Prius Personal Log  #1059

March 16, 2021  -  March 19, 2021

Last Updated:  Fri. 5/21/2021

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3-19-2021

Equivalent.  After all that, I got: "Back to my case the equivalent gas cost..."  I was quite amused by the level of desperation.  Ignore everything posted and just present your own story instead.  Ugh.  I fired back with:  Forcing a narrative that PHEV and BEV cannot be compared in terms of electricity consumption is a blatant attempt to evade reality.  RAV4 Prime delivers 42 miles of EV each day from nothing but an overnight recharge using an ordinary 120-volt outlet.  That equates to around 15,000 miles of electric-only driving conveniently disregarded.  Avoiding real-world data is what?  Equivalent doesn't come into play when gas is displaced by electricity.  Goal achieved.  There is no case.

3-19-2021

Superior Technology.  It comes down to not understanding the technology itself.  Over and over again, I kept seeing quotes like "BEV is a superior technology..." without any explanation whatsoever.  At best, there would be some crude analogy provided.  No detail is a warning sign that you are dealing with someone operating upon principle, rather than actual fact.  So no matter what you post, the response will always be something in the context of emotion.  Ultimately they end up attacking you, choosing some type of adjective to apply as a label.  Facts don't matter.  Detail doesn't matter.  There's just a repeating theme of superiority.  Sound familiar?  It's the Volt mindset all over again.  Their favored technology was better, period.  Nothing with regard to business or consumer mattered.  Now with this, you can at least see the reasoning as to why BEV would supposedly be better than PHEV.  They base it entirely on the overhead of also having a gas-engine.  Outcome doesn't matter.  No data will sway them.  It's strictly about pure design.  Nothing hybrid is acceptable.  Refusing to identify goals is always trouble.  I know that all too well from being a software engineer for 3 decades.  It's far too easy to get hung up on technology.  You have to force yourself back to reflect upon business want & need.  What you consider "better" may not match their criteria.  This is why I bring up priorities so often.  Being "superior" can be quite subjective.  Goals are what matter, not opinion.

3-19-2021

Echo Chamber.  That's where enthusiasts thrive.  They seek out validation, only wanting to hear sentiment that matches their own.  I seek out the same environments for the opposite reason, to confirm they have no clue what the rest of the market actually wants & needs.  Those exchanges over the past few days were a great example.  There were claims of superiority, cherry-picking, moving goal-posts, evading detail, arguing semantics, stating lies, posting distractions, drawing conclusions without supporting data, and of course shooting the messenger.  It's quite remarkable to see all that nonsense squeezed into a single topic.  The reason why is telling... they fear change.  A narrative of the single solution to save us all is falling apart.  There will be a variety of technologies.  They cannot handle that though.  It's like fighting about which is better, solar or wind.  They don't get it.  Both are winners.  That's a concept too difficult to declare victory for.  Enthusiasts thrive on conflict.  The very definition of "mainstream" is the act of moving beyond conflict.  When the thing being promoted becomes normal, so common it just blends into everyday life, is the goal.  They cannot tolerate such a status.  That's boring, dull, pointless.   Ordinary is exactly what they try to avoid.  The irony is delightful.  I watch them set themselves up for failure... hence being an echo chamber.  You cannot get constructive feedback if everyone agrees with you.  Duh!

3-18-2021

Moving Forward.  This seems a fitting post to respond to as a wrap-up from the nonsense: "Toyota decided to only make very few RAV 4 primes why? It sells like hot cakes, yet they won't build them."  Such short-sightedness is unfortunate.  Oh well.  At least the lurkers of those unfriendly exchanges will have some useful insight to consider.  Here's some more:  First year rollout worldwide wasn't actually that limited.  Some here are simply painting a picture, feeding a narrative, hoping you don't notice anything else.  Turns out, Toyota also rolled out their first BEV at the same time.  Did you know that?  Also at the same time, Toyota ended ICE production of 2 of their vehicles, making them hybrid only.  Think about where the rest of the fleet is. That bigger picture tells a different story.  For example, look at the stage being set from the Prius perspective.  It's positioned nicely to for its base to become a plug-in hybrid.  Just think of what that would mean to have all models come with a plug.  It is change reaching an audience BEV sales has yet to tap.  In other words, Toyota's focus isn't appealing to enthusiasts.  So naturally, there's a lot of rhetoric to case the automaker as somehow being "anti" despite an obvious push to break the status quo.  It's something GM failed miserably with and VW is now about to face.  Put another way, there's far more too a giant legacy automaker than just one vehicle.  Think about what a single popular choice would do to the well-being of dealers.  Setting the stage for a variety of choices ramped up all in a shared timeframe is how you effectively move forward.

3-18-2021

New Credits.  That attitude from purists is growing.  They are frustrated with mainstream acceptance and have chosen Toyota to be the scapegoat.  This is one of the posts, in its entirety: "Toyota will be bankrupt within 10 years.  They are stubborn, conservative, and have the most invested in ICE cars.  They will not change their ways because they have very high sunk costs and they are the most profitable car maker.  When the market abandons ICE cars in the next 3 to 4 years, Toyota will still be selling flip phones while everyone is buying smart phones.  Don't give them a dime of taxpayer money."  Part of that anger could be hidden frustration about how much of the future production is targeted for here in the United States.  More and more, Toyota is becoming a stronger domestic automaker than those based in Detroit... which makes it an ugly situation for credits.  It's an interesting dynamic contradiction playing out.  Anywho, here's how I responded to that nonsense:  Gotta love those doom & gloom predictions based on narrative.  Who are you trying to convince?  Toyota has rolled out hybrid models across most of the fleet at this point, each of which have system easily (and profitably) adaptable to plug-in hybrid.  In addition to that, we have already seen 2 models become BEV.  What basis is there for a bankruptcy prediction?  A claim that the market will "market abandons ICE cars in the next 3 to 4 years" is absurd.  UBS estimates VW will have produced 2.6 million electric vehicles by 2025.  For Tesla, the estimation is 2.3 million by then.  Those are the 2 biggest players and that only represents a small part of the market.  Adding to that the from Hyundai & Nissan, there's another 1.0 million. GM, who supposedly was planning to push hard, is only expected to deliver 800,000.  Ironically, the outlook from Toyota in that same timeframe for electric sales (excluding hybrids) is 1.5 million.  In other words, there is no expectation for doom & gloom.  The market will move forward slowly.  Toyota will very much be part of that.  There's simply no merit in bankruptcy predictions.

3-18-2021

Success & Failure.  Arbitrary claims online never end.  They are posted to make the person feel better, but achieve nothing.  For example: "It failed at PHEV market share."  What does that even mean?  How is that particular market identified?  Remember how EV enthusiasts only measured success based on EV market?  Measure within in a self-selected group doesn't inform us of anything with regard to anything else.  It's a bubble, a niche that has little to nothing in common with the larger consumer base.  So what if BEV sells well among its peers?  That tells us nothing of its potential for success competing directly on the salesroom floor.  Yet, we get declarations of success... and pronouncements of failure.  Their lack of objectivity tells the real story.  They aren't taking the situation seriously.  I replied to today's nonsense with:  Posting a conclusion of PHEV failure repeatedly doesn't make it true.  RAV4 Prime demonstrates a massive amount of potential for hybrid upgrades to PHEV with full EV drive.  The nonsense about not enough size, power, or speed has all been debunked.  Toyota's platform was designed with augmentation in mind.  They planned ahead.  Now, they are preparing the fleet.  It is rather telling when some push a narrative so hard, even before the initial subsidy stage has yet to complete.  BEV sales are still in the same boat.  All plug-in choices face barriers of production & infrastructure.  Using PHEV as a scapegoat or distraction won't change that.  In other words, careful with the precedent you are setting.  There are a lot of people who will fight to retain the status quo.  Don't push back on those helping to promote plugging in.

3-18-2021

Pointless Attacks.  Watching history repeat is fascinating.  Actions of antagonists are so predictable, it's mystifying.  Are they really that dumb?  They think their antics actually achieve something.  But when it comes to supposedly having a constructive discussion about mandates, all we get is rhetoric.  Ugh.  Oh well, it gives me an opportunity to provide exposition and throw some questions out for the curious to ponder:  Lessons of the past should have taught everyone that mandates based on a single technology not only don't work, but can also have unintentional consequences.  We saw that with CARB years ago.  Clearly, some didn't learn from that.  The takeaway has been to focus on goals instead.  What are we trying to achieve?  In this case, we want to end fossil fuel use while also reducing both carbon & smog emissions.  Toyota sees opportunity from offering a variety of solutions.  The importance of diversity is Business 101 fundamental.  Don't put all your eggs in one basket.  What would the problem be with a PHEV with a generous battery-pack that uses a E100 engine for backup?  It checks all the boxes needed to achieve those goals and reaches an audience unwilling or unable to go entirely BEV.  We all know PHEV help promote infrastructure upgrades and BEV sales.  We also know that legacy automaker plans usually don't pan out; most fall woefully short.  There's no accountability anyway.  Something to help promote transition, rather than forcing change, is another Business 101 fundamental.

3-17-2021

Acts of Desperation.  Confirmation of having correctly identified motive becomes obvious, the antagonist will just outright lie: "I will grant that they may have finally very recently started using LiIon batteries."  When called out, they'll keep on trying to spread lies: "...that really doesn't count for much of anything. 99% are still NiMH."  In the past, it was harder to get people to see how blatantly certain people will be dishonest.  But now with a former president who lied on a regular basis, that claim isn't such an extreme to imagine.  We lived through 4 years of it.  That validates 20 years of quotes I have been documenting with that same behavior.  Certain people just plain don't care.  Nonetheless, you have to confront them... even if you know the effort is futile.  The point is to make sure correct information is readily available.  Here is it to counter today's efforts to mislead & undermine:  Reality is, Toyota started using lithium batteries 9 years ago.  Prius PHV (plug-in model) and Prius+ (7-seat model) were what started the move away from NiMH.  Then at the end of 2015, rollout of the 4th generation switched all but the ECO model over.  Since then, we have seen other Toyota hybrids also phaseout NiMH.  Now stop spreading false information.

3-17-2021

Anger.  When you post that EV is electric-only driving, that there's nothing confusing or contradictory about that term, the response is anger.  The reason why is simple.  Antagonists hoped to changed the definition, but failed.  That label of "EV" basically represents anything offering a plug.  Both PHEV and BEV delivery such propulsion.  Ordinary consumers know it.  And once a term becomes mainstream, there's no real way to change it.  So, we get stuff like this instead: "...except the electricity in a PHEV comes from burning fossil sunshine."  Of course, that included the new use of profanity along with the usual superiority insults.  Predictably, the rant is to stir enablers.  I know that audience game quite well.  It doesn't work.  Facts end up exposing their antics.  That's why keeping the reply short is all that's necessary:  Both Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime run entirely on electricity until their plug-supplied EV capacity is used up.  The only exceptions are if you accelerate to faster than 84 mph (135 km/h) or use the heater when outside temperature is below 14°F (-10°C).  Who are you trying to convince that isn't true?

3-17-2021

Power Day.  This was VW's equivalent to Tesla's hype.  Fortunately, it seemed to go better.  This was a nice summary: "Battery-Day flopped, because it was overhyped and couldn't deliver on that hype.  Expectations were much lower for VW's Power-Day.  That explains the different reactions."  I was more than happy to jump in with some of my observations:  Over Promise, Under Deliver... taking a page out of GM's book isn't a good sign.  Success of Tesla has come from support of investors, early-adopters, and limited choice.  That's fine for development & refinement, but upon maturity their is an audience change.  The past was filled with enthusiast-targeted design, which saturated the market.  Reaching out to entice a new audience means much of that playbook will need to be rewritten; otherwise, sales growth won't happen.  In other words, both Tesla & GM sales have focused on types of conquest.  VW is trying to avoid that trap.  Kudos to them.  It won't be easy starting from a reputation of low reliability and environment indifference though.  That makes setting realistic expectations absolutely vital.  VW must be extremely clear with their dealers about what plans will be and send a clear message to potential customers about change.  Put another way, up to now has basically just been automakers on the track driving qualification laps.  Each demonstrating to the world their potential, but none of it mattering yet since actual race itself hasn't begun.  You'll know when that race begins.  It is when profitable sales take place without subsidies to ordinary consumers shopping the dealer's showroom floor.  In other words, the plug-in vehicles will be competing directly with traditional choices.

3-16-2021

Beyond Redemption.  I fired back yet again at that blatantly bias article to stress the point, as well as get the final word:  The premise of "beyond redemption" brings up a thought-worthy question.  How do ordinary consumers perceive the market?  AP published an article today that started with this opener: "The world's major automakers have made something abundantly clear: They believe electric vehicles will dominate their industry in the years ahead."  That's becoming a theme, a common message shared among a variety of news sources.  They all serve to wash away the original narrative of major legacy automakers, namely Toyota, as not wanting to produce plug-in vehicles.  When a mainstream shopper does some online searching, they stumble across plug-in offerings from Toyota.  RAV4 Prime provides clear evidence of having invested in technology development.  It's a real product for real people.  Whatever happened during the early-adopter phase is of no concern to them.  This audience naturally expects whatever conflict & challenges there were to be resolved by the time they begin to take interest.  That's how the masses see the market. It's just the normal course of product evolution, growing beyond whatever niche it started as.  There is no "sin" to be redeemed from their perspective.

3-16-2021

Motive.  Seeing the same behavior pattern is an expectation at this point.  Why is the person so willing to attack with outright lies... and now, with profanity.  Those who end up becoming hostile do that because they find themselves backed into a corner.  Their arguments no longer work.  So, they lash out anyway they can in a final desperate act to survive.  At some point, a reveal of what motivates them will emerge.  I watch for that post.  This morning, it was: "And phasing out "traditional" vehicles?  What a lovely term.  The new vehicles, whatever your greenwash term would be for them, all seem to have fossil fuel engines."  That sounded exactly like an antagonist I fought for years.  He would dismiss all hybrids.  Nothing with an engine was acceptable, period.  His absolute stance was ultimately his source of failure.  He ended up abandoning the blogs.  Being able to find compromise was not in his nature.  He couldn't handle having to meet in the middle.  His way or no way.  So, it was no way.  Anywho, this is how I handled today's troublemaker:  There it is, the motive.  Such a willingness to say anything tends to have a reason of purity.  Sure enough.  If it has a combustion engine, you just plain don't care.  That theme is common.  The person will dismiss everything.  If it uses any gas at all, it is unacceptable.  That close-mindedness is what enables those to retain the status quo.  They use that purity as rationale to not have to change yet, to justify waiting.  Thankfully, Toyota doesn't bow to such nonsense.  They have been pushing a new, easy to upgrade, profitable architecture.  This enabled the spread of hybrid tech across most of the fleet and dealers like to sell it.  This sets the stage for easy PHEV rollout, which we all know makes BEV sales a simple step to follow.  Too bad if you don't like that bottom-up approach.  Shooting the messenger with more lies and downplay architecture importance makes no difference.  That progress continues.  It is a means of getting dealers to change, a vital step other legacy automakers still struggle with.

 

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