Personal Log  #1068

April 25, 2021  -  April 30, 2021

Last Updated:  Sat. 5/22/2021

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4-30-2021 Taking Time.  There is the same group of individuals who reside on the big Prius forum, post on a regular basis, but provide nothing constructive.  They playing what appears to be the role of devil's advocate.  Lack of anything resulting from their claims is frustrating.  It is basically there for their own entertainment & validation.  For example: "Taking the time to do it right, is not the same as taking your time because you don't want to do it."  That makes sense.  The reasoning to follow was just a haphazard compare to Ford with an EV version of F-150 though with a cherry-picked insult: "It would be a shame to see Tacoma sales tank."  That was bait I was unwilling to bite; instead, I turned it right back on him:

How is that relevant to this discussion?  We have known for years the speed at which Toyota would be delivering BEV models.  It wasn't that far off of a schedule GM has been touting.  Remember all the who-ha about Bolt not even being profitable until late 2021 or did you conveniently forget about the "halo" effect GM has been exploiting in the meantime?  They played that same game with both Volt and Two-Mode.  Toyota doesn't do that.  They quietly develop & refine, then rollout in a subtle manner.  Prime models have operated with remarkable efficiency & reliability... without any praise.  Instead, there is ridicule for not pushing something for to capture the spotlight.

Toyota now has all the hardware components in place for a profitable rollout to the masses, while at the same time continuing to push battery chemistry.  Think about the consequences of locking into outdated cell production.  We clearly see how Tesla recognizes the benefit of improvement, hence their struggle with the tabbed approach.  They feel it is worth it and tells the world as such. Toyota doesn't promote that way.  Information & Intent is always scarce.  They simply ignore the rhetoric.

In other words, what gets said here (online forums) and claims from propaganda (misleading reports) are undermining efforts that don't survive the test of time.  Doing it right is what matters, regardless of antagonist spin.


Clueless Reporters.  This headline caught my attention: "A Very Simple Hybrid That Rivals The Cleanliness Of EVs Is Possible."  Needless to say, I was draw in.  What in the world could derive such a claim, especially after nearly 25 years of active hybrid designing.  Think about the Prius that never came to market, the assist type Toyota dropped in favor of the series-parallel.  There are many approaches.  All have been tried at this point.  So, how was there supposedly something new being offered?  I read with intrigue.  It ended up being a messy way of describing what we already now has been tried with mixed results... a SERIES type hybrid.  That doesn't work well, since the efficiency tradeoff is significant.  In fact, that is why GM also went with a series-parallel design for Volt instead.  The attempt we saw from BMW with i3 had an interesting twist.  It worked, but the tiny gas-tank and limited power very much made it an emergency backup.  Nissan's eNote has seen more success, but that could be due to its more subtle approach toward size & power.  Whatever the case, this was not journalism.  It was a hype article without blatant omissions of fact.  Ugh.  It worked though, over the past day 153 comments were posted.  People took the bait.  There was no "cleanliness" beyond hype around the supposed MPGe rating, which is only a reflection of energy consumption.  Neither form of emission (carbon or smog) was actually addressed.  And the comments about Volt being a SERIES hybrid...  Oy.  The false information spread about GM could come back to haunt them.  Overall, the posts were a testament to knowing audience.  Enthusiast claims are quite a disconnect from reality.  It's like watching our one political party fall apart.  They became dependent on rhetoric to such a degree that substance was eventually lost entirely.  They have no direction anymore, no shared purpose, no momentum.  What they believed in was eroded away overtime by allowing clueless reporters to control their message... exactly as we are seeing now with green vehicles.

4-30-2021 It Reveals... Short-Sighted.  There are certain individuals who will never acknowledge a mistake or recognize change.  They have a perpetual need to fight in a particular manner against a particular enemy.  When that fails to work, they struggle.  This was an attempt at damage-control from such a situation: "​​It shows that...  The car markets and politics are different now.  The US, with its independent dealers, isn't the growing market anymore."  That shows more of the context of my reason for the previous reply, allowing me to post more to further explain my observations.  And that's exactly what I did:

It reveals the short-sightedness of two audiences.  Shareholders looking for dividend & selloff profit are quite different from shareholders investing in the long-term.  Supporters seeking visibility & praise are quite different from supporters investing in the long-term.  See the pattern?  We have watching the market cycle 3 times now from... post 9/11... 2009 collapse... and previous administration.  So any reason from being at any specific stage now is very much a short-sighted excuse.

Toyota's approach is to build & deploy technology capable of weathering business, economic, and political fluctuations.  We have seen Prius so resilient to change, the system within has diversified to a wide variety of platform and now supports a plug.  We have witnessed many attempt to downplay & mislead about design, claiming Toyota never had those long-term plans in mind, that there is no long-term strategy for transitioning away from ICE offerings.

Now with Toyota's BEV plans becoming much more difficult to deny, those with the short-term mindset are struggling to remain relevant.  They are becoming aware of the elements of long-term survival that were neglected in their quest for a quick victory.  In other words, they sacrificed winning the war for the sake of declaring a successful battle.

Put another way, it doesn't show that.


How It Repeats.  This naive & complacent statement posted yesterday is what we saw before: "GM messed up, but the Volt was ages ago now. The car markets and politics are different now."  Substitute "Volt" for a variety of projects.  They are all the same.  It was a technology with opportunity missed.  Volt wasn't ages ago either.  It was just 2 and the opportunity still exists.  GM so easily could have adapted their plug-in hybrid system into a Trax or Equinox to deliver something similar to RAV4 Prime.  After all, they had a prototype ages ago.  Remember the Saturn planned for 2009?  Those that I constantly have to deal with are people who look forward to a fault.  They concentrate so much on the future, they neglect the present and mid-term.  It's the same old nonsense repeating.  Even when you point out the history, they don't care.  That attitude of dismissal is a major problem they continue to fail to recognize.  It's why I push from time to time, watching for the pattern.  Repetition should be obvious.  They don't see it though.  That is why there is no effort to prevent... which is how their belief about speed being essential become a foundational concept.  Taking the time to improve upon the process by making a clear effort to seek out opportunity is not considered important.  Recognize that?  It's what Toyota has become known for in the business world... continuous improvement, a well-proven approach these enthusiasts don't accept.  In fact, they absolutely refuse to acknowledge benefit in automotive manufacturing.  They see it as accounting nonsense.  Their failing is not embracing all the factors required to achieve sustainable profit.  They believe amazing engineering alone is all it takes.  They have been proven incorrect.  They will be again, thus how it repeats.


Missing The Point.  Another troublemaker jumped in, stated goals, then concluded with: "And what is needed is for companies/organizations to stop slowing down that progress."  Speed is the focus of enthusiasts.  That mindset of "faster is better" clouds judgment.  The concept of compromise has been given a stigma in their mind as unacceptable.  I come from a 30-year career of finding ways to improve upon past development.  I know how long projects can take and have much experience with refactor.  You learn how to produce something better and take the necessary steps to achieve it... even if that rework causes delay.  In the end, you deliver higher quality that is easier to support.  Not all the software engineers I work with like that though.  They seek the reward of delivery, meeting customer expectations... rather then trying to exceed them.  See the difference?  Unfortunately, we see that even just meeting them in the automotive world is a problem.  This is why the lack of accountability is so prevalent.  That's why I kept my reply brief.  He missed the point many in the past and will continue to.  It's quite bizarre how some don't deem the effort to improve important.  Ugh.  Oh well.  Here's what I had to say about it:  In other words, some have learned nothing from GM's rush to market with Volt followed by a refusal to adapt.  Taking the time to do it right is vital.


Fair Enough.  Every now and then, you actually win the battle.  He knew I wasn't going to give up and that I was well equipped to keep fighting.  So, with a "fair enough" response, he shifted arguments: "Toyota shareholders have legitimate questions when they wonder why their chosen company isn't leading the charge..."  The attempt was to get me hung up with audience and further away from content, since I was obviously well prepared for the topic of quantity.  I know a lot about audience too though, enough to keep that topic from wandering.  Here's how I dealt with that:  Such vague claims feed narratives.  Toyota shareholders tend to be long-term investors.  Their measure of leadership is quite a contrast to what we encounter routinely in forums like this.  In other words, what are the actual questions and who is asking?  It looks like a cherry-picked group is pushing an expectation supported by early-adopters, neither those the majority who own stock, nor those who will be buying or selling the actual vehicles.  Remember, true leadership comes from those able to change the masses.  Those who "charge" into opposition aren't necessarily leaders.


100 Percent.  They didn't care, go figure.  This was the nonsense I got in reply: "How is it that ..... "number of models" is a bad thing? .... "other automakers" are setting goals of 100% BEV - regardless of the # of models.  Volkswagen to go all electric by 2026.  That DOES speak volumes."  Antagonists, those enthusiasts hell-bent on supporting something you keep pointing out fundamental problems with, love to attack want you support with links to articles supposedly invalidating your posts.  Quite often, the substance within doesn't actually match the title.  They don't read it though and they know others won't either.  They only need something to refer to as a supposed authority in the matter.  That's the scam.  Nothing credit is needed.  No detail is required.  They simply want to win the debate.  I actually read it several times, looking for both the true message and context to support it.  My findings were quite a contrast to what was implied:  "Models" is nothing but usable platform deployment.  There is no volume or market statement.  There is no commitment or consequence.  There isn't even any accountability.  Reading for detail, we find "VW has said that 2026 will be the final year the group develops a combustion platform."  That means the title isn't really what it implies.  ICE production will continue on for at least a product-cycle, starting in 2026... which means another 5 years of use, minimum.  You don't invest, then abandon.  That platform will support final ICE models, what will become phaseout vehicles.  In short, that will be far from 100% in 2026.


10 Percent.  We're getting a lot of "models" talk again.  It's a way of misleading.  The message being pushed is that more is better, giving you the impression of choice.  In reality, the market you're in will only get a few models of the overall list and only a limited number will actually be produced.  Ironically, that is what antagonists are complaining about now with RAV4 Prime.  The call it a "compliance" vehicle.  They won't later for their vehicle of choice, regardless of why quantity is small.  The online world is filled with hype.  You have hunt for actual substance.  I found this article to counter some of the nonsense: "Toyota wants 10% of its sales in Europe to be electric cars by 2025."  Notice the title itself indicates a volume, not a model count.  That is a number you can measure.  Remember the rhetoric around Volt's release, how GM target 60,000 for the first year, then backed down to 30,000?  The big talk was being able to produce as many at 120,000 by the end of year-2 to meet demand.  Needless to say, things didn't go well.  Demand simply wasn't there.  That's why most automakers are squeamish about mention of any type of sales projection and instead promote models... without ever telling us what "model" actually represents.  It is quite remarkable how much of that goes on without question.  Enthusiasts spin whatever hope there is in those statements to hype.  It's the same old problem repeating.  Claims of being different now don't stand up to any type of validation.  Knowing that they won't care, I kept my reply to the on-going discussion brief:  That away from the article speaks volumes, quite literally.  Notice how other automakers are just promoting number of models, not anything with respect to how many actual vehicles.


Charge-Mode, When?  It is nice seeing more and more people ask about it, then get a constructive reply in return.  We're seeing the "empower" stage of rollout taking affect.  There are enough owners now that the new experience isn't what they are part of anymore.  Those who were able to make their purchase last year are discovering value in their observations, which they are more than happy to share.  It's a powerful means of market reach the enthusiast crowd still doesn't understand.  They don't recognize how great of a promotional impact that word-of-month transfer can have.  When an owner simply provides their experience & background for others to reply with feedback & questions, the next stage can be reached.  It empowers that owner to seriously consider their reply, getting them to mull over the anecdotal to uncover facts.  What is circumstance and what is by design?  Turns out, the use of Charge-Mode is an effect means of getting that critical-thinking process to take place.  Seeing it play out is evidence of progress.  Hooray!  That allows me to focus on other detail, letting the new owners teach newbies and the curious.  So, my replies on this are rather brief now:  It can be beneficial when you are on a trip, have no where to plug in, but still want to avoid engine warm-up from short trips.  In that circumstance, there can be overall better efficiency from using Charge-Mode on the highway for that generated electricity to be used later.


Speed To Market.  This was a great example of reflection: "It's the same game politicians use.  If you don't have something more wonderful to offer than the opponent - than all you've got for strategy is trashing the opponent."  It's quite bizarre for someone to complain about the very thing they do.  But that was yet another case of it playing out.  Somewhat befuddled by the lack of his awareness, I pointed out:  That's exactly what I mean about approach.  Notice all the attacks on Toyota which dwell on a past that no longer reflects what has happened since then?  They serve no purpose other than to trash the opponent.  Confirmation of that comes whenever I bring up Toyota's refinement to their motor, controller, and software.  Demonstrated by the Prime offerings now, to be shared later with BEV models, there is an immediate effort to divert attention to the supposed shortcomings of RAV4 Prime delivery.  It's quite hypocritical knowing Tesla, GM, Ford, and Mitsubishi all struggled with delivery to an even greater degree.  It reveals a fundamental problem with enthusiast perspective.  They don't show interest in learning from the past, taking time to force refactoring for a better end result.  They just want the new product delivered as fast as possible.  Toyota's approach addresses industry shortcomings, striving to improve along the way.  That fundamental priority difference is how they do business.  They simply don't care about speed-to-market rhetoric.

4-25-2021 No Where To Be Found.  This was a fascinating find.  Someone posted a link wondering why the rating for 2021 Prius Prime was so low.  I wondered too.  So, I researched it.  Here's what I found:

It is an elaborate effort to mislead, a claim without any substance.

Notice how the section provides a title: "Prius Prime Reliability" then a question: "Is the Toyota Prius Prime Reliable?" followed by an answer: "The 2021 Prius Prime has a predicted reliability score of 64 out of 100."  That seems legit until you notice the "Read more about reliability" link is in the wrong place, down in warranty section instead.  When you click it, nothing is actually provided for either.  All you get is a key showing that 64 rating is in the "Fair" category.  There is nothing whatsoever telling you why.

In both the main article and the more-info page, it mentions that score is based upon the J.D. Power scale, giving you the impression it is a measurement from J.D. Power itself.  But when you actually follow the "64/100 J.D. Power" link they provide, it only shows a list of all automakers.  You have to look up the vehicle to find detail.  Matching to the vehicle featured "2021 Toyota Prius Prime" of the article, it reveals "Not Yet Rated".  The same is true for 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017.

They send you on a wild-goose-chase, knowing most people will never go to that length to find out how that supposed "64" rating came about.  There is literally nothing to support it.  The claim is meritless.

Over the years, we have learned not to trust conclusions without data.  There are far too many wanting to undermine success, hoping you'll take whatever they say at face value.  Do the research.  See for yourself.  Reason to accept their claim is no where to be found.


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