Personal Log  #1026

August 12, 2020  -  August 18, 2020

Last Updated:  Tues. 10/13/2020

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8-18-2020 Reflection.  This provided a great means of wrapping up that crazy exchange: "You really need to look in the mirror because I see everything you claim about me in you."  By reading through the rest of the comments, other posts from him provided a basis for me to tie up loose ends.  I got a better idea of his loss of strategy, why his arguments became so vague.  He really didn't have an idea anymore and just wanted it to end.  Insults like that usually do the trick.  But for me, it is instead an invitation... which I took full advantage of:

I see someone enabled by history, pointing out the recognition of patterns... mistakes made in the past being repeated.  The most obvious pattern observed is the lack of patience, how arguments are posted of conclusions being draw on short-term gain based only on events happening in the now.

I share specifics, at times extreme detail with video, to counter false narratives.  Much of that focuses on the misunderstanding & misrepresentation of some PHEV, since comments posted are often outdated, generalizations, or double-standards.

I get especially annoyed by vague posts where some attempt to group all PHEV offerings into a single category.  I know all too well most here would freak out if the opposite happened.  Lumping a first-gen Leaf into the same category as Model Y is just plain wrong, there are far too many differences.  Yet, both are BEV.

I notice how most here focus entirely on early-adopter markets, blowing off the reality of how they represent low-hanging fruit... far easier sales than what it takes to get a mainstream consumer to make the same purchase.  Most here don't address the true customer either, legacy automaker dealers... the ones who stock inventory and expect a profitable return quickly.

Avoidance of goals is the biggest conflict.  Refusing to state what problem is attempted to be solved is the underlying issue.  Enthusiasts get so obsessed with particular technologies, they lose sight of purpose.  It ends up a chest-pounding match rather than anything constructive.

My purpose specifically has been to get traditional vehicles replaced as quickly as possible with something electrified.  I don't give a rat's ass about range, acceleration, or power... since those are all wants, not needs.  Fulfilling the basic necessities of everyday travel is the focus and it must be done in an affordable manner.

What do you see?


Claiming Victory.  Patience is not a virtue for the enthusiast.  They thrive on shallow victories and meritless praise.  When the goal isn't fulfilled, what's the point?  It's all about ego.  A mainstream product isn't exciting; it fails to appeal to the niche they seek.  So basically, there will never be an actual victory.  Being a mutually exclusive viewpoint makes contradiction the only real intersection of ideas.  Purpose is different.  That means agreement really doesn't accomplish anything... which is why I always push for purpose.  What is the point of their posts?  I put it this way:  Obsessing with "technology" only being an aspect of engineering has blinded you to what is actually important.  I already provided detail too.  Refusing to acknowledge that is the corner you backed yourself into... hence history repeating.  If you can see beyond the engineering, to understand how the business also includes many intangibles, that's your loss.  Claim victory about being "ahead" and be done with it.  Winning a battle does not mean you'll win the war... hence stating goals.

8-17-2020 Denial.  This outcome when inevitable: "You are simply in denial."  That's how you can be certain nothing is left to argue.  Completely void of any information, they hope you'll get frustrated and leave.  I don't.  In fact, this is what I wait for.  Some of my most informative discoveries in the past have come from this stage in the argument... when they are desperately trying to keep the discussion from ending on a sour note for them.  That's when something valuable can be revealed.  In a rage, you sometimes get them to slip up.  They will accidently expose a shortcoming, usually in the form of a contradiction to a claim they made in the past.  Those hypocritical moments are priceless.  I watch for them, making sure then know I'm watching and why:

No, I am beside myself, amazed how closely history is repeating itself.  A decade ago, I pushed those claiming superiority to state goals.  Responses were the same as now.  That nonsense went on for years.  The outcome was remarkable.  Their attempts to claim I was in denial blinded them to the obvious failings of what they endorsed. Your priorities are misplaced too, a waste of opportunity.

For anyone taking the time to read the full exchange playing out there, that past was about Volt and Prius.  Promises for Volt looked questionable from the start.  How could GM deliver so much so fast?  Turns out, they couldn't.  This is why the request for goals was made so many times.  Spin to divert attention came about, claiming "vastly superior" and belittling anyone who challenged how that did nothing to achieve the goals.  Ultimately, the failure of spreading that technology to other vehicles as a new standard offering became undeniable.  Their own denial was their undoing.

We are watching that same history play out again.  Notice the insults and absence of goals.


Getting Defensive.  Antagonists hate when I play offense.  It puts them at a big disadvantage.  Pushing a false narrative works best when you have the spotlight.  By me taking the stage and providing constructive information, they end up at a loss... struggling to figure out how to gain back an audience.  So, it typically just devolves into a vague attack: "You are just trying to change the subject because you realized how indefensible your initial assertions on the superiority of Toyota technology were."  Absence of anything of substance is how I know I struck a nerve.  They have nothing to work with at that point.  Of course, there wasn't any merit to their claims anyway.  Nonetheless, they try.  I keep at it:

No change.  For 13 years I have been posting about how the technology must address all aspects of business, pointing out that engineering is only part of the equation for success.  Over and over and over and over again, I contend that neglect of those other aspects will result in failure.  You can't expect "build it and they will buy it".  In fact, that's how the KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE motto can about.

Enthusiasts of Volt learned that lesson the hard way.  All of their "vastly superior" claims did nothing to address the realities of actually having to persuade people to buy it.  They absolutely convinced themselves that paying a premium for the technology was totally worth it.  That disregard for need cost them dearly.

The assignment is to replace traditional technology with something that will reduce emissions & consumption in a reliable & cost-effective manner.  That's a lot of boxes to check.  Engineering alone isn't enough.  Dealers need to be convinced the technology will be both easy to sell and return an on-going profit... more boxes to check.  Consumers must feel comfortable with such a major purchase delivering what they expect, not necessary what the automaker must deliver... more boxes.  It gets complicated, far more than anything engineering alone can fulfill.  You don't get an "A" grade from only checking one box.

That's where Toyota thrives.  They have found a balance, delivering great engineering while also checking the rest of those boxes.  That means superiority isn't the highest priority.  So, no amount of enthusiast boasting or banter makes any difference.  They aren't the audience.

In other words, there is nothing to defend.


Keeping Brief.  That's the key to rhetoric.  Either go into a long sermon up on the soapbox or be so to the point they feel a terseness of the reply.  It's an effective means of getting beyond their obvious distraction efforts.  It also provides a reminder to lurkers about what's actually important.  This was today's brief exchange:  There's more to technology than just engineering.  Failing to see that there is also a business aspect to what makes it successful is something you'll end up learning the hard way.  I just point out what's being overlooked.


Stirring Rhetoric.  There's a firestorm brewing.  Posts like this are the first of many attacks to come: "Every year Toyota kicks the can, their competitors get further ahead in EV technology.  Their delays, failure to secure battery supplies..."  It is very easy to recognize the pattern.  I wonder who they think the audience is for this now.  Hmm?  I start my reply by asking for clarification, then end with pointing out how irrelevant most posts are to the goal of sales:  What does "ahead" actually mean?  We see Toyota pushing EV technology on a continuous basis.  So what if their BEV offerings are limited to China with smaller packs?  It is still EV propulsion.  Same is true for their PHEV offerings.  It's all an advancement related to improvements with motors, controllers, and software to deliver an reliable & affordable electric-only drive.  As for battery related challenges, some of that is an effort to draw attention away from customer relations.  Toyota's effort to forge strong relationships with dealers & shoppers is necessary for all automakers, and they clearly have a large lead in that regard.  Confidence in that regard from hybrid and plug-in hybrid is paving the way for BEV sales.  Lack of patience is a common theme among enthusiasts.  They like to focus on engineering and completely disregard business needs.  So, much of what goes on hear in comments really doesn't equate to what happens with sales.


Change.  Rumors are growing.  That isn't a surprise, especially with another one of those news sources spinning stories about Toyota has emerged again.  Some of the nonsense being posted is so obviously fabricated to undermine.  They don't care though.  It serves the purpose.  Truth doesn't matter anymore.  And if you get caught spreading a lie, the out is to claim the message got distorted or was misunderstood.  There's no accountability... which is a sign of desperation.  When you stop showing concern of being caught... desperately trying to impede at any cost.  It's sad.  But that is how change plays out.  Eventually, something will come to an end.  Heck, even Toyota has discontinued some efforts.  That information can be twisted though.  Prius won't die here, but in some markets it wasn't big anyway.  I can ramble on about it, but some history doesn't repeat.  It is simply a stepping stone for the next advancement forward.  We'll see other exciting things as time goes on.  Heck, that's why RAV4 Prime enjoying the spotlight for now is fine.  That's a positive outcome no matter how you look at it.  Something new will be here before we know it.  Enjoy the ride along the way.  Change happens, as I pointed out with:  Prius (liftback model) wasn't big in Germany anyway.  When I was there 5 years ago, the other Toyota hybrids were much more popular.  So, it's not a big deal seeing it discontinued there.  As for Prius in our market, that pretty much is inevitable, but for any entirely different reason.  Carrying a non-plug model into the next generation doesn't make sense.  Something in PHEV form will become a standard offering.  Who knows what naming of the new BEV models will be anyway.  There's the Corolla Crossover making its way into markets not too.  So, change is coming.


Understanding Markets.  Think about infrastructure.  In just our market alone, there's very real challenges.  That means inventory will need to mimic what people will actually be able to buy.  This is what starting with a plug-in hybrid could actually accelerate market advancement.  Some don't see it that way though... even just focusing on the advanced countries:  "Norway is 68% EV sales today.  Europe will be at those levels by 2025.  It's hard to imagine sales in 2030 will be less than 90% EV.  Except Toyota, their plan for 2050 is 40% Hybrid, 40% PHEV, 10% BEV, 10% Fuel cell.  If Toyota stick to their current plan, they will sell fvc all cars come 2030."  Inevitably, my post to that will somehow get a spin treatment.  Looking at the countries already challenged just to keep up with ordinary power needs will obviously take a lot longer.  The enthusiasts online don't care though.  That's why we got the endless stream of "EV Market" arguments.  They focused entirely on progress within their niche, refusing to consider the rest of the local market.  So bringing up the developing world was a non-starter.  With worldwide annual sales having grown to 90 million prior to the pandemic, you have to wonder about the who's & what's of that unknown inventory.  Anywho, here's how I responded about the future shopping market:  Not understanding the plan is telling. 10.7 million vehicles were sold by Toyota last year.  Among them, 2.1 million were in North America and 1.1 million in Europe.  That means only 30% of Toyota sales for 2019 were in markets you sighted.  Using your head instead of reciting rhetoric (yes, I noticed that childish attempt to insult) you would come to realize well over half their sales are to middle-economy markets... places that don't have infrastructure to support rapid change to becoming electricity dependent.  Even here, expecting people to upgrade their household, apartment, and condo locations to support multiple vehicles for overnight charging by 2030 for 90% of the population here is just plain not realistic.  Again, use your head. It will happen, but it will take time... which will be longer now as a result of the economic collapse.  Regardless, plans change and there is no obligation whatsoever to a projection made several years ago.  Seeing that Toyota has already rolled out 2 BEVs based on existing platforms already and there are several on new dedicated platforms coming in the next few years (those vehicles intended to be revealed during the Olympics, but not postponed to later) are a demonstration of what's to come.  Remember, they are also working on improved chemistry, striving for solid-state in high-volume.  Lastly, we are seeing change already in Toyota dealerships.  That acceptance is a genuine step forward already, a very difficult step other legacy automakers still have to face.  So, don't plan on posting rhetoric without facts challenging the claim.


End Dates.  I enjoy the survival claims.  They turn into "doom & gloom" declarations with almost no supporting evidence.  Some people simply like stirring the pot: "We should start to see major investment from legacy OEMs soon if they plan on surviving.  I would also expect to see some definitive end dates for most current ICE models."  It's always so vague and they hate when I respond with detail.  So, of course, I must:  Toyota is already phasing out ICE models. Sienna (minivan) and Venza (crossover) will only be available as hybrids. RAV4 (SUV) hybrid has seen explosive sales lately and the plug-in hybrid is demonstrating lots of potential.  It's only a matter of time before its ICE model gets axed.  Then there's Corolla, offering both sedan & crossover hybrid models, puts it on the path to phaseout as well.  Then there's C-HR, which has both hybrid and BEV models in limited markets.  Prius will likely keep pushing the showcase market, appealing to those looking for new blends of technology. Remember, behind the scenes there is the battery-chemistry changes taking place too... which brings us to the most demanding application, models in the pickup line.  That shift seems all but inevitable too.  Building upon reputation/success of the smaller vehicles will help that process along.


Careful.  I was surprised to encounter this: "It's like Tesla is riding a race horse in the race while the competition is following in trotters."  Some of what's playing out now is so familiar.  Same stuff I saw in the past, repeating.  So again, I issue words of warning:  Careful.  We have already seen the "Tortoise and the Hare" story play out with GM and Toyota.  All that boasting about Volt progress and being so far ahead for year, then it all fell apart close to the finish-line.  That so-called "behind" automaker ended up winning the race, delivering a plug-in hybrid SUV which checked all the boxes.


Chicken/Egg.  Gotta like this: " *face palm*  It's like Toyota doesn't want to sell any."  That comment was made with regard to the upcoming BEV rollout for Lexus model in the UK.  I kept my objection to that brief:  Quite the opposite.  It's the chicken/egg situation.  You know they will sell some regardless.  So, rolling out the vehicle with its tried & true DC charging, then offering a CCS adapter or retrofit option later allows the vehicle itself to prove out robust & reliable.  After all, there's a transition underway in Europe with Tesla facing challenges of a single standard and the United States is just a mess.  Holding up the vehicle itself makes no sense when the issue can be addressed post-purchase.


At Least.  Obsession with range has grown to such an extreme, enthusiasts tend not to notice anything else.  That now makes some of the arguments very easy to address.  For example: "Almost every modern EV has at least 200 miles."  That was it, his entire line of reasoning.  Range is all that matters, period.  Ugh.  That mindset of "at least" can be turned around as a backfire, which I quite enjoyed posting.  What about obsession with warranty coverage?  I pointed out:  That's called cherry-picking.  You can't just focus entirely on a single trait, especially when it misrepresents the purchasing decision.  Almost every modern BEV (the term "EV" simply represents any vehicle delivering electric-only driving) offers a typical warranty.  Toyota is ahead of the industry by pushing distance coverage out to 1,000,000 km (621,371 mi) for 10 years.  Think about what ordinary consumers consider as a priority when shopping for a plug-in vehicle.


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