Prius Personal Log  #1118

December 26, 2021  -  December 30, 2021

Last Updated:  Sat. 3/26/2022

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12-30-2021

Dryer Outlet.  I see the topic brought up a lot... by southern home owners.  For those of us in the north, there is no such option for charging our vehicles.  We cannot have our clothes dryer in the garage, since the temperature drops below freezing inside during the winter.  That means our wiring for the high-draw device is located inside our houses instead.  Something no one has ever brought up though is capacity.  It just hit me today.  That NEMA 14-30 outlet they keep referring to has a capacity of 30 amps.  For continuous draw, only 80% of that is allowed... which means maximum available for charging is only 24 amps.  When you have a vehicle designed to draw up to 32 amps, discovering the outlet you'll be using doesn't actually support it will be a disappointment... something no one ever mentioned, until now.  This is what I posted in that regard:  We have two 14-50 outlets, each with its own dedicated 40-amp line on meters to provide Time-Of-Use discounts.  Our electricity co-op cut a $500 check for each of those installs.  So, there is some expense assist.  Of course, assuming an outlet is already available leads to trouble anyway.  With a 30-amp outlet, you will only get 24 amps for charging.  Remember, maximum sustainable draw is 80% of the total capacity.  That means a vehicle capable of 6.6 kW (that's 220V * 30A) will actually only get 5.28 kW (220V * 24A).  The devil is in the detail.  Most advocates gloss over stuff like that, not realizing the disservice they are doing for those of us trying to educate ordinary consumers.  Doing the math, that 1.32 kW slower rate equates to 4.6 miles-per-hour less (from an EV delivering 3.5 miles/kWh).  It may not seem like much, but if you weren't aware of the difference when making the decision about installing an outlet.

12-30-2021

Conspiracy Theories.  I was annoyed by an attack on Toyota a little shy of 4 months ago.  It was obvious propaganda, but people love that and enjoy feeding the narrative.  Back then, there was so substance.  Since then, much of it has fallen to just lies & exaggeration.  Antagonists grow tired and assume their narrative has taken hold.  I don't stand for that.  I remember.  I continue to do research.  Today, I went back to that thread intended to stir trouble and revived it with an update by quoting what was in the original post: "Charging is CHAdeMO, which almost no-one uses any more, at least in Europe, China and Australia".  He was wrong.  I used the European version of PlugShare to confirm it too.  This is what I posted:  If you want to stir "conspiracy theories", you make comments just like that without providing any data or context hoping those reading it won't bother to do any research themselves.  There are many simply following online commentary who fit that profile.  The just accept a claim made at face value.  Know your audience.  Targeting Lexus customers means appealing to someone with a decent amount of disposable money they would like to take advantage of.  Leasing a UX300e could be quite a draw.  A person interested in that would be aware of CHAdeMO availability . I took the time to do some research.  Turns out, there are far more CHAdeMO.  Who cares about the growing favor for CCS when you are only going to have the vehicle for a few years.  In the meantime, Toyota gets priceless real-world data... which is far more valuable than losing money on a limited build vehicle.  After all, low-volume is more in the nature of Lexus offerings anyway.  Being able to leverage that data for refinement of the interface for bZ4X prior to rollout is priceless.  Heck, that even gives Toyota some opportunity to push a few software tweaks out.  All of that is taking place away from enthusiast rhetoric.  Think about how little we have heard about the BEV models of Izoa/C-HR.  It is an approach we know well. Toyota rolls out tech in a subtle manner to prepare for high-volume.  It's like the first hybrid upgrade to a two-speed system.  Barely anyone noticed that Camry got it, then Prius.  That's because few were paying attention or even knew about Camry hybrid back then.  So when it came time to go all-out with the next-gen Prius, it featured a two-speed system that had already been given a thorough shakeout.  Think about how important it is for Toyota to deliver a well-refined "bZ" vehicle right out the gate.  After all, naysayers have now been shown the 4 additional "bZ" vehicles already in the works.  No matter what happens with UX300e, it can simply be written off as shortcomings of CHAdeMO.  After all, most people don't bother to check what they read.  Know your audience.

12-30-2021

This Discussion.  There is always resistance to the bigger picture: "The notion of enabling super-charging is total nonsense for our discussion.  Our PP is not equipped with a fast charger."  That selection of market, intentional cherry-picking, was a common practice when BEV were newer.  They would identify the "EV market" as all that mattered, absolutely refusing to address anything else being produced.  It was a stay-focused attitude with consequences.  You can't just ignore the world around you.  Anywho, I kept pushing to retain that wider view in this discussion:  Purpose of our discussion is to educate about plug-in benefits.  Omitting information intentionally would be cherry-picking.  Remember, Toyota's underlying purpose of Prius Prime was to gain real-world EV experience that could be applied to the rest of the fleet.  That is why high-volume sales were not a priority.  To spread a sampling of data-collection opportunity across a wide variety of owners has been achieved.  If you look at the cold-temperature system in RAV4 Prime, you can see how that knowledge gained was already applied.  With the upcoming bZ4X, having experience already is priceless.  Look up feedback related to LFP batteries from owners in China for perspective.  As for your question, there is simply no way to perform such a comparison.  There are too many variables at play... more so than the margin-of-error would inform.  Statistically, it is a moot point for some anyway.  During my 5.5 years of ownership, that was the first time the car has remained unused for that long while not on vacation.  With regard to needless waste, what about pre-warming the vehicle just prior to driving?  That may give you more bang for the buck. It is an option which should be part of this discussion.

12-30-2021

Engine-Off Obsession.  Seeing questions like this is concerning: "So, do you think if it was not kept plugged in, the car would have started the engine upon..."  Far too often, I have seen that quest for more turn into an obsession.  In fact, that's how the term "hypermiling" came about.  It was in a long, drawn out argument with me.  I kept pointing out he was pushing extremes, trying things totally unrepresentative of what ordinary consumers would actually experience.  It was a misrepresentation getting far out of hand.  Finally, that came about... a newly coined term.  Admitting the extreme by giving in a useful label was a great outcome.  Hopefully, a similar acknowledge will come from this.  After all, that is why I continually provide "know your audience" reminders.  Today though, I didn't bother.  It was all about keeping on topic:  That misses the point.  Think about why BEV also have a battery-heating system, despite not having a gas-engine.  It is because the chemistry of the battery takes an efficiency hit when temperatures are below freezing.  Electrical resistance within increases quite a bit.  To avoid that penalty, the battery is warmed.  Ideally, it is above 10°C (50°F).  There is a secondary benefit to warming the battery.  To enable super-charging (those really fast DCFC speeds), the battery must be warmed quite a bit.  Ideally, it is above 50°C (122°F).

12-29-2021

800 Volts.  The topic of ultra-fast supercharging is starting to get attention now: "...with fast 15minute charging due to its 800V battery."  That was a comment made as part of some reasoning for consideration between the purchase of a PHEV or a BEV.  Hyundai's system pushes limits upward, beyond a reasonable ceiling for the masses.  It is the equivalent of discussing 8K video for the masses.  That doesn't make sense, unless you are looking at it from the perspective of that extra capacity delivering a higher quality 4K in return.  It's a somewhat confusing analogy until you look at how power is delivered to DCFC stations.  Most people have no clue.  So, a vehicle able to consume "8K" equivalent of power wouldn't either.  You could, but who actually would?  Again, know your audience.  From the mainstream perspective, I posted this in reply:  That's basically a gimmick, something you can't expect to really take advantage of.  Look around on PlugShare.  How many DCFC in your particular area can you actually find that deliver more than just 50 kW?  The hope for this generation of plug-in (the next 4 to 5 years) will be finding 150 kW stations popping up nearby.  Faster service is quite a bit more expensive.  Think about the hardware involved.  How much are you willing to pay for a charging session and idle fees?  Consider the industry itself. There are fundamental challenges to address still. How exactly is a F-150 Lightning with a trailer supposed to plug in?  Most DCFC don't have any means of accommodating a vehicle towing a trailer... which is when the pickup will certainly want to recharge.  There is no standard means of billing or payment either.  Even finding the stations is difficult, since there's nothing common for location or signs.  This is very much the pioneer days for EV.  To be further along with infrastructure and support would be wonderful, but it simply isn't realistic.  For confirmation of status, ask those who use public charging-stations about proper etiquette.  How many different answers do you think you'd get for dealing with getting ICE'd or someone with a finished session blocking the spot?  What about a vehicle charging slowly using the fastest charger?  When is the appropriate SOC to stop at when others are waiting?

12-29-2021

5 Days of Non-Use.  That's a first for unplanned non-use for me.  We were home for the holidays and it was very, very cold.  There was simply no need to go anywhere.  That meant leaving the car plugged in for a duration much longer than expected... providing a new opportunity for data.  I was unexpectedly able to contribute to a discussion which asked: "This makes me wonder, what happens to non-Alaska and non-Canada models, what happens after 3 days if the car is still plugged in?"  So, I did:  Dec. 24 at 6:45 PM was when I last plugged in.  At 7:31 PM today... 5 days later... I unplugged.  It has been proper cold here in Minnesota lately, hence no desire to go anywhere.  This morning when I got up, it was -8°F.  That meant the garage kept beverages so cold, there was a good chance of them freezing.  Anywho, the graph for my JuiceBox clearly showed activity from time to time.  When I checked this morning, the session had drawn 6.74 kWh.  Just prior to unplugging, the total had climbed to 7.26 kWh.  The heater for the battery-pack was still active despite being well past the supposed 3-day limit.

12-28-2021

Fanboy Reaction.  Many die-hard enthusiasts didn't see Tesla's abrupt move to LFP as even a possibility.  At best, they recognized other automakers would be trying to battery chemistries.  The assumption was that would be the natural counter-move to compete with the long-awaited 4680 battery.  After all, the upcoming battery from Tesla would focus heavily on its advantage of rapid production.  Being able to roll the form, rather than cut & press, is indeed significantly faster.  But then again, in the engineering world gaining speeds means trading off something else.  Is that really the best choice for longevity?  I sounded off on that topic today to the newly baffled audience on their discussion thread of dismay with:  The nature of LFP chemistry is quite different and it's taking many here by surprise, those who thought batteries had matured and it was time to go "all in" now.  Turns out, that would have been premature lock-in.  Now, we see some stuck with NCA and NMC chemistries trying to figure out what to do.  LFP appeal comes from it being significantly less expensive, as well as offering 2 to 3 times more cycle-life.  The tradeoff is energy-density is quite a bit less; however, you can recharge to 100% without penalty.  The catch is you have to recharge to 100% routinely.  The voltage variance from empty to full is so minor, that's only means of keeping SOC calibrated.  Notice how Toyota is offering a 1,000,000 km (621,000 mile) warranty with a 90% capacity threshold?  That's an indication of some type of newer battery chemistry being used.  Watching the market in China, you'll find other clues to next-gen offerings.  Tesla bringing LFP to shareholders for consideration of expanded use is also evidence of change.  Assumptions were made that simply producing more with better packaging was the best course for battery-cost reduction... the economies-of-scale benefit.  Turns out, that isn't how innovation works.  We are only in the early stages of the technology and there is much opportunity to explore still.  The paradigm-shift many looked forward to is in an unanticipated direction for those eager to declare victory.  It comes down to not understanding the difference between fighting battles and winning a war.  Watch how various audiences react to this news.

12-27-2021

Pushing Lies.  We still have that growing collection of video propaganda.  It is an endless flow of rhetoric, that meritless & dismissive type.  You know, just like the disgraced president we finally got out of office.  Repeat lies so often, people loss touch with the truth.  That means starting a few to support your meritless & dismissive stance.  Basically, create evidence by contributing to hearsay... feed a narrative.  The big attempt to discredit Toyota is to claim the upcoming new BEV is nothing but a rebrand of a vehicle from China.  Naturally, there is no reference to what that supposed originating vehicle is.  But that doesn't matter.  Naysayers don't care about proof.  The result is continuously reading about that claim.  Despite having followed Toyota for years, reading about how the TNGA platform is progressing & evolving.  I remember when it was new, when their was a grand plan to spread that cost-savings approach across the fleet.  It would enable hybrids to replace traditional vehicles and set the stage for plug-in models.  To follow that would be dedicated design, an architecture specifically for all-electric vehicles.  Now, we are supposed to believe none of that actually happened, that Toyota is suddenly in a desperate scramble to "catch up" from being so far "behind".  What makes all that nonsense especially negating is the expectation now for an entire family of all-electric vehicles, both on dedicated platforms and legacy converts.  It's a lie that has no basis for believing... unless you hear it repeatedly claimed.  Ugh.  As a result, innocent questions like this get asked: "Isn't the Toyota EV essentially made by BYD with BYD's blade batteries?"  That is what antagonists how for.  It serves as a means of legitimizing their lie, since it disassociates with the source... hence, hearsay.  To that today, I simply responded with:  There will be a Chinese EV for the market in China that is a joint venture between the 2 companies.  What we will be seeing from the bZ brand vehicle will be built & designed by Toyota.  Batteries will come from various sources (Panasonic & CATL initially), but the platform is Toyota's own e-TNGA.

12-26-2021

Gaining Experience.  If it isn't a BEV, it doesn't count.  That choice to dismiss all but the absolute is quite remarkable.  They choose not to see: "The 'take it slow until we learn' crap is laughably bad -- how does anyone learn to produce five million BEVs a year by building only one or two per year?"  None of the other work Toyota does is considered useful.  Some truly think that time and those resources were completely wasted, that any effort from now is from the beginning.  It's quite bizarre.  Are there people really that stupid?  I often wonder.  Today, this is how I responded to that nonsense:  That supposed "crap" is a narrative.  Learning to produce 5 million BEV per years comes from producing over 19 million hybrid, a percentage of which have offer all-electric drive with a plug.  Those PHEV taught Toyota how to build efficient and cost-effective motors, controllers and batteries, along with support software.  It's experience that really adds up.  Of course, Toyota has BEV converts.  Delivering CH-R and UX300e as full electric-only vehicles also adds to their growing knowledge of engineering & market.  In other words, it is a load of crap that Toyota is desperately behind or slow walking.  Rather than hyping a single vehicle like some other legacy automakers, they have been concurrently developing an entire family... both with dedicated new platforms and some popular converts.  Put yet another way, it was a sucker-punch 2 weeks ago to the industry when Toyota revealed the extent to which it had already been working to transition to plug-in vehicles, taking the topic of carbon-reduction seriously with a solid plan to ensure business continuity.  Claiming "they are simply working as hard as possible to prevent them from being adopted" is easy to debunk now... and those who has supported the narrative are scrambling to come up with a new story.

 

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