Personal Log #1130
March 2, 2022 - March 5, 2022
Last Updated: Sat. 3/26/2022
page #1129 page #1131 BOOK INDEX
Insane. I found this an interesting twist: "Tesla is in an insane position, with only two high-volume car models and two new factories beginning production to meet enormous demand despite price increases. 2022 should be a money-printing machine." It was ironic to read. I knew he was spinning the situation as another victory to portray an unstoppable force, refusing to acknowledge the cliff being approached. When audience changes as the result of a stage coming to an end, what had been useful in the past may no longer be helpful. Both circumstances & priorities are different... which he, like many others, absolutely do not want to address. Oh well, it's not like I don't point out what's happening: That assessment of "insane" is a red flag. The situation is short-term. Tesla can only milk Model 3 & Y for so long. It is a bubble that will inevitably burst. CT doesn't address the same market either. Tesla is completely absent from the affordable market too. Continued sales makes the situation a challenge, growth complicates it even more. There are only so many SuperChargers. How many more will be built and how quickly? Think about the expense and the incompatibility. It is a corner Tesla back itself into. VW is well aware of that predicament. VW is also aware of what it takes to build a CCS charging network. Knowing VW will continue pushing into the market Tesla has avoided is another red flag. With Ford pushing F-150 hard and GM struggling to keep up, combined with additions from Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota, the glory days of Tesla are clearly coming to an end... short-term. What position Tesla will play in this next round of the EV game remains a mystery.
No Winter Loss? It made no sense. An article was published showing the impact of cold temperatures on EV operation. Resulting range reduction was exactly as you could predict, mostly between 20% and 40%. Tesla was the exception. Huh? Almost no drop was reported. How could that be possible? I was determined to find out. It took a bit to find the original source, the actual study this article was reporting about. Sure enough, vital data had been omitted. Was that intentional? This is the important bit of missing detail: "Note that the range losses are based on on-board telematics and reflect the OEMs proprietary range calculations and software. These estimates are currently being tested ground truth in our Enhanced Analytics program. For Tesla vehicles, we included observed range loss from a small sample of vehicles to add context." It was attached to a graph that confirmed values were nothing but estimates provided by telematics. Real-World data had not been included in the article. This source had it though.... 25% loss for Model 3... 21% for Model S... 17% for Model X... 20% for Model Y. Think about the situation. If the Tesla vehicles were not impacted by cold temperature, why was there a recent upgrade from resistance heating to a heat-pump? That would be a completely unnecessary added expense. Needless to say, I responded with the following comment on our EV owners group when that article was posted: I was baffled by supposed findings that loss for each Tesla was nearly nonexistent. Then I found a source graph. Observed values were indeed lower, as you would expect. This article is yet another example of misleading when detail isn't included. That disclaimer tells us what should have been conveyed by the article referring to the study.
Cornered. As anticipated, it's getting really
bad. Rhetoric is failing to work. Antagonists find themselves
backed into a corner, as this lashing out illustrates: "Now you're describing being late and incompetent as "bottom up." Toyota
apologists are embarrassing, and we're not fooled by your use of passive
voice to avoid the fact that the only people who ignore the factual
correctness of "behind" and "laggard" narratives are Toyota apologists."
Notice the complete absence of accountability? No criteria for
measuring status is ever provided. It's never anything beyond just an
empty claim. I enjoy this stage, when the inevitable retreat happens.
Arguments fell apart. There's nothing left to do except abandon ship.
Witnessing the rats flee the sinking ship (when hope for Volt collapsed) was
enthralling. I didn't realize how desperate the situation had become.
This time, that pattern was easy to recognize. So, I just kicked back
and decided upon this for my reply: Apologize for 25 years of bottom-up success? Know your
audience. Fooling those here who are in denial that business cannot be run
in more than just a top-down manner doesn't matter. It is a well-proven
approach. As for claims of being late, for what? Toyota already has
well refined software... the topic of this article. I have been enjoying the
all-electric drive from Prius Prime for 5 years now. It has worked so well
under all conditions, it was no surprise the vehicle to follow was RAV4
Prime. That too has delivered EV just fine. With the upcoming "bZ"
series, development leverages the e-TNGA platform which came about from the
success of TNGA. Deployment throughout the fleet resulted in faster speed to
market and cost reduction, exactly what a refined architecture is supposed
to achieve. Go ahead, insult & belittle all you want. It won't change
anything. Nothing is late for ordinary consumers.
Wrong? I was intrigued by this: "Have you considered that estimates for Tesla could be wrong?!" With so many not using any critical thought, that was a refreshing change. Basically, online blogs are echo-chambers. An article is published and the same old comments are brainlessly repeated. They lack integrity too. When you make a claim, back it up with data. Ugh! It's more of the chest-pounding again... except for this. I replied to it, thoughtfully, with: Where are the Tesla fans getting their estimates? There's never any substance provided. It makes no sense to only count Model 3/Y and CyberTruck. You can't get 6-8-10M/yr in 2025-2026 with just those vehicles. Also, the market saturation and age of 3/Y will be quite evident at that point. Adding at least 2 smaller, affordable vehicles is the likely unsaid contributor, but that would completely derail Tesla's current SuperCharger advantage... which sales are dependent upon, especially with the absence of CCS support here. In short, there's no reason to trust such wild claims. Seeing Tesla doing well in the Luxury/Premium market doesn't mean they will surge past well established sellers in the Mainstream market... especially when there is basically nothing to support such assertions.
Growing Desperation. As rollout of bZ4X draws near, an increasing sense of desperate is becoming evident. Blatant lies are the theme now: "Remember, Toyota isn't making EVs (bandaid hybrids don't count) and their ICE sales will crater continuously until they are all gone (2025-2026 in most markets)" I was amused by all that, posting this in return: Narrative attempts like show desperation. Toyota has been producing BEV models of C-HR/Izoa for years and UX300e for about a year. Too bad if you don't like converts, they are still electric-only vehicles. Prius Prime rolled out in late 2016, delivering all-electric driving, complete with heat-pump. Too bad if you don't like it. Same goes for RAV4 Prime. It too delivers EV drive. As for ICE sales cratering, that is a distortion of facts. Toyota is discontinuing ICE models. Sienna and Venza are now only available as hybrids. Sequoia will follow. Corolla Cross hybrid production is spreading and it is a strong candidate for becoming a Prime. Of course, your attempted narrative falls apart in a few months as bZ4X rollout moves forward. Then, expect word of the next model in the "bZ" series to start getting some attention. In other words, like Kia in this topic, Toyota also has a transition plan and it is already well underway.
Repeating History. Response to change is difficult for some. When the pot is stirred, especially by a dark horse, the enthusiast gets frustrated. The most primal of reactions is to just declare victory. Pretending the race is already over saves face. You don't have to acknowledge weakness then. In fact, it is a show of strength to have achieved something. So, they tout having fulfilled a goal, then make an effort to garner praise. It doesn't matter that the win didn't actually change anything. They want to be vastly superior so badly, they just keep spinning stories until something catches on. It is a series of lies. The most recent was that we have been claiming bZ4X will be available for less than $30,000 in 2024. That literally came out of nowhere. Nothing even remotely close has been said, by anyone. We know lower priced BEV will be coming from Toyota by 2025, but that's it. No other information has ever been so much as speculated. In fact, most enthusiasts have completely written off all things Toyota. So, attacking supporters will bogus statements is something else... which I see matching the past all too well. It is acknowledgement of a threat. They see potential. They are worried. So, they preemptively take action. Waiting only makes it worse. It reminds me so much of a decade ago, I am beside myself. We are about to embark on another loooong journey. This is how I described the situation: The race is a marathon, with 2025 a major milestone and 2030 another. We aren't even remotely close to even just half of sales being BEV. Declaring failure already is absurd. btw, it is quite fascinating how you are repeating history to such a recognizable pattern.
New Attacks. You can tell this new stage of rhetoric is ramping up: "You and your Toyota lunatics all talk about prices and sales. I find hilarious how all Toyota cultists throw downvotes like a pack of wolves defending beloved brand that failed to make any impact in BEV realm. Keep waiting for your $45,000 2024 bZ4X appliance." That came out of nowhere. In fact, I hadn't even posted anything about Toyota or bZ4X. It was a discussion about Kia and the roadmap for EV transition they had just presented. This guy declared Toyota a failure, then started to attack anyone who disrupts the status quo. He's a Tesla fan and feels a disturbance in the force. Calling out us without anything beyond expressing potential for other automakers was a step too far. He was angry. I was amused. This behavior is all too familiar. Well versed in this nonsense, I responded with: Who are you to draw such a conclusion already? The race hasn't even begun yet. All we have seen so far is qualifying rounds, efforts to demonstrate what will be offered when sales to ordinary consumers begin. Infrastructure is in the early stages of change. We are still getting presentations of potential. Mainstream shoppers don't see actual change yet. There is no expectation to even promote. Look at DC fast-charging. We haven't settled on a plug standard, a billing standard, or a speed standard. Without something to build upon, the race cannot begin. The topic is about automaker roadmaps, in this case Kia. They are starting to set expectations. Yet, you declare failure already. Heck, the original tax-credits from 2009 haven't even been used up by most automakers. Assigning status so early shows a blatant disregard for the general market. Choosing to cherry-pick a specific segment... BEV realm... really isn't constructive and name calling is childish. Like it or not, the biggest impact comes from appliances.
Teaching About Approach. It falls on deaf ears for those participating in online discussion among enthusiasts. But to those who only read, the lurkers, there is some value to providing exposition. That's what I do when something like this is posted: "I think VW got it a while ago. I mean VW is probably one of the if not the manufacturer that is in a better position after Tesla." It is very easy to only see what you recognize. The unknown is easy to overlook. The uncertain is easy to dismiss. The quiet is difficult to hear... which is Toyota. When you are dealing with an automaker that invests heavily in continuous improvement and updates are often subtle, detection of change is very difficult. I keep posting reminders about it though, especially when it comes to approach. That's a teaching-moment I don't let slip by: That's really a matter of how position is measured. Both Tesla and VW took the top-down approach, for that matter so did GM. Taking the bottom-up approach is Toyota. It's a fundamental difference, a gamble which paid off well in the past. It is the reason why the "behind" and "laggard" narratives are simply ignored. We're dealing with moving targets, a variety of markets with different priorities. Having each automaker address the same problems the same way simply does not make any sense. Position is relative.
Hit or Miss Thoughts. This was somewhat muddled with regard to supply, but the sentiment was still there. It was an effort to collect & convey: "My guess is the profit is better on ice vehicles so they don't earn that much with each sold ev. And then its the battery production, every maker should make their own battery manufacturing plant like tesla, cant really rely on lg or sk to supply all the batteries they need." I appreciate hit or miss thoughts like that. Since they aren't taken too seriously, the endeavor to contribute really does help the discussion. There is a curiosity at play. In return, I provided: Having batteries supplied is what will help us ultimately pull out of the hole we have dug ourselves into with the sales paradigm... focusing on high-profit vehicles. Automakers became so entrenched, that shift has become the norm. Dependency of dealers is overwhelming evidence of that. They are desperate to survive. Think about how this mess started. Back in the 90's, there was experimentation with SUV interest. Automakers started to call them "car" and push their supposed safety. It was really an exploit of EPA regulations which resulted in high-profit sales. GM followed that opportunity to the point of bankruptcy, sacrificing long-term well being for the sake of staying in business based upon that exploit. Ironically, the SUV platform works well for battery-pack placement. The catch is you need lots of batteries, since the platform itself is less efficient... hence the supplier contribution. Their investments will pull automakers out of their mess... which is great, since pushing has worked.
Vastly Superior. It was inevitable. That attitude is back: "Tesla has their superior connection available in everyplace EXCEPT Europe. Why should Tesla be forced to do what Europeans do, when it will mean paying a lot of $ for an inferior solution?" I know there is nothing superior. Supposed benefit is only a temporary lead. CCS supports up to 350 kW and the chargers themselves are already available. So, claiming SuperChargers for Tesla are superior doesn't have merit. True, the ability to plug and have charging begin without doing anything else is great, but that too is temporary. There is nothing that VW isn't already planning to deliver and the CCS specifications support. So again, no merit. I asked anyway: What 0makes the connection superior? Think about audience. We're dealing with the masses now, not a niche filled with resourceful enthusiasts. They simply want a guaranteed location to recharged at a reasonable speed. How exactly do the specifications of CCS differ to make it so much better?
Slow Walked. Denial & Refusal to accept reality continued: "Meanwhile, they've slow walked their EVs. I say again: the rebates are squandered on hybrids." This is where know your audience comes into play. Some enthusiasts are growing to hate that mantra too. Praise online is what many seek, a validation of their position rather than supporting an effort to reach resistant consumers. It is the same problem Volt enthusiasts made. Their focus on conquest was so extreme, they lost track of purpose. It was all about short-term gain. Strategy for long-term success was looked upon as an inability to compete, a sign of weakness. Ugh. I waste delighted to provide some perspective on the situation: Who are you trying to convince? The 200,000 owners of Toyota plug-ins not only endorsed the technology, they are also very highly likely to promote it... which is the point of the tax-credits. Your effort to mislead by calling the money a "rebate" is rather telling, since that implies anyone is eligible and for the entire amount. That is just plain not true. There was only credit money, which depends upon the individual having enough tax-liability to collect it. As for calling their plug-in vehicles "hybrids", that is simply an act of desperation. Those all-electric miles make the difference quite obvious. Toyota delivered EV driving, setting the stage for vehicles with larger battery-packs... again, that was the point of the tax-credits.