Prius Personal Log #1112
November 28, 2021 - December 2, 2021
Last Updated: Sat. 3/26/2022
page #1111 page #1113 BOOK INDEX
The topic of supply came up for discussion. Gasp! An aspect of
that many seem to be completely unaware... most likely from never having
given it any thought... was storing electricity in battery-packs for
charging-stations to use. It's like having batteries for the solar
system on your home. Being able to store at the location where that
electricity will be transferred or consumed is best. The thought is
more often as a "use first" or a "backup" is typical. Using it to
supplement supply isn't always recognized as beneficial. Discussion has
to start somewhere. I had a little bit of related data to share:
Warranty. How the vehicle is covered by the automaker is rarely discussed. The automaker must ensure you have a correctly operating vehicle until that warranty expires. Then what? It's a topic that isn't even addressed in cost-of-ownership analysis. Basically, you are only allowed to think about the first 150,000 miles of driving. Nothing beyond that counts. Why? Isn't the point of a simpler, more robust technology to have something that will last longer? It is a rather eye-opening revelation. There's the expense to cover on the automakers part, then there should be an expectation of some value following that obligation. Put another way, you pay for that in the price. Online posts don't address that. The short-sighted and zero-sum nature of such venues rarely present the opportunity for in-depth exchanges. That means making your point in a simple manner. I post the following with the hope of conveying just such a message: This should speak for itself. There is a vital component to "price" that everyone is overlooking. What do consumers show concern for that is absent from this discussion? Think about the talking-points, what gives BEV an advantage over ICE. It is cost of ownership. Imagine what perspective change there is with "price" when it is discovered that also includes a 621,000 mile (1,000,000 km) warranty. That realization brings about a much stronger justify for purchase.
Poppycock. This was a confusing mess: "If Toyota really believed that consumers would rather save a few hundred dollars for a smaller battery, then they could offer a smaller pack and see which one sells. Also, Toyota is NOT EVEN USING a smaller battery. The BZ4X battery is 71.4 kwh / 72.8 for AWD. A Model Y is 82 kwh. How much is the total cell cost of that extra 9 kwh? About $900. Is it really a good trade for most drivers to lose 80 miles of range and save $900 on a $45k vehicle? Of course not! But Toyota cannot deliver that range with a 82 kwh battery so it is making up this nonsense." I had to share that entire post since it was such an obvious attempt to mix up purpose, technology and audience. Here's what I had to say about that: It's not hundreds, it's thousands, a very significant price difference. Like many, the claim above is oblivious to what is taking place... clueless about what has changed. Things like that are understandable though. Most people miss what generational upgrades actually involve. In this case it is not size, it is chemistry. NCA and NCM are expensive and must limit charging to 80%. LFP costs 30% to 50% less and charging all the way to full SOC (yes, 100%) is normal. Put another way, that new chemistry equates to about half the price. Google states the current cost of lithium batteries is $132 per kWh. That means a 82 kWh pack would have a price of about $10,800 using the chemistry most of us have been familiar with over the past decade. Switching to the much lower cost chemistry doesn't require a calculator to recognize the significance. Half the price would be $5,400. Put another way, the half-hearted conclusion is the result of not being well informed, drawn upon incorrect assumptions.
Clueless. Every now and then, you encounter an individual so far out of touch with reality they sound like a super-villain. It's quite bizarre. Don't they realize the absurd behavior is beyond childish? This was such an example: "BWAHAHAHAHA! Toyota is going to focusing on making inexpensive EVs....something they spent the last decade saying was impossible to do. Looks like they finally figured out that it is possible. Cool. Go for it...we need more affordable EVs. It would've be nice if you started earlier." It is difficult to comprehend how such a disillusion can come about. But then again, we have seen the damage fake news can create. You not only end up with an undermining effort, you also gain followers who will basically believe anything you tell them. It is an exploit of human nature... people hear what they want to hear. That is why social media has become so dangerous. People seek out self-validating sources and block out the rest. They live in their own world and dismiss evidence showing they made any mistake. It comes back to bite them at some point... the clueless actually get a clue, eventually. In the meantime, you still have to deal with their nonsense: They did start earlier. Only someone without any understanding of engineering would fail to recognize the expertise Toyota has already achieved with regard to design & production of EV components. The all-electric drive from RAV4 Prime comes from decades of hybrid experience. Those motors, controllers, and software are the result of continuous improvement... something Toyota excels at. In fact, that is how they delivered industry-leading efficiency with their heat-pump, years ahead of the competition. So what if that knowledge wasn't applied to a BEV for worldwide production until a dedicated platform could also be delivered? It simply didn't make sense earlier. Barriers with an obvious end... like the patent expiration for LFP chemistry... made it worthwhile to wait. Refining component design, which includes finding a means of making them profitable, could be focused on in the meantime. In other words, that "BWAHAHAHAHA!" is only something a poorly informed individual or someone in denial would exclaim. The rest of us see how well prepared Toyota has addressed design to set the stage for rollout of a variety of choices well targeted for their own loyal customers.
Another Compare. My previous post focused on VW and
Toyota since they are the biggest automakers with regard to legacy worldwide
sales & distribution. Ford is not, but they are striving to take a big
share of the American market for EV as well as capture some opportunity
elsewhere that could easily be lost to others. That means pushing
variety quickly... the very thing GM failed at on a colossal scale, twice.
Knowing why such failure happened is key. The most obvious is to look
at factors of appeal for mainstream consumers. We know they prefer a
balance, refusing to pay a premium for "performance" traits like
enthusiasts. For EV interest, that means a battery/range/speed
characteristics somewhere in the middle. That is what I listed in the
previous post for VW and Toyota. Here is similar for Ford:
Ford Mustang Mach-E SR
75.7 kWh battery
450 km WLTP range
190 kW (255 hp) RWD
150 kW DC charging
Comparing Automakers. You should not if you are
feeding a narrative. Looking through the database for current &
upcoming European BEV, it is obvious most of the arguments come from a
cherry-picked market... here. Our obsession with power & range
distorts reality. We have only a small selection of choices and they
are pretty much entirely the upper-class choices. Nothing is available
for middle-market shoppers without subsidies. Even then, that really
stretching it for a family with modest income. Bolt starts at $31,995
and it had been the low-price leader in terms of "acceptable" range.
But since production has been halted and GM's focus shifted to newer models,
it may be dead. So, we look to others, like the upcoming VW ID.5 and
Nissan Ariya. Antagonists don't want to though. They prefer
spinning the situation with: "If Toyota doesn't want to embrace EVs, and
wants to prove that people won't buy them, all it has to do is offer EVs no
one will buy, and then it can discontinue them as other brands have in the
past." I ended up reposting information across several websites
as a result. I did to that comment today with:
No, it is really a damage-control effort from those realizing the low-hanging fruit is almost all picked. With the enthusiasts market saturated and far fewer looking for choices aimed at early-adopter priorities, things are about to get ugly. Gone are the days of overlooking shortcomings ordinary consumers wouldn't tolerate. Some reasoning of the past will backfire now too, like the "dead weight" argument.
As for putting this all on Toyota, take a close look at VW specs. Starting with their base models, it is easy to see similarities:
77 kWh battery
520 km WLTP range
128 kW (172 hp) FWD
135 kW DC charging
71.4 kWh battery
500 km WLTP range
150 kW (201 hp) FWD
150 kW DC charging
The performance model also closely resembles those specs:
VW ID.4 Pro
77 kWh battery
520 km WLTP range
150 kW (201 hp) FWD
125 kW DC charging
I Was Right! Sometimes, it is difficult to believe just how bad things can get. That guy producing videos for money went all out today. He declared himself vastly superior to everyone else. Having now produced over 600 videos in just 6 months, averaging 5 per day, it is obvious he found a money-making scheme to exploit. It has turned into the Fox News of plug-in vehicles. He just outright lies to keep his narrative alive. The top of that agenda is to attack Toyota on a regular basis. The way he does that feeds upon itself too. He'll do a build up, mention Toyota, then immediately dismiss the automaker without explanation. He claims it is a waste of time to even bother, since they will be "bankrupt" by 2030. To him, that means no longer selling any vehicles... simply gone from existence. Of course, he also thinks dealerships will be gone by then. In fact, regularly suggests to GM to dump them... clueless to the reality of GM having fought hard to retain them. The outdated laws preventing direct sales from automaker to consumer is what has artificially held back Tesla expansion. Removing that barrier for GM would enable Tesla. So, there's no way that would abruptly change. That particular fight is over a decade old already. Anywho, the point of my rambling is having learned that the source of his video rhetoric is from having studied only recent history. His sources are popular media, mostly click-bait without context. That absence of objectivity is all too clear in what he publishes. It has become the latest source for fake news. Ugh. The fact that he declared "I Was Right!" today in the title of his video really made that obvious. He conclusion was based on the activity of just this year... you know, the year of on-going pandemic challenges, including a chip-shortage. His statistics are distorted as a result of cherry-picking. He doesn't realize that though, since is research is so limited. He is basically just passing along enthusiast sentiment. There's nothing journalistic about that. He is wrong.
Tell Us Why. I seriously doubt he will. This reply to my post deserved the push though: "All three are still tepid crap. It's like they're not even trying." That same old nonsense I saw countless times in the past was repeating, yet again. It is that mindset of more being better. They move the goal-posts on themselves too. Reaching an end point, then focusing on something else never happens. It is a tragic course, doomed to fail. How can they be so clueless? Diminishing returns is such a basic concept. Ugh. Anywho, I replied with this: Tepid is exactly what's needed to appeal to ordinary consumers. Those mainstream shoppers couldn't care less about the opinion of enthusiasts. Trying to appeal to that audience means not taking their own priorities seriously. You focus on want. They focus on need. Both VW and Toyota care about need. They much achieve sustainable high-volume sales from plug-in vehicles that returns a profit. The push we saw in the early-adopter market for more doesn't make sense at this point. Look at those specs again. Tell us why that range, power, and charging-speed isn't enough.
Toyota Hybrid Generations Explained. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to listen to someone tell you a history that is incorrect. This wasn't a perception issue. He simply missed a vital fact and draw the wrong conclusion. When looking back long afterward, that's easy to do. I know about Toyota hybrid history because I was part of it, interacting with those events as they were happening... an very active participant. That is extensively documented in this blog and in the photo album. I was there observing and being part of it. Anywho, I know. So, there's a challenge to avoid being rude, insulting, or condescending while still being direct enough to be heard over the noise. With over 12,000 views of the video and already 182 comments posting, my information could simply go unnoticed or unacknowledged. Hopefully it won't. Here's how I responded to his claim that what was delivered to the United States was in fact quite a bit different from what Toyota started with in Japan: The "original" generation (1997-2001) available only in Japan was different from the "classic" generation (2001-2003) available worldwide was due to several updates... the gas-engine had more power... the outside appearance changed... and the screen was upgraded to be touch-sensitive. But the biggest change was completely missed in this explain... the battery-pack. Cells within were changed from "D" format to prismatic. Toyota was leading the way to such a degree, the importance of that switch wasn't recognized and is still overlooked to this day. People just dismissed the technology as just a slow & boring solution for tree-huggers. Keep in mind, the design priority was a reduction of smog-related emissions, not carbon.
Tepid Crap. No surprise, the response to my shameful reply was a complete disregard for what had been posted. He didn't care. He was angry and was looking for someone to blame. That's what happens when you gamble on hope rather than actually study the situation. Sadly, far too many agree with him. Finding a scapegoat is way easier than faces consequences. All those years of being scammed by GM taught them nothing. Now, it is this we have to deal with: "No, the shameful thing is to lobby in favor of more pollution. Which is exactly what Toyota is doing. The shameful thing is to try to pass off a thin trickle of compliance vehicles as anything other than the tepid crap we have seen from legacy automakers for decades already." That is quite an outcome from the failures of GM... the leader of compliance vehicles. Ugh. I was annoyed, but also quite pleased. My study had already provided useful data. I collected & shared that ID.5 and ID.4 Pro compare to bZ4X with a friendly source. Now, that same information could be posted in reply to a hostile. It will obviously get me to do more research. What other objective approach material is there available from VW that can validate Toyota's approach. They are the 2 giant legacy automakers addressing far more than just our fickle & stubborn market. I posted that data from my "sensible" reply yesterday along with: Is that denial or misinformed? Toyota's PHEV design is an industry-leading example of how to deliver a plug-in hybrid that is both highly desired and profitable. RAV4 Prime is what GM struggled to achieved, back when Two-Mode was the center of attention. It's successor, Volt, continued on with that struggle. The reason why was obvious, it was a means of disrupting the status quo. Spinning the situation as "in favor of more pollution" is evidence of the mislead on GM's part working. Making promises they cannot keep and taking action that doesn't result in change is ok for them, but Toyota actually making a difference is not. We know in reality it is a political mess with obvious bias. It would be absurd to simply not speak out against that. Then to make it worse, you claim "tepid crap" even though that is very easy to disprove. Comparing VW to Toyota with what we have available so far, it shows that is just plain not true.