Personal Log #1089
August 28, 2021 - August 29, 2021
Last Updated: Sun. 11/28/2021
page #1088 page #1090 BOOK INDEX
Electrifying Transportation. The article I read this evening was really good. It addressed a wide array of problems we must acknowledge and resolve. Decarbonizing liquid fuel set off a rant though. The first post there was an attack on hydrogen. That person wanted no part of it, despite the fact that it was focused on mid-size to heavy trucks for commercial use. Purists seeing BEV as the only solution is clearly becoming more of an issue. They don't care. So, I backed off and didn't even bother this time. It turned into a matter of taking notes for myself to use some other time. So, I did: Sales of Cars & Light Trucks from the chart here reflect a far more realistic expectation than the wildly optimistic predictions we get from enthusiasts. 15% sales by 2025. 40% sales by 2030. An abrupt shift to 100% by 2035. It's not ideal, but it can be backed by feasible plans rather than blind optimism. The biggest pill to swallow is the reality of infrastructure shortcomings. Regardless of how good intentions are or how desirable vehicles are, not having adequate locations to recharge is a very real problem that takes time to address. Looking at the PlugShare app, it's pretty easy to see that even living in the first Midwest state to adopt California rules (Minnesota recently joined) we have a very long way to go still. With so few public charging locations, reading comments posted about them not being well maintained is really disheartening.
Exhaustive Research. Studying what the enthusiasts have to say is interesting. That type of research requires exhaustive effort. You have to hit it from every angle to ensure nothing is being overlooked. After all, they are unknowingly playing devil's advocate. Where else could you get such comprehensive feedback? They try to spin situations in every way imaginable to defend their position. Weakness emerges after awhile. I watch for the pattern. The article from yesterday about "Gas Cars Are Declining Significantly & Full Electrics Rising In USA" provided good material for that. This is what appeared to be among the last of the attempt to pander with: "From your charts, it's easy to see why Toyota is criticizing EVs; they are making millions continuing to sell pollution." That's what enthusiasts want to hear. They don't like facing reality. After all, that type of research is exhausting. There's so much to learn about! Simply going along with whatever others are chanting is much easier. Unfortunately for them, I will keep posting exposition while making commentary on their own behavior, as I did here: Pointing out the situation *ALL* legacy automakers are in is not criticism, it's facing reality... a trait enthusiasts detest. Turning a blind-eye to GM and Ford ending production of cars to exclusively sell SUVs and Pickups was just fine, because they never said anything about BEV enthusiasts didn't want to hear. That's sad. What's most telling though is how many here are completely silent about RAV4 Prime, pretending it doesn't exist. Offering 42 miles of EV from a very desirable platform really messes up their anti-plug narrative. What's worse is the knowledge that bZ4X is expected to offer an EV range of at least 250 miles, will support CCS charging, will have AWD standard, and will come in a crossover body. Face reality. We will continue seeing strong demand to "sell pollution" for many years to come regardless of how well BEV sales grow. That's why the chart states them in using a magnitude smaller scale. Traditional vehicles will dominate roads for a long time to come. That's why PHEV can contribute greatly to using electricity more right away. In other words, you're seeing just a single tree in a very large forest.
Desired EVs Available. There's no way for me to resist this: "Industry transition laggards (looking at you Toyota) could post tragic losses going forward as customers simply flee to competing brands that do have desired EVs available." I doubt I will get any clarification about what that actually means, but queried regardless: Customers stay very loyal to whatever brand they are currently driving. For an BEV to be so compelling they switch, it would really have to stand out as offering something special their own brand does not. In other words, there is no basis for a "laggard" label to be applied. We see early-adopters taking advantage of tax-credit opportunities and niche buyers satisfying their desire for premium choices. Industry transition is when new technology reaches beyond that initial group. Automakers are not selling BEV to ordinary consumers yet. So claims of some foreseeable tragedy are really just exaggerated assumptions. As for calling out Toyota, that is a rather bold act of denial. We see how successful the Prime models have been. That is confirmation of all-electric driving implemented flawlessly. Notice how there hasn't been any concern whatsoever since rollout in late 2016? It's what establishes an expectation of a well thought out design for the upcoming BEV on their first dedicated platform. bZ4X looks like it will check quite a number of the boxes in the "desired" checklist for showroom shoppers. Tell us why you think that it will not. Tell us what "desired" should be.
Next Plug-In Purchase. The article today was a bit of stretch. It compared thousands of plug-in sales to millions of traditional sales. That's very misleading. It provides an assumption trap; nonetheless, the point of showing a trend was clear. That didn't make any difference though. Enthusiast enthusiasm is wearing thin. They don't find PHEV exciting and are starting to feel overwhelmed by fighting so many purist battles... a trend I'm finding quite interesting. Needless to say, this is providing opportunity for others to finally have a say. For example: "I'm limited to Level-1 charging as I don't have any room left on my service-panel, and, even if I did, I'd have to dig up my driveway to run a new dedicated feed from my home to the detached garage. That's why I'm resigned to a PHEV, as recharging overnight at 120-volts..." That was the opening I had been waiting for. Rather than drama, it was constructive comment. Sweet! So, I contributed this to the discussion: I like to ask what the BEV owners will do for their next plug-in purchase. The response tends to be a PHEV for that reason of limited power. For a second plug-in, it pretty much necessitates a dedicated line. It could be shared, but that would be a pain. We have two 40-amp lines, each with a EVSE... both of which qualified for a $500 rebate when enrolling in a Time-Of-Use discount program. I know each can provide roughly 200 miles of EV range in 8 hours. That firsthand knowledge is far more than any showroom shopper would ever have though... but something a BEV owner would be well aware of. Since the statistic is 80% of charging will take place at home, that's a really big deal. This topic of "full electrics rising" must address that very real issue of low-hanging fruit. Initial sales to early-adopters are easy. Expanding that to mainstream consumers and to the purchase of a second plug-in presents challenges many are unwilling to discuss.
Such Drama. You can't help but to be amused by such antics: "It would be suicidal for a vehicle maker to invest so much as one more minute or yen in combustion powertrain development. Place your bets and grab some popcorn." Enthusiasts thrive on excitement, which is why Toyota is targeted so often. Toyota represents the opposite... such a well planned approach, each step is quite predictable. I saw that nonsense I replied with: It is already extremely mature technology, where several generations of improvement have delivered impressive cost-reduction. There is nothing remaining to develop. We now see many hybrids from Toyota that are profitable and selling in high volume, so much so, 3 models now also offer a plug. Focus has shifted to battery refinement. In fact, if you want specifics, look up the manufacturing process itself. The modular platform called "TNGA" which Toyota rolled out starting with Prius in last 2015 has been spread across the entire fleet. Toyota is now moving on to "e-TNGA" specifically for BEV models. There are no bets to place anymore. The narrative of Toyota supposedly being behind is falling apart. Want some drama to watch, turn your attention to GM.
Complexity Downplay. There is a desperation to
prevent growth of PHEV interest. Back with Volt, the choice of a
cramped expensive car was so undesirable, it was easily dismissed.
RAV4 Prime changed that situation rather dramatically. The equation
for EV drive is quite simple. You get the model of vehicle you were
going to purchase anyway, but with a plug. That obviously scares the
crap out of purists. They don't like the idea of a world with mixed
solutions. That's why posts like this continue: "Normal hybrids
and plug-in hybrids were terrific technology. For 20 years
ago. Unfortunately they never caught on back then. Today they're way too
complicated and too expensive to manufacture and therefore obsolete."
That effort to downplay be claiming obsolete never ends. I find it a
solid confirmation of progress. They see the potential of PHEV to
catch on as a quick & easy sale, something dealers will embrace rather than
having to carry BEV exclusively. That absolute is being fought
intensely already. Despite Minnesota having adopted California rules
for the sake of making dealers provide choice, they are saying no one will
by them despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. That's why I
post responses like this for stubborn enthusiasts:
In short, that obsolete claim is false.
Going All In. It is a mantra without substance. We hear it continuously, to the point becoming rhetoric... meaningless. Supposedly, all an automaker must do to quality is just make a declaration. There's no timeline, milestones, or accountability. It is literally just saying what they want to hear. Ugh. The brainless nature of such behavior is troubling. But I know that audience. I am well aware of their short-sightedness and belief in a one-solution-for-all approach. The world is not that simple. Complexity is fine. There is diversity to address. This is why we have 50 states, each with their own government, rather than just one governing body for the entire country. Yet, many don't recognize the importance of that, the significance & power of offering choice. Anywho, I dealt with today's nonsense this way: Spoken like so many other enthusiasts, words that have little to no impact on mainstream sales. That binary mindset of "going all in on EVs and all out of ICE" is actually what impedes progress. Ordinary consumers don't share that belief of necessary and will fight in every way possible to resist. That naivety is your weakness. The problem is exacerbated by claims just like what you posted above: "The best, VW, is aiming for 1M by 2025 and only 40% of their sales, maybe 3.5M by 2030. Add both those numbers together and that is less than what Tesla will be doing by 2024." That simply doesn't add up. How could Tesla possibly go from 0.5M sales annually now to 4.5M in just 3 years? That would require the rollout of at least 3 new high-volume vehicles in the meantime. Tesla doesn't even have a vehicle priced to target mainstream consumers yet. In other words, you aren't taking the situation seriously. Change is far more difficult than just hoping for the best and showing people what they want to see. Most of the truly revolutionary effort goes completely unnoticed. It's subtle. It's boring. It's slow. Enthusiasts hate that. But that is exactly what showroom shoppers seek. This is why Toyota pretty much ignores what early-adopters insist should be done. Know your audience.
Attacking Toyota. He claimed he wasn't, yet posted a series of comments like: "Toyota will be on a steep and rapid decline starting in the next couple of years." and "Toyota bet the farm on hybrids and hydrogen and lost." Those are not statements of fact when conjecture is included. Knowing this would be the outcome (enthusiasts of this type are so predictable), I was already prepared to respond with: The next couple years will be quite the opposite of what you claim. Toyota plans to offer 15 battery-electric vehicles by 2025. Details about their first BEV with a dedicated platform, to build upon the PHEV, FCEV, and BEV experience already gained, will be revealed in a few months. That's more progress forward, not in any way a decline no matter how you spin it. We already know that upcoming BEV model... bZ4X ...will be followed by several others all based upon Toyota's new modular e-TNGA platform. In fact, trademarks for the following names were filed late last year for the upcoming brand: bZ, bZ1X, bZ2, bZ2X, bZ3, bZ3X, bZ4, bZ4X, bZ5, bZ5X. Worldwide delivery of that first is expected mid-2022. In never ceases to amaze me the lengths some people take to attempt to mislead about Toyota. With more evidence contradicting claims of doom, it makes you wonder what the motivation is to spread false information like that.
Desperate to Hide. Repeating lies over and over again only achieve so much. Impeding progress is a multi-front effort. Watch for signs from every possible angle. Purity is a frontal attack. If the vehicle has an engine, it is anti-EV, period. The reality that RAV4 Prime and Prius Prime deliver all-electric driving is something BEV-only supporters do everything possible to hide. There's no real denial anymore. They just pretend it doesn't even exist. There's downplay of "hybrid" with the hope of the entire realms of engine/motor designs will perceived as a single category. It's a solid confirmation of being desperate. They deny there is even such a possibility. Of course, you have to understand the "who" part. The audience is that of one seeking a magic-bullet. Consider the most recent response to Covid-19. People are taking a drug used for deworming horses & cows. In smaller doses, it can be used on humans for treatment of lice... which has nothing whatsoever to do with a respiratory virus. Yet, some are desperately seeking out some magic solution. Facing the reality of this being an on-going challenge, with progressive vaccine treatments, is too much to accept. There is one-step fix. Achieving purity can take decades. Hiding steps along the way to embrace what clearly isn't an answer is desperate. Ugh. I responded to what became an tit-for-tat exchange with what I hope will end this particular thread: Rhetoric to stir a narrative of misrepresentation is the final act of desperation from those who needed a scapegoat. The claim of "anything with an ICE engine in it" is a blatant attempt to hide the fact that Toyota has been producing & selling EV drive since late 2016 to ordinary consumers. That was when Toyota's second-generation PHEV system was rolled out. The design was so successful, it was rolled out to another platform... which has been selling remarkably well. Put another way, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Those owners have experienced a plug-in delivering full EV drive from Toyota. No matter what kind of nonsense you spin, they couldn't care less... nor should they.