Personal Log #1050
January 1, 2021 - January 6, 2021
Last Updated: Sun. 2/21/2021
page #1049 page #1051 BOOK INDEX
Blatant. Makes you wonder just how desperate some are to hold on to the past: "...only GM's Voltec drivetrain (Volt, ELR, & Ampera) and the BMW i3Rex, no other PHEV keeps the ICE turned off under heavy load..." What does a person expect to achieve by convincing others of false claims? Since Voltec is dead, I suspect that is an effort to protect reputation... one that really never mattered, since it didn't make any difference in the end... which is the point. Having failed on such a grand scale, I suspect nonsense spreading will never end. Narratives have a strong influence even when the problem is actively playing out. Long afterward, there isn't much reason to fight the spread. I'll continue with the reminders though: That is blatant misinformation spreading, a fact that has not been true for 4 years. Drop the pedal to the floor, the engine in Prius Prime never turns on. Propulsion remains all-electric even when maximum acceleration is requested in EV mode.
PHEV Hoax. Like I said, it will continue to get worse. Antagonists are scrambling to capitalize on the opportunity from every angle. They are milking that study, which is clearly an effort to mislead, as a source of truth. Ugh. They know their audience is simply seeking validation. That means logic only serves to stir opposition. You get called out as a troublemaker, someone clueless to facts. It's an ironic spin. Since posting facts is exactly what you are doing. They are the ones just mindlessly chanting about purity & praise... shallow victories, things that do nothing to alter the status quo. All you can do is keep posting facts, but in a way that draws attention to the lack of objectivity. A few will come to realize their error. Mistakes like that sting. A few will notice how often that actually happens. Those are the ones who suddenly vanish. I watched the daily blog for Volt fall apart like that. There was eventually enough evidence of their own short-sightedness to shake them back to a sensible state. It certainly took a lot of effort though. You just have to keep at it, like today: Misrepresentation is nothing new. Reference a few recognizable examples and pretend they represent the entire range of choices available. It's intentional undermining... but also, a dead giveaway. No mention whatsoever of more efficient models confirm it. From this example, how is VW Touareg useful gauge of PHEV efficiency? That's a 456 HP beast drawing only 134 HP from its electric-motor. Next, we see Ford Explorer PHEV delivering 457 HP with only 100 HP from its electric-motor. Worse yet is the Porsche Cayenne with 680 HP and just 136 HP electric. How are any of those supposed to provide a useful gauge for something actually targeting the green market? In comparison, RAV4 Prime delivers 302 HP total with a much stronger favor toward the electric side, featuring two motors, 179 HP in front and 53 HP in back. Efforts to feed the "PHEV hoax" narrative are a blatant attempt to mislead & confuse. It's really sad.
From Coal. I really liked getting this response: "Where does Tesla get its electricity from? Coal power plant?" It was from a friend who can probably never put any thought toward the topic. He's just dead-set against electric cars, period. That comes from his political perspective. He's a far extreme from me; yet, we are still friends. I see him as one of those following the everyone else, never actually realizing direction was ever an option. You do what everyone else does. This is your life, make the best of it. How do you tell someone you care about that they have other choices available when they are perfectly happy with their life the way it is? Any type of suggestion gets interpreted as a criticism. They don't recognize that you have the best of intentions, making sure they don't miss out on opportunity. But that advice is never heard that way, because they feel change is unnecessary. Sadly, I know quite a few people like that. Calling that mindset a "from coal" syndrome would be a means of categorizing the problem. You can see it building too. The situation will become a nightmare. You can't just ignore a problem forever. Arguing is pointless though. You have to find a simple way to inject reason. This was my attempt for that comment today: Keep in mind that a vehicle depending solely upon a combustion-engine for power will always be dirty, its entire life. A plug-in vehicle initially powered by electricity derived from coal will later become cleaner. As coal is discontinued and replaced by something cleaner, the vehicles also improves.
Studies. There are some who try to be constructive: "It's
old studies from 4-6 years ago where they take fleet wide EV efficiency and
compare that to the most efficient hybrids like a Prius that show the Prius
would be marginally cleaner."
Lacking a full perspective distort reality though. You basically have
to watch it play out several times, learning to recognize the pattern.
This is far from new. I have been doing it for over 20 years now.
The rhetoric really doesn't change much... same dance, just a different
song. In other words, you'll notice the same lack of completeness
regard of topic. Look for those signs of missing information. I
Newer studies are just as misleading. A popular one recently cherry-picked,
focusing on just select models of plug-in hybrid... spinning a narrative of
being representative of the entire range of PHEV offerings. It omitted data,
intentionally excluding the newest choices. Any reputable research firm
would have issued an addendum, updating their findings. This one stayed
silent, pretending there was no recent improvement available. Think
about how often outdated studies continue to be referred to. Think about how
quickly the industry advances. Think about who the competition actually is. RAV4
Prime competing directly against an ordinary RAV4 on the same
showroom floor is a very real choice for a mainstream consumer. Someone
comparing to a Tesla is not the target for Toyota. Know your audience.
Catch Up Spin. The rhetoric isn't stirring much attention anymore. They keep trying though: "We bet on the wrong horse (fuel cells) and now have to Prime everything while we catch back up." We're way past the point of critical thinking, so it basically doesn't matter. This audience stopped thinking all together. They simply follow the herd... the problem properly identified as "group think". Just like the political nightmare we are dealing with, those chanting along with everyone else gave up logic long ago. I witnessed the toxic nature of that lack of reasoning turn Volt into a disaster from that daily blog. Their repetition of false information was so abundant, they lost perspective... no longer able to see what choices were sensible. All these years later, it has become a blind march forward without any clue what the next step actually should be. Ugh. Thank goodness thoughtful minds will prevail... or more like, rescue. Those claiming "behind" and "catch up" won't ever see that though. They'll just claim the outcome was always meant to be, that what their push in the wrong direction never really happened. Again, ugh. Oh well. We're not there yet anyway. This is the where we are at currently: Almost the entire passenger fleet for Toyota has a hybrid model at this point. Many have raised floors to accommodate increased battery capacity, including smaller vehicles... Corolla & Yaris hybrids, which just introduced "Cross" variants. To make them a Prime, it's just a matter of adding a one-way clutch. In other words, Toyota planned ahead to be able to offer something profitable. How many other legacy automakers have already set a stage like that? Think about the business. Dealers want easy profit. Toyota is providing a means of embracing change without monetary sacrifice. Those blinded here by the lure of purity refuse to see any of that. They refuse to acknowledge just how refined Toyota's EV drive already is. So what if the system is currently used on a PHEV platform? It is proving itself robust and contributing to cost-reduction. Later when used in BEV offerings, it will have the benefit of those predecessors.
Video: Construction Summer Drive. Way back in the beginning of Summer, I capture video of 3 drives. Only 2 got edited together and published. This is the third of three videos filmed back in June. It's the same route captured year after year at the same time of year. T hat has provided a handy basis of comparison for battery degradation. But this year, I was also able to include the impact of wind & construction... hence 3 videos. Adding to the compare material are other times of the year, watch for those too. The point is to demonstrate how EV miles will vary. During the warm season, you will tend to get well above electric-only distance than the EPA rating. For this 2017 Prius Prime, that is 25 miles. In this video, you'll see that I got 31 miles. During the cold season, when electric heating is needed to keep the seating area warm, you'll see the results end up around 25% lower than the EPA rating. That's why there is a collection of videos. In addition to documenting season variances and the impact of aging (which is clearly minimal after 3 years of ownership), there's a lot of extra information to share. This comes from an aftermarket app reading data using a ODB-II reader. That is what's displayed on the right, next to the dashboard data on the left... Prius Prime - Construction Summer Drive
Setting Expectations. This is a great example of exactly why that is a good idea: "I'm not the only Prime owner who doesn't feel its worth the hassle of charging, due to awkward non-user friendly design. Any plug-in device where space and weight is not critical and that need to deploy and stow a cord regularly should have self-reeling, self-storing cord, like some household vacuum cleaners. IMO that should be 3x as important for a car that will likely be charged outside where the cord will get dirty and otherwise abused." You shouldn't expect a standard accessory to fulfill every want. An analogy to this is expecting the camera on your phone to work as well as an actual camera. It won't, period. Most of the time, results are just fine. But there are certain things that tiny lens and tiny sensor simply won't handle well. I put it this way: That's quite a misunderstanding of the technology available. The 120-volt EVSE is designed to either be hung on a wall for routine use in that location or packed up into the car for opportunity recharges. That's it. If you want something that can get dirty and be otherwise abused, you purchase a EVSE actually intended for that purpose. This isn't rocket-science, it's just basic consumer goods. You want better, you pay for better. Expecting the cord that comes standard with the vehicle to be able to cope with extremes simply is not realistic. That's what aftermarket choices are for. Take a look at some of the 240-volt EVSE available. They can be setup outside and be used for years, through winter & summer extremes. Some of us have owned units like that for years. It's no big deal.
Dismissing Fact. Whether it is being stubborn or
getting burnt out, this is a common ending for discussions: "We'll have
to agree to disagree." That is typically a sensible choice when
arguments are making any progress, especially when it drags on for so long
few can follow it. The catch is, you can't do that when the basis of
the argument is a dismissal of fact. Yet, some try anyway. They
don't like what you are posting, so they attempt to ignore it. Sound
familiar? That's how our "narrative" mindset came about.
Spinning of outcome has evolved to the point where contradictory evidence
isn't important, all you have to do is find enough other people to agree
with you to alter reality as we know it. Ugh! Here's how I
responded to that:
You can't disagree with a factor of economics. To grow beyond niche or monopoly, whatever it is must be adopted by a competitor. Otherwise you end up in a propriety trap, nightmare of incompatible hardware. We've seen it before, many times with the tech industry. Some type of standard is required. SAE-J1772 worked great. Why not push for something shared within an entire region (North America, Europe, China, India, etc)? After all, it opens up opportunity for third-parties to join in... further stimulating growth. That also helps keep the market stable longer, a win for everyone.
Think about chargers at retail, grocery, restaurants, coffeeshops, theaters, libraries, etc. It is far easier to get them to invest, knowing the tech will reach a maximum range of customers. Offering chargers that are Tesla only means targeting only Tesla owners. You have to agree with that. It's a fact, not an opinion.
Put it this way, what will be the draw once the variety of connection types all reach a point of diminishing return... like each offering 200 kW service? Location will get more attention. How many choices of grocery store do you have? Wouldn't the ability for an apartment dweller to recharge once a week while shopping be quite a draw? Wouldn't the grocery owner want to appeal to a maximum number of customers like that?
Left Behind. Notice the ongoing theme of impatience? It's quite common. Here's a sample: "Panasonic could have been the supplier for Tesla China. They refused. This latest is them changing their tune realizing that if they don't act, they will be left behind." Sadly, that is the nature of online posting. It has been that way for 2 decades. Fortunately, the means of combatting it has improved dramatically. My efforts with video have certainly confirmed that. Many false claims have been squashed with the greatest of ease by sharing drive captures. With so much data, it's far more difficult to dismiss now. But that's with topics in the here & now. Looking forward presents challenges still. Some people are so poorly informed, they are easily swayed by rhetoric in terms of what's coming. Look no further than GM for that. Lack of substance continues to be a problem; yet, the "leadership" image persists. Anywho, I posted this to combat that latest nonsense: Left behind would just be a continuation of the narrative to distract & confuse. Tesla is not their only customer. In fact, Panasonic's new joint venture with Toyota is a dead giveaway of not getting all the information. How could something that big be missing? With a mission including "Batteries with high energy density, primarily for pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles." it's hard to believe no attention is being focused on that. Isn't that the goal for any next-gen electrification effort? In other words, there's usually more at play than what you read from media & comments online.
For Dummies. I understand where he's coming
from, retired for many years and extremely knowledgeable about the
engineering: "50 kW fast DC charger - too slow to make cross country travel practical"
He wants a solution now, not over the course of this coming decade.
That's easy to see from his eyes. But for what those who have far more
time and no real background, they see a very different situation.
Faster will come, eventually. Consideration of how that will be
delivered is vital. You don't just rush. Imagine if diesel would
have been pushed as a ubiquitous solution for all vehicles, rather than
gasoline for personal transport. It's more efficient (in terms of
energy-density), but it is much dirtier. Think about how energy
applies with regard to batteries. There's more to it than just
speed... a lot more. In fact, this response barely touches the topic:
Keep in mind that Toyota doesn't play all their cards at once. We know that a CCS-2 will be offered. Digging for detail, I discovered a mention of it supporting up to 200 kW. After some more digging, I found mention of a Lexus concept in the works able to accept 150 kW. Those are clues that Toyota is watching the industry struggle with standards and exploring the options available.
The bigger problem is that Tesla is approaching an impasse. To grow beyond a niche audience, their chargers must become part of a standard. We are seeing this play out in Europe already. Tesla's proprietary connection was abandoned in favor of CCS. Here in the United States, a transition of that nature will likely be painful since there is no clear path to achieving such change.
That is a big reason why Toyota has pursued opportunity from PHEV offerings. Think about how many will start with one, then later purchase a BEV later when some type of charging standard finally takes hold. It is a great way to send a culture of change message to both business & consumer while at the same time refining the underlying technology.
Think about what "50 kW fast DC charger" means to a dealer or shopper. Most have absolutely no clue of what that information is telling them. Think about what it means to someone who plugs in at a public charger now. The technology is proving itself. But there is much disagreement about the how's & what's still. To reach a mainstream audience, all that needs to be worked out to the point of becoming a "for dummies" technology.