind Tesla in having their cars phased out the
U.S. Federal EV tax credit?" The reason why should be obvious.
There is a new audience now. All the apologists are gone. In
fact, it is as if Volt itself is dead. You simply don't hear from
owners anymore. That's because many have moved on and the rest don't
see any point. Why support a technology GM itself has abandoned?
There's nothing to achieve anymore. No matter how much of an
endorsement an owner provides, it falls on deaf ears. No one cares
anymore. So, my intrigue comes from hearing what others think GM's
next step should be. Volt enthusiast absolutely hated Toyota and
refused to acknowledge there would ever be a next PHEV offered. Now
that there will be, I'm really hoping someone will provide constructive
feedback. I tried to stir discussion on the thread addressing EPA
rollouts and how GM fits into that:
GM isn't really behind, it's just suffering from self-inflicted wounds. Their tax-credits were wasted on conquest, rather than using them to transform dealers and loyal customers. Think about who purchased Volt. Those buyers were just outside enthusiasts taking advantage of the opportunity, people who never owned a GM before just enjoying the early-adopter bargain. Most simply moved on to other brands as their lease expired or to pursue the next opportunity. So much was lost by not rolling out Voltec to something a current GM owner would likely upgrade to. It's sad the entire idea of a PHEV offering got abandoned. But that was the choice GM made.
Ironically, many made fun of Toyota for taking the time to target their own loyal customers instead and following the path of Tesla. So what if the narrative of "behind" gives an impression of struggle? Anyone taking the time to look at the bigger picture can see the long-term strategy of using the unlimited aspect of tax-credit phaseout is a very wise move. Look at how well that worked out for Model 3. Figuring out what will appear to showroom shoppers in the meantime is priceless.
As for the topic of regulation/mandate rollbacks, the expense related to litigation for establishing them in the first place requires a great deal of resources. It's simply better to stay focused on the goal instead. Even if there is no enforcement of it to push the rest of the industry, those other automakers will have no choice but to deliver something competitive in the end anyway.
Denial, Dysfunction, Delay. Leading to the election of this president, we heard him complain about how terrible the current administration was, that he would fix mess when he got in office. 3 years later, we are far worse off and all he can do is blame his predecessor. There's no accountability whatsoever, despite so much time and so many warnings since getting elected. That complete absence of responsibility is exactly what I saw play out with GM. Anyone who served as an excuse would be dismissed, so there would be no one to actually fulfill an obligation. Goals themselves were always ambiguous, where there wasn't any good means of measuring progress. It was a mess for the automaker and is now a mess for the government. In other words, failure of leadership can happen on any scale... using the very same techniques. Watching those familiar tactics successfully remove checks & balances, systematically until there's nothing to provide resistance anymore, is so disheartening. It's not the act of that happening, it is the enablement. So many people turn a blind-eye to those activities. Some even claim they are beneficial, accepting mixed messages and missed milestones as part of the process. None are willing to face the consequences. Remember the disaster Volt enthusiasts encouraged? Remember why they did that? Notice how none of them are around anymore to help GM get out of the mess their support made possible? This all too familiar pattern is easy to see, if you look for it. Most people don't. That is your warning of problems to come.
Fighting Fire. It is interesting how some will place
blame elsewhere, like on an executive or corporation for the sake not having
to actually deal with the problem... or so it would seem. But when you
look deeper, what they are really doing is shifting attention to you.
Notice that from this subtle message: "Well, sorry if I don't go along with poisoning my fellow
Americans so the ultra rich can make more money. But yes, if cheering
on someone who will *** over the little guy for the sake of the super rich
becoming richer, conman president is certainly the guy. Rolling back the
automotive mileage standards will only help Big Oil CEOs. Period."
In other words, by not agreeing, they feel it disassociates them from any
responsibility or obligation. That is basically a "bystander" defense,
provider an excuse not to have to do anything. It why there was always
such a fundamental hate for Prius. Continued success of the technology
Toyota had employed meant change throughout the fleet. In fact, that
is why the Volt enthusiasts kept making Prius the focus of attacks and
pretended no other hybrid existed. By ignoring Camry & RAV4, hope was
that would hold back market growth. Ultimately, those efforts fail.
We're seeing it now with arguments like the one mentioned here. That
comment doesn't actually achieve anything. He was upset at Toyota's
seeming forgiveness of what's happening with EPA regulation. In
reality, the situation is quite the opposite. I doubt he'll open his
eyes enough to see it. But maybe someone following the thread will:
Looking at the bigger picture, the real problem can be seen. Rules get tied up in litigation. It ends up wasting resources, time & money that could just be otherwise used elsewhere... like for advancing battery tech. In other words, there are many who have fallen into the trap of thinking regulation what brings about innovation. Forcing change doesn't work.
Try looking at it from another perspective, offering incentives. The tax-credit was exploited by GM, used for conquest sales rather than actually bring about change to their dealerships and loyal customers. It was just another way to waste resources. Not only did Voltec fail so bad it was abandoned, that also served as an excuse to abandon cars too.
We see the self-destructive efforts to push SUVs and Pickups growing. People will fight intensely to own that type of vehicle. This is why Toyota is about to rollout an impressive plug-in hybrid SUV. The narrative of greed doesn't work when we now see that they are fighting fire with fire.
Predictions, capacity. The requirement of roughly 100 kWh capacity as a minimum for BEV to take on traditional vehicle replacement should be obvious to anyone studying the market. It comes down to the cold, hard reality of expectations. People will want an effortless 300'ish miles of range, period. No matter how much that defies logic, it is what will be demand. Want overpowers need. We have seen that play out over the past 2 decades. What people believe is more important than the facts saying otherwise. That's how we ended up with giant guzzlers. People just plain did not care about what we truly important. Their priorities didn't have to be logical. It is driven by emotion, not critical thinking. So, even when there is seemingly sound argument, the detail tends to reveal shortcomings. For example: "Price parity estimates generally assume a 60kWh battery pack at $100/kWh. That price point will be reached within 4 years. If you feel that parity requires 75kWh then it's still only 6 years out." It seemed a sound reply to my reaction to the suddenly claim. He tried to convey consumer reaction based on trends of the past, with regard to early-adopters. That's the trap enthusiasts easily fall into. He clearly did too. I tried to present reason to second-guess his own reasoning: That price parity generalization misses the point. 75kWh is a minimum for acceptance. It delivers 300 miles in nice conditions. In the winter, between heater consumption and longer commute times, the resulting low 200's will not appeal to the masses. That means we are realistically looking at 100 kWh capacities for something competitive. To be able supply enough vehicles with that at a competitive volume is very wishful thinking. Trend data shows us how slow ramp-up & acceptance on the scale (a sizeable chunk of each automaker's production) will take awhile, without even taking into consideration the disastrous economic situation currently playing out. We're talking end of decade.