Prius Personal Log #1115
December 12, 2021 - December 16, 2021
Last Updated: Sat. 3/26/2022
page #1114 page #1116 BOOK INDEX
I Don't Think. There are some you come to expect. They see Toyota, then launch their attack. I used this snippet to fire back: "I don't think..." He was just rambling about his opinion, anything to confuse messaging. It doesn't matter what the FUD is as long as it interferes with progress. To impede is the trolls motto. Anywho, this is how I dealt with that mess: While others are complaining about how slow Toyota is to ramp up their extremely popular PHEV and to finally stop rolling out BEV still using CHAdeMO, you are just in a state of denial. Give it some thought. Toyota's approach is bottom-up. That's why we saw so many prototypes unveiled at the same time. Enthusiasts absolutely hate that, to the point of group-think reinforcing a narrative that top-down is the only path to success. It's absolutely absurd... outright dismissal of business fundamentals. So what if it is slow and doesn't fulfill criteria of early-adopters? In other words, what you think doesn't matter. You aren't the targeted audience. Those loyal customers of Toyota looking to replace their aging Toyota with a new one have different priorities. They are an extremely diverse market too.
It's a Sham. The sense of desperation is becoming difficult to hide: "How did crooked, global warming denying Toyota get so many production ready EV concepts ready so fast. It's a sham." That was especially amusing, since the nearly 19 million hybrids Toyota has sold is a blatant contradiction to not taking emission problems seriously. What other legacy automaker has come even remotely close to doing the same for carbon reduction? Anywho, I knew the poster of that comment was just an antagonist trying to stir trouble. This was my response to that nonsense: No, it's denial. 5 years ago, Toyota rolled out an ALL-ELECTRIC drive, complete with a heat-pump. That was based upon the prior 5 years of experience gained from the original PHV. All that knowledge contributed to a next-gen system, complete with liquid cooling. Anywho, that all resulted in the reveal of bZ4X back in April 2019 and the plan for a new BEV sub-brand based on dedicated platforms back in June 2019. Since then, Toyota has been concurrently developing that entire family of "bZ" vehicles.... which was 2.5 years ago. Enthusiasts didn't want to believe that though. They needed an antithesis. So, they did as much as possible to suppress knowledge of BEV offerings, like the BEV convert of CH-R. It was quite an act of denial to pretend none of that real-world experience with motor, battery, software development would result in advancement we just saw up on that stage. Toyota is further ahead than everyone thought... just like with the Prius surprise back in October 1997.
Packages & Pricing. Once upon a time, I stumbled across a mention of December 15. Somehow, that set an expectation of being able to place a order or submit a reservation request or something to get on a list. I wasn't sure what, nor was there a way to verify. I just patiently waited. After all, it would hurry up deliver anyway. There would be much more waiting regardless. Turns out, that was the date for the UK. They did indeed get detail today. Since their vehicles tend to be quite a bit more expensive, that information only provided a general idea of what to expect here. That's great, plenty good to keep me enthralled throughout the process. Remember, it's a journey. Almost nothing was mentioned online in the venues I follow. On one of the groups where I participate where there are also UK member, I posted the following in response to a share of the press release link: We got package & pricing info for the UK market today. For some perspective, the lowest priced VW ID.4 there with similar battery & power is £41,330. The equivalent model here is $39,995. Hopefully, we'll be getting detail for our market soon.
Naysayer Upset. A video published highlighting the recent Toyota reveal was the focus this morning for me, as well as a number of supporters. There is lots of excitement. In this case, that sentiment was shared on that video. It focused on naysayer upset, pointing out that Toyota wasn't behind after all. I jumped into the comments posted an added: There is another aspect of naysayer upset. That reveal gives an impression Toyota has been concurrently developing their bZ family, rather than taking a one-at-a-time approach like everyone else. In other words, it may be realistic to hear more about a bZ3 and bZ2 sooner than people expect. After all, a good way to ensure affordability is to design with the intent to spread right from the very beginning. With all the experience Toyota gained from adapting hybrid tech across their entire passenger product-line, it makes sense that knowledge benefit the entire development process for BEV... resulting in a reduced timeline and a more dynamic build... which translates to ensured reliability and competitive pricing.
Attempts to Dismiss. I mentioned Toyota sales outside of Europe, North America, and China. A well-known troublemaker attempted to dismiss that claim with: "Nah, even Toyota sells almost all their cars in the richer parts of the world. People are oblivious about how small the markets outside the top ones are." It only took me a few minutes to find real-world data from Toyota's global website. I downloaded a spreadsheet with numbers & locations from 2012 to 2020. It was surprisingly comprehensive. It very clearly showed he had no idea what he was talking about. Think about it for a moment. Toyota sells around 10 million vehicles per year. VW sells a little less. Despite contribution from those to major players, there are roughly 50 million more vehicles not accounted for... each year! Consider sources & locations. Countless smaller, lesser known automakers exist. They serve a wide variety of places, as does Toyota. These were the locations listed for production & sales outside of the regions I had mentioned: Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Turkey, Russia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Korea, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait.
Party. The narrative of "behind" is growing increasingly more difficult to support when you find out Toyota will be investing another half trillion yen ($4.4 billion) to BEV technology on top of 1.5 trillion yen ($13.2 billion) previously announced. Anyone paying attention will wonder how far along they actually were to be so willing to spend so much more. That's an message of investment, not a scramble to survive. Spinning those numbers is rather difficult. Some try though: "Maybe Toyota is still not sure about that since they are late to the party and acting like a party pooper. By now most of the world's battery manufacturing capacity is already claimed for the next decade by their competitors. In five years government subsidies will be their only hope of staying viable." Toyota already has agreements with Panasonic, CATL, and BYD. They will be building more capacity here in the United States now too. As for subsidies, all automakers are looking toward them for help. Becoming profitable will be quite a challenge and the lack of infrastructure is a very real problem. Government funding can get us beyond the chicken/egg problem. What I find most interesting though is when you look beyond just the basics. We should be asking for detail. The idea that "battery" is a problem really doesn't tell us anything. That's why the "party" Toyota is supposedly late for is rather meaningless. What is the party for and who? I bring up chemistry... the type of detail even the most devoted BEV supporters try to avoid. I'm not sure why. Perhaps they don't understand the significance. It's a really big deal. It should get lots of attention. Next-Generation batteries require more than just packaging changes. The big form-factor from Tesla with the tabs and the new pouch design from GM & LG isn't enough alone. What goes inside makes a difference. I pointed out why with: From the business perspective (rather than the early-adopter perspective we get here) there is concern of premature lock-in. Committing to a chemistry as both the market and battery usage itself evolves, there is very real risk to be aware of. Think about priorities. Obsession with the fastest possible recharging speed is not a universal. Some don't rate that as highest of importance like we get from those here. What gets sighted as a greater priority is longevity. For the well informed, things like waiting for the LFP patent to expire should raise an eyebrow.
Trouble Free. Attacks are getting quite amusing. There is a growing sense of panic. Efforts to undermine just became far more difficult. Misleading depends upon lack of information and the resulting assumptions. Becoming aware of the market messes that up. It was only a matter of time before Toyota started to get plug-in attention. bZ4X is stirring interest. Curiosity results in discovery. RAV4 Prime is extremely well positioned for that. Antagonists know that... which their attempts to spread FUD make all too obvious. Such confirmation is vindication. I enjoyed posting this in return: ALL-ELECTRIC drive is not difficult to understand. An entire trip is made using nothing but electricity. The same motor, battery, software used in the BEV is also used in the PHEV. The fact that their PHEV adds a gas-engine for use after the battery is depleted doesn't change the ALL-ELECTRIC drive from the plug-supplied electricity. The narrative about purity is just a desperate attempt to divert attention away from the real-world expertise Toyota has already achieved related to ALL-ELECTRIC drive. That success has been hidden, years of EV driving gone completely unnoticed. Some don't want that experience to be discovered. Knowledge is power. Toyota's history of trouble free ALL-ELECTRIC drive wrecks the portrayal of being behind and scrambling to catch up.
Conquest. It was time to just blurt out the obvious. Pretty much every antagonist from the old days is long gone. They lost countless battles and eventually the war. I'm still around to prevent history from repeating by pointing out how that mess happened. All the ingredients are there for trouble to start again... the same way for the same reason. It's amazing how that works. Emotion clouds logic. The obsession with power is still alive & well. I already hear about bZ4X acceleration being far too slow. Ugh. GM never did anything with Volt. Ironically, it was a "halo" vehicle... the very thing Prius supposedly was, but clearly was not. The technology in Prius was spread across the fleet. That's not greenwash. That is progress... more than just an upset to the status quo... true change. GM rested in its laurels. Appeal never grew beyond early-adopters just seeking opportunity. GM's own loyal customers were not interested. After all, why would a compact hatchback appeal to Pickup & SUV owners. Know your audience. Ironically, that is very much what Toyota is doing. bZ4X targets their core customers. RAV4 is a top-seller. This upcoming BEV from Toyota very closely resembles it. That's why I posted this in response to the nonsense spreading today: Volt was a conquest vehicle. The point is what is actually done with what was learned. In GM's case, they learned how to game the system with promise of lots of BEV to come but not even bothering to show any concepts. Toyota is not already rolling out their first of seven dedicated-platform BEV, we got to see 4 of the other designs in progress. That completely derails the "behind" narrative, in addition to showing that labels aren't what make a difference... regardless of how much online noise is made by enthusiasts.
Trust Narrative. The inevitable antagonist attack played out like this today: "People who have in the past trusted Toyota better take another look. Their first attempt, the Bz4x, is nothing but a hurried, all-style-and-no-action compliance vehicle with poor range and unacceptable 0-60 acceleration. Garbage." I couldn't help but to be amused. That obvious provoke to stir rhetoric was an invitation to me to point out: The expectation of 90% capacity retention after 10 years and a 1,000,000 km (621,000 mile) warranty shows that Toyota has been focusing on longevity, a higher priority for their customers than range. Calling it "poor" will fall on deaf ears with that audience. As for the acceleration, calling 8.4 seconds FWD (7.7 seconds AWD) unacceptable only goes to confirm a lack of audience recognition. It's a matter of priorities for enthusiasts not representing mainstream consumer priorities.
Messaging. There is a hint of desperation. I'm quite curious what will emerge as the next messaging for the anti-Toyota crowd. The reveal a few hours ago has stirred a lot of hate. The supposed anti-BEV automaker just revealed an entire line of concept vehicles, along with a production-ready model. That completely derails their claim of resistance. In fact, it looks like a whole-hearted endorsement for those not paying attention. In certainly looks timely too. No scramble to catch up with so much already being shown. So I had to ask one of the antagonists today scrambling to post as much propaganda as possible to confuse & mislead. I jumped in with this intercept: That narrative is for who? Toyota already has BEV in other markets and here we have seen 6 years of all-electric from the Prime models. Driving with nothing but electricity, including heat-pump, has worked fine. Heck, that even includes experience with both air & liquid cooling. No battery issues. No software updates. Those years of experience already... unnoticed/dismissed by many here... will pay off with the upcoming new bZ sub-brand. Like it or not, the claim of "late" will be meaningless for Toyota's own loyal consumers.
BEV Plans. I waited all day for the late night BEV
plans to be revealed by Toyota. The time it took place was 3:00 pm in
Japan. Here, it was 11:30 pm when I setup to watch & record on my
tablet and capture & write on my notebook. When midnight came, I was
ready. This was to be a supposed "reversal" by Toyota, a
sudden embrace of BEV. Ugh. We have known about the upcoming new
family of BEV since June of 2019, when the first concept renders were
revealed. Prior to that, there was nothing but vague mention of
intent... kind of like what we still only have from GM. It's quite
hypocritical that GM doesn't have to provide anything; yet, even with actual
prototypes from Toyota there is backlash. And sure enough, that's
exactly what we got. 4 more bZ vehicles went from a computer image to
a full-scale model. They looked good too, right there next to bZ4X.
It was quite informative to watch the live event. Basically, the
message was a reinforcement of BEV plans. But with all the rhetoric
online, that sentiment of "reversal" will be something was
prominent online tomorrow. That's pretty much a guarantee to take the
spotlight. No longer having a scapegoat will be quite a problem for
those who have struggled with messaging. These were my key takeaways
from what was presented:
- 125 Wh/km efficiency
- 30 Battery EV models globally by 2030
- 3.5 Million Battery EVs globally by 2030
- Lexus 100% Battery EVs in Europe, North America, and China by 2035
Panel Options. There are some journalists out there
really giving it a try. How does one do research for a short article
and deal with the inevitable oversight? I doubt I'll find out.
But when I encounter statements like this, at least I can add what's
missing: "Most electrical panels, especially older homes, are rated at 100
amps, but if you're using multiple appliances and charging your EV, you'll
need a 200-amp panel." In that case, here's what I added: It should be pointed out that
particular upgrade works best for locations where the panel is very near to
where the vehicles to be charged will be parked. If it is not, you will
likely be better off with a sub-panel installed instead. Having the main
panel on the opposite side of the house as the garage or the garage being
detached & distance is common. So, adding a sub-panel elsewhere isn't out of
the ordinary. Since you'll want to look into having enough capacity
for multiple vehicles and to have those lines on time-of-use discount
pricing, it is well worth asking about other connection options. Don't
assume just making the original panel larger is your only choice available.