Prius Personal Log  #1066

April 14, 2021  -  April 18, 2021

Last Updated:  Fri. 5/21/2021

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4-18-2021 Toyota bZ4X.  We got the big reveal.  Exactly as anticipated, there was a large number of antagonist nonsense.  After all, any type of acknowledgement on their part sounds like an admission of being wrong.  Can't have any of that.  Ugh.  I didn't bother responding to any of that; instead, I posted the following for perspective:

With the embargo lifted and Beyond Zero information being shared, the effort to misrepresent Toyota will ramp up.  It's inevitable that some work hard to reinforce their narrative, now that much of it has been debunked... especially with regard to the bigger picture.  Here's some more Toyota facts to intercept those deceptive efforts:

22% decrease of CO2 from 2010 to 2019

17 million HEV sold so far

45 models of HEV
4 models of PHEV
4 models of BEV
2 models of FCEV

FC system designed for commercial vehicles, trains, boats

e-TNGA is their platform specifically developed for BEV.

4-17-2021

Profit, Not Green.  The sense of growing desperation is easy to spot: "Toyota is not the 'green' car company it used to be.  They once were an environmentally driven company.  Now it seems to be entirely about profit (and only short term profit at that, considering the direction the automotive marketplace is moving)."  I suspect we only have to wait until tomorrow, that there's an embargo holding back a flood of new information... and the antagonists fear what is to come.  With the big auto show in China starting soon an the time difference here, it shouldn't be long.  Something like that usually means now spin and more moving of goal posts.  But at some point, enthusiasts discover they don't have anything left to argue with.  Ultimately, then end up backing themselves into a corner.  Watching that play out with Volt was fascinating.  They systematically exhausted every possible excuse, to where reasoning no longer made any sense.  They ended up looking like an animal doing everything possible to escape an inevitable death.  They were defeated and the only option left was admitting to failure.  That's why so many vanish in the final days.  I suspect the same will happen soon with this too.  We'll get news they simply won't be able to twist or distort into something to reinforce their narrative.  Fight will turn into flight.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime:  Toyota has been working hard to convert their entire passenger fleet to the new TNGA platform, paving way for the next stage: e-TNGA.  That's a long-term investment toward vehicles that are not only profitable, they are also environmentally friendly.  RAV4 Prime demonstrates the well-proven tech in Prius Prime transfers over extremely well to a larger, more powerful offering.  Toyota is spreading that experience, taking their time to do it right.  They are delivering reliability & profitability with a simple path to a plug.  As for a motivation of entirely profit and short-term, such a narrative is contradicted by Toyota's pursuit of a variety of green solutions.  We see PHEV for this major turbulent transition to plug-ins.  We see their upcoming line of BEV vehicles under the new "BZ" brand.  And we see FCEV for commercial & fleet transportation.  Such a diverse investment of several technologies is quite the opposite.  It is confirmation of long-term motive.

4-17-2021 More At Play.  Someone over in the UK asked about the difference between the plug-in model of Prius and the "self-charging" model.  He was told by a dealer there were 2 battery-packs and was left totally confused.  When you are told something contradictory to what you had learned so far, how do you get answers to new questions?  That's easy online from our big forum, just ask.  Right away, he got feedback about that information being "WRONG" and "I think they think it's their job to confuse people."  That was intriguing.  It provided me with an opening to present a perspective most having not considered yet.  It takes years and years of study to become aware that there is more at play than what the enthusiasts lead you to believe.  The situation is complex and the problems very challenging.  The overly simplistic perspective of early-adopters tends to convey a sense of quick-to-fix solutions.  Reality isn't that way.  This is how they end up becoming antagonists, frustrated when proven there actually is more at play.  This is how I provide my introduction to the topic:
Ironically, a motive in the not-so-obvious problem of dealing with dealers was the "self-charging" campaign.  Toyota is a legacy automaker faced with a lot of opposition from their own primary customers... those who order inventory to sell to consumers... their own dealers.  You find out who is supportive and who will resist by testing the waters early with a passive message they must address.  For the dealers who correctly inform shoppers, they will reap the benefits of this upcoming paradigm-shift.  Those who do not will either have to learn quickly or suffer from holding onto a past slipping away.

For our poster who started this topic, here in the United States we are about to face an interesting transition.  Mandates to end sales of vehicles with ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) will push legacy automakers in a direction most are unprepared for. Each has some type of introduction underway and has plans to ramp up component production, but that's only with select vehicles.  Spread of change across the entire passenger fleet rapidly is only something Toyota has been preparing for.  They can shift from hybrid to plug-in hybrid relatively easily.  The technology is already in place. It's really only a matter of platform alterations for increased battery-capacity, something RAV4 Prime has demonstrated well.

See, it's not a mandate/ban for 2030 (which Washington State is currently pursuing) that's the real problem, it's the panic that leads up to it.  Resale values of ICE vehicles will drop like a rock when gas demand & subsidies drop.  You won't want to be stuck with something expensive to fuel and difficult to sell.  A plug-in hybrid with enough capacity to cover most daily driving is entirely different beast though.  People will be able to switch from one world to the next with very little risk.  That's a high-desirable trait for a long-term expense, like a vehicle.

You think getting a test-drive is difficult now?  Watch what happens when awareness of the inevitable stirs among ordinary consumers, when they come to realize the purchase of an ICE isn't such a wise idea anymore.  No one wants to get stuck with ownership of something about to become obsolete.  Having a plug & engine will become a very good idea while we wait for battery-only vehicle prices to become affordable and public charging-stations to become common.

4-16-2021

Ready.  Speaking of commitment: "I'll buy an electric when Toyota puts one on sale here.  I know it will be ready."  It was yet another vague impression of agreement.  That was among the final thoughts in that topic about the supposed survey which had been discussed for the past few days.  Toyota was the top legacy automaker listed for likelihood of BEV purchase.  People seem to trust Toyota more than others for new technology too.  The reason why should be obvious.  Those vehicles they sell are built to last, very well thought out design that has been proven over time.  This is why the motor & battery experience gained from the 2012 Prius PHV carried over so well to the 2021 RAV4 Prime.  It was actually knowledge gained from the hybrids prior to that, continually being refined with each generational rollout.  People don't pay attention to the detail, but know it happens.  This is why the vague impression is a double-edge sword.  It hurts those who have not earned trust but hurts others for those who have.  That's what being ready is all about.  In other words, don't look at the sword.  Look at who is holding it.  That's how you understand what "ready" actually refers to.  I put it this way:  Commutes in my Toyota have been entirely electric for over 4 years now.  That tech used in Prime models is the same as what will be used in BEV models.  The only difference is a larger battery-pack in place of the gas-engine.  All the hardware for EV propulsion is already in place.  Cabin warming & cooling is with a heat-pump.  The electric-only components are well proven... so much so, the first BEV from Toyota in Europe is now being rolled out.  When we get one here, the "ready" will be obvious... as the survey results provide a glimpse of.

4-15-2021

Commit.  This is yet another of textbook efforts from an antagonist: "When Toyota commits to EV, it is game over.  Watch Volkswagen/Audi closely.  It is happening."  The expectation is that it gives the impression of agreement.  In reality, it is so vague there is nothing with any accountability.  They do that to manipulate lurkers, who later end up becoming enablers.  The pattern becomes very easy to see after awhile.  I remember readily recognizing the signs as Volt rollout approached.  Supposed goals were difficult to actually identify at that point and anyone who had a word in the project was gone.  There was nothing to account for.  That's a huge red flag.  What was the purpose at that point?  How was Volt to change the market?  Who was it targeting?  A ton of unanswered questions suddenly become major barriers.  What exactly had GM actually committed to?  I posted this to today's nonsense:  It won't ever actually "happen" though.  There is no clear measure to define "commit" with such a topic.  Look at other industry change for a meaningful mark of when their paradigm-shifts took place and how.  You'll find a muddled mess of events and timelines.  The perspective of progress varies depending upon the source of information too.  An good example of game over is trying to identify when "peak oil" actually takes place who are the participants.  From the long-standing perspective of profit, the definition of peak is when stability is lost.  Decades of predictable revenue got up-ended permanently when $4 gas became a reality.  Since then, the bottom has dropped out and nothing about supply or demand is dependable anymore.  In other word, the long time belief that "peak oil" would be identified as when supply began to shrink isn't how things played out.  You'll discover the same type of mismatch of expectations with plug-in vehicles.  Many here believe it will be based upon the technology itself, proving it worthy.  Evidence to the contrary has already become too abundant to dismiss; yet, some certainly try.  The denial about what forces will make the "commit" a barrier to still overcome runs quite deep.

4-15-2021 Problem Solving, dismissal part 3.  That survey clearly irritated antagonists.  They are really facing issues trying to effectively undermine.  Their messaging is getting old and many of the talking points simply don't have merit anymore.  Even attacking those pointing out that behavior aren't getting the type of hostile pushback I had to deal with in the past.  It's much more subdued.  This was especially interesting: "I am not being disingenuous, I only try to demonstrate his lunacy in claiming HEV, FCEV and PHEV not being EVs."  It came at the end of a long series of posts where they just couldn't win any type of argument.  Their dismissal is becoming ineffective.  I joined in as an ally with: 

It was a very effective means of exposing priorities.  There are some who thrive on the narrative of Toyota never delivering anything.  As a result of new offerings, they reveal being more and more desperate to feed it.

In this thread, we see good examples of that desperation playing out.  UX300e is a BEV offering 54.3 kWh battery-capacity.  It is a true "EV" in every regard, by their own definition.  So, they move the goal-posts from Toyota never producing any EV, to saying it must be offered here too.  Then of course, there's RAV4 Prime.  It delivers 42 miles of electric-only driving, which is enough to provide "EV" for daily use.  They move the goal-posts for that too, claiming limited quantity & distribution.

Reality is, 2020 was a rough year for automakers and 2021 isn't any better.  Despite that, Toyota did its best to maintain rollout schedules.  Both a BEV and new PHEV were delivered.  So what if the process is slow during a pandemic.  It breaks their narrative.

Adding fuel to the fire is the BZ reveal at the start of next week.  They'll do everything possible to spin the situation.  We all know it is really an effort to distract from other legacy automaker challenges.  We still see GM & Ford struggling with how to deliver something affordable profitable for the masses.  We also see VW struggling to stir customers interest with unproven reliability.

Notice how Toyota has already figured out profitability and reliability with their PHEV offerings?  Think about what that will do for upcoming BEV.  Ordinary consumers have, hence their responses to the survey.

4-14-2021

Spreading Doubt.  Instead of being an individual who raises doubt, you can simply be one who spreads it.  Passing along of a sense of uncertainty is not critical thinking.  Notice how the following statement contributes to such an outlook: "I doubt that the US will discourage PHEV sales when BEV sales are still so tiny.  Hybrid tech is the only way to get MPG to where the Biden administration wants it.  But I don't see a scenario where PHEVs become popular with people who would otherwise buy a conventional gas car, either."  You end up feeding the narrative of others by saying "tiny" and "tech" while failing to acknowledge recent change.  It's a common problem.  We see that type of group-think all the time.  I replied with:  Take a look at what's happening with RAV4 Prime.  Some of the owners, who absolutely love their new plug-in, have literally no clue how it works nor do they care.  They trusted Toyota and liked the simplicity.  An automaker who successfully reaches their customers is a winning formula. 42 miles is enough EV to cover daily driving needs.  It can be fully recharged overnight using nothing but a 120-volt outlet.  It has AWD and can tow. It has a large, comfortable interior.  Its comes in a style ordinary people desire.  And like you eluded to, it's about dramatic reduction of emissions & consumption.  BEV is not necessary to achieve that.  Encouraging the masses to switch over to nightly charging sets the stage for BEV being the next household purchase anyway.  So the key is, to ensure the PHEV being offered meet a minimum criteria to help push the process along.  Think about the stage that follows... removing subsidies for oil.  When gas prices climb, there's strong incentive to ensure plugging in happens every night.

4-14-2021

Problem Solving, dismissal part 2.  I finally got back a response to the alternative proposed, following personal remarks about teaching moments: "Your 'solution' is an total and utter fail."  It was an experiment on my part to find out just how stubborn certain people can be if you make anything about what they say personal.  The reality that a subsidy for vehicle purchase is mutually exclusive to a subsidy for electricity use didn't matter.  They have nothing to do with each other, completely independent approaches with no expectation of dependent outcomes.  In other words, he simply didn't want to address the fact that multiple solutions are available and only 1 had been attempted.  Both the market itself and the choices available have changed too.  So even trying the same proposed solution again, later after much has changed, means the outcome could be different.  What we are seeing is "superiority" being replaced by "purity".  They dismiss what isn't liked.  Whether it is viable or not.  If it doesn't support their problem solving narrative, it isn't a solution.

4-14-2021

Fake News.  There is an online resource now that has turned into a popular website for propaganda.  Yes, it has devolved into a fake news attraction for enthusiasts, thriving on click-bait articles.  There's on particular writer who very effectively stirs the pot too.  Today, he posted this at the end of his opening paragraph: "...the second place will surprise you: it was Toyota, a car company with no EVs for sale in the US."  It came from a survey which discovered that 52 percent of 1,097 car owners in the US consider buying an electric car in the next ten years.  Think about that for a moment.  We are still 5 days from Toyota's first reveal of their upcoming BZ offerings.  So without anything specific to Toyota itself, those individuals are already swayed.  Of course, we have no clue who was actually surveyed.  But that's not how click-bait works.  I jumped into the discussion with:  Know your audience.  That is not a surprise.  This survey asks mainstream consumers about what they expect, later when they make a purchase decision.  These are ordinary people who shop the showroom floor, looking for something to strike their interest.  It's a draw based upon what they observe and can relate to.  That's quite the opposite of what GM did, who asked Volt owners how to make Volt more appealing to them.  Asking enthusiast what they want is a textbook example of exactly what not to do.  It is how the problem of Innovator's Dilemma comes about... which is how Volt died.  People see the plug offered on RAV4.  They couldn't care less about the semantics of whether that electric-only driving is labeled as "EV" for PHEV or if that is exclusive to BEV. T hey simply ask the question of how many miles it will drive per recharge and if they require anything beyond a 120-volt outlet to plug it in.  Toyota is at the top of legacy automaker reliability reputation because that honor has been earned.  Prius Prime is now 4.5 years old.  People see how well that design of battery-to-motor has been implemented.  It has delivered flawless execution of EV driving, with to-the-floor electric-only acceleration.  That is what they will want to purchase.  Again, know your audience.

 

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