Personal Log  #1107

November 7, 2021  -  November 13, 2021

Last Updated:  Sun. 11/28/2021

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No Merit.  Attempts by antagonists are really starting to ramp up.  The nature of success for "over promise, under deliver" is very easy to play into.  Those being pushed for change simply say they are going to change.  That's it.  Enthusiasts are dumb enough to take them at their word.  Ugh.  I can't believe how well that works.  In general, people are stupid.  They just accept without question.  When there is question, an antagonists will inevitably intercept to divert attention.  Today, it was just another post about Mirai as if that was the only solution Toyota was pursuing.  Multiple solutions for our complex world is unacceptable in their overly-simplistic portrayal of reality.  Needless to say, I jumped in right away with retort:  Such a desperate effort to divert attention away from Toyota's plan for BEV rollout is telling.  Diversity of product is good business.  Those fuel-cells will be used primarily for commercial transport.  Some also used for personal transport is benefit of flexible design.  bZ4X will initiate the new "bZ" brand for Toyota's dedicated-platform BEV.  It will be followed by 6 other models for that brand.  8 additional models will be under the current Toyota/Lexus with a traditional approach.  That is 15 upcoming BEV by 2025 that you are refusing to acknowledge.  In other words, the narrative is falling apart.  Toyota's refusal to play the empty-promise game shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  We have seen pledges fall apart many times now.  Lack of accountability and absence of penalty is a sign of no merit.


Progress.  This was an invitation for me to join in on the soapbox: "It's pretty closed minded to think people in those countries can afford the same Teslas people in North America and Europe can."  Some of us are growing tired of the misrepresentation.  What happens here won't apply to most of the rest of the world.  Treating everyone as if they had abundant resources to squander is beyond the pale.  It see it over and over.  The same old "vastly superior" attitude is back.  Facts be damned.  Ugh.  From that nonsense, I did indeed climb up on the soapbox:  Some are naive about circumstances of different markets.  (The devil is in the detail.)  When you look at choices in China, you see a far greater variety than what we are ever exposed to.  What stands as a top-seller is a BEV (Wuling HongGuang Mini EV) that starts at $4,200.  But with only 17.4 hp and a top-speed of 62 mph, you don't even have to know the vehicle size or range to recognize that it wouldn't be of any appeal in this market.  It works fine there though and demonstrates potential for something with much lower specs here.  That close-mindedness comes from thinking we are further along than we actually are.  Sales are mostly to enthusiasts still... low-hanging fruit.  The more difficult audience of ordinary showroom shoppers remains a challenge.  The newest subsidies are a solid confirm of the market not being able to sustain itself yet.  We need affordable choices.  bZ4X will help pave the way for bZ3 and bZ2.  Put another way, the attitude comes from those not being realistic.  Progress is slow.  Progress is hard.  Progress is disenchanting.  It's still progress though.


Pledges.  All I can say is ugh.  A friend stated it this way: "The pledge is a symbolic step, but really is a smokescreen to distract from the hard decisions that have to made."  That came about as a result of a few countries and a few automakers agreeing to the end of ICE support.  No more production.  No more new sales.  How that will be accomplished and how progress will be measured is never mentioned.  That is a formula for failure.  You cannot just set a vague goal without any provisions or milestones.  It is a hope-for-the-best approach with no support or accountability.  Again, ugh.  I added to that with:  It's a sad reality.  We have that on the other end too... symbolic BEV rollouts.  GM played the game for over a decade.  There was no next-step for either Volt or Bolt.  Neither targeted their own loyal customers or did anything to bring about change at their dealers.  Ford took an entirely different approach, but there is nothing obligating them to do more than offer F-150 Lightning in low volume.  Token gestures like that should be a warning.  Notice how VW has no intention of offering ID.3 here and how Tesla is still years away from an small vehicle offering?  People claim that Toyota is kicking & screaming, yet we see the stage being set for RAV4 Prime and a smaller choice (likely a Corolla Cross Prime) along with bZ4X and at least 2 smaller choices (bZ3 and bZ2).  No pledge.  No promise.  No hype.  Just progress.  It would be great for things to just happen.  There is no direction though, no clear messaging.  That's why the push forward with hybrids continued.  Toyota's design makes it easy to add a plug and remain profitable.  Ironically, the mocked "stop gap" approach is actually what we need to move naysayers forward.  There's far too many excuses to not purchase a BEV that don't apply to an all-electric capable PHEV.  Who making a 2040 pledge now will be held accountable then for failing to deliver?


From A Friend.  I got this: "Good thing they never noticed Tesla had the same problem and solved it."  I recognize his perspective.  He's growing impatient.  Having been retired for a number of years now, being widowed and well off, he's been enjoying the transition from Toyota to BMW plug-in to Tesla.  Knowing that, such a stance is quite understandable... but it isn't realistic.  I see the massive challenge we face with those here who live in apartments or condos.  I also see how much of a problem it will be for those who live in older neighborhoods with limited electricity options.  It's going to be expensive.  For some reason, he doesn't recognize that; instead, we got a new discussion topic with a link to an article which Toyota refers to a large part of the world not being ready.  To that, I posted:  Toyota is correct.  With regard to infrastructure, my travel to Tanzania last summer made that overwhelmingly clear.  The roads there were dominated by Toyota cars.  Electricity was a luxury.  They couldn't embrace plug-ins quickly even if they wanted to.  Here, we have the capability but not the desire.  I live in a thriving area with lots of new construction; we are now a CARB state too.  Yet, support for recharging is almost never addressed.  With regard to technology, the awakening of NCA and NMC shortcomings should become apparent soon to those who weren't paying attention.  Only now are those who pushed hard for large-scale battery production are having second thoughts about having bet an uncompetitive chemistry, nothing even related to solid-state.  Dependency upon Cobalt & Nickel is already starting to look like a liability on several fronts.  In other words, all the mocking of Toyota was really just rhetoric from enthusiasts. Early-Adopters were correct about the future of passengers vehicles but didn't understand obstacles the industry still faces.  We will soon see well thought out BEV design from Toyota on roads in small parts of the world that are ready.  But when you look at the bigger picture, there is much to still address elsewhere.  That's what is meant by "know your audience".  Think about their background, their circumstances, their resources.  Like it or not, Toyota is pushing diverse offerings because they do know.  We'll get our plug-ins.  For those who won't be able to for a long time still, they'll have choices that are clean and don't consume fossil-fuels.


His Response.  It was quite disappointing.  Having written an article, I was hoping for something journalistic in nature.  Instead, it was just selective blindness: "Prius is not a BEV.  It has an ICE."  That belief of absolutes being the only solution is quite prevalent.  Simplicity to solve several complex problems doesn't work.  Our world has an abundant collection of examples confirming that.  Needless to say, I was happy to highlight his error:  Prius Prime is an EV, so is RAV4 Prime.  Why do you continue to ignore them?  So what if both have an ICE for when the plug-supplied electricity is depleted.  The point is most owner's ordinary driving is all-electric, exactly like a BEV... which is the point this article doesn't address.  Toyota knows the market and their audience well.  Legacy automakers won't be able to convert their fleet to all-electric by 2030.  No one wants to be upfront about that, except Toyota... who doesn't seek attention from low-hanging fruit sales.  They focus on their core customer, working on that more difficult sales instead.  I understand your perspective from Australia, but that isn't representative of all Toyota markets.  I live in Minnesota, the first state in the Midwest of the United States to adopt California rules.  So, I'm well informed about the pushback/resistance issues.  I also spent some time in Tanzania last June, a country in Africa where Toyota dominates.  Markets like that provide a lot of insight with respect to legacy transition.  In short, we have PHEV from Toyota that already deliver all-electric driving... Prius... RAV4... and an expectation for Corolla Cross.  That is "electrification" not being acknowledged.  True, they have an ICE, but they also have PLUG.  They behave exactly like a BEV... electric propulsion... electric cabin heating & cooling... enough EV capacity to cover the daily commute.


From Australia.  There was an article published yesterday from a writer in Australia, supposedly about the problems with Toyota from a worldwide perspective.  When you read into though, there was a lot of resentment from his country.  That wasn't obvious to readers.  It would have just been a rant too, if it wasn't for the fact that he actively participates in the comments.  Getting replies like that is wonderful.  Feedback from those exchanges can be great.  So, I poked at his analogy: "Remember Kodak .... they invented the digital camera.  Toyota started the electrification revolution with the Prius.  Then they stopped ....just like Kodak."  That seemed worthwhile to respond to.  This is what I posted:  They didn't stop.  That's a narrative from naysayers.  42 miles of EV... all-electric driving, which includes a heat-pump, liquid-cooling, and AWD... from RAV4 Prime overwhelming confirms Toyota continued advancing toward a dedicated-platform BEV.  They already delivered the CH-R and UX300e converted models of BEV too.  It's just a matter of incorporating that same technology... which is proving to be rock solid... into bZ4X, then bZ3 and bZ2.  It comes as a surprise to people when they discover just how much EV drive Toyota has already delivered.  Analogies to Kodak don't fit.


More Rant Articles.  That narrative of Toyota resistance is easy to feed if you cherry-pick.  Building upon misinformation makes it even more of an enticement to continue reading & watching.  So, we have been getting a lot of that lately.  Media thrives on it.  We get nonsense published like this as a result: "The buzzword is "Electrified Vehicles" and the headline describes "Hybrid electric, Plug-in hybrid electric and Fuel cell electric"... no sign of BEV, which remains a forbidden word although there is mention of Toyota bZ4X Concept planned for mid-2022 release (without explaining on the website what its powertrain is)."  I found that quite amusing, since it was so easy to disprove.  People thrive on empty promises, those long-term pledges there's no way to keep and no accountability if you don't.  Without consequence, it's just telling people what they want to hear without the need to actually commit.  Anywho, in only took a matter of seconds to come up with my rebuttal:  "Introducing the Toyota bZ4X Concept.  An all-new, all-electric way of thinking to help bring us closer to a cleaner, more sustainable future."  That's what is on Toyota's website under bZ4X when you click the "Upcoming Vehicles" link.  How much more of a powertrain explanation is needed?  Put it this way, Toyota knows their audience.  It's their customers they place priority on, not short-term stockholders.  Those in for the long-term understand how Toyota doesn't reveal their cards until the time is right.  Playing the game of "all in" simply isn't part of their culture, so they don't.  Those who do are baffled by such a strategy, despite the success history of exactly that.  We see Toyota now preparing to rollout the first of 7 dedicated-platform BEV offerings.  They will leverage the EV drive system already in use for years around the world.  Whether or not that experience gained from PHEV and FCEV is known to ordinary consumers isn't important.  They don't care about process.  They only want results... which is what we'll see in those bZ vehicles.  Like all innovation from Toyota, patience is required.  Speed to market is not as important as quality from a well thought out and tested technology.


No Debate.  A common practice for antagonists is to introduce a question about something that isn't actually a problem: "But my question related to Toyota is this: How can they have that discussion when they are still debating EV or ICE?"  That is called a red-herring.  They want to you to follow their question.  It portrays a sense of objectivity.  In reality, it is a diversion.  The goal is to get you to lose focus.  By no longer paying attention, an expectation of confusion from being mislead is hoped for.  Online exchanges make that outcome very easy.  We've seen this play out even within the context of plug-in support.  From both Volt & Bolt, the debate was directed elsewhere so what was happening with the rest of GM would be overlooked.  Arguments would go on and on about topics that were not important.  Seeing that happen elsewhere is easy as a result of witnessing that past repeat so often.  Try it yourself sometime.  Ask about transition.  Efforts to prevent any type of "next step" reply will almost immediately emerge.  They like to debate.  Don't let them.  Post facts and move on.  That's why I produced that collection of highly detailed videos.  That level of depth is such an easy to understand format brought a number of heated topic debates to an end.  Phew!  Unfortunately, there are always new attempts from antagonists.  This was today's attempt to deal with their nonsense:  They are not having such a debate.  It's those feeding a narrative that are.  Toyota has already delivered 4 different EV offerings... all-electric drive from Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime... and BEV converts for CH-R and UX300e.  Each already has a plug and already drives entirely with electricity.  That fact that the 2 plug-in hybrids also have a gas-engine for when the battery-pack is depleted is a red-herring.  The point is all of that contributed heavily to the upcoming line of bZ vehicles (Toyota's new sub-brand), starting with bZ4X.  That's a solid transition plan already playing out that everyone is turning a blind-eye toward.


Not LFP.  There hasn't really been anything beyond outcome expectations and patent expirations to clue us into what type of battery Toyota will actually use in bZ4X.  It really doesn't matter.  I pointed out why, based on my own anecdotal observations so far:  We are all familiar with how Toyota is strategic and doesn't bother with tactical maneuvers like other automakers.  They have their own approach, their own timeline, and their own goals.  Some other new chemistry with similar attributes is quite realistic.  Change is coming.  Those that still believe the playbook will be the same are in for quite a surprise.  It's a new game... the equivalent of practicing a lot at playing checkers, then going to a tournament to compete in chess.  Think about what truly matters.


Endless Attacks.  This is the response I got to the 5 years later reply: "Spoken like a person who has thrown in the towel on 2 key metrics, well one really.... performance.  EVs out perform ICEs and PHEVs on every metric, including cost of ownership."  They judge based on their rules.  Remember how "EV market" was always the focus?  They cherry-picked their audience, their circumstances, their timeline.  So naturally, the outcome was anticipated & controlled.  What they are about to face is quite different and they are woefully unaware & unprepared.  I put it this way:  There is no towel to throw in.  Ordinary consumers don't share the same priorities as enthusiasts.  What you call "performance", they call "too expensive".  Many don't even consider cost-of-ownership as a factor of the decision process.  They look at monthly payments instead.  In that regard, we are about to see a wave of cheap BEV models from China... something Tesla is clearly unprepared to address still.  With the starting price of the cheapest Tesla above $40k, there is nothing to debate.  Using an "ICE verses EV" distraction won't change that either.  Know your audience.  Mainstream shoppers see anything with a plug as EV.  That puts PHEV with all-electric drive on equal footing with BEV.  Like it or not, you will be forced to abandon that narrow perspective of absolutes.  Things are about to get messy.  Failure will come from not removing obstacles.  Neither range nor speed are a problem anymore. Enthusiasts are still stuck on that though, refusing to face the other barriers still preventing mass acceptance.


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