Prius Personal Log #1132
March 13, 2022 - March 19, 2022
Last Updated: Sat. 3/26/2022
page #1131 page #1133 BOOK INDEX
Bewilderment. I was hoping to get some type of critical thought. Anything would have been nice. But rather than get even a hint of effort, my reply to the talking-point got this: "I don't understand that statement". He didn't even try. That's pretty bad from an individual who participates in discussions a on very regular basis. In fact, he is among the top-posters there. Some venues simply are conducive to constructive outcome. In fact, many are basically just entertainment like the daily crossword. You engage, but the outcome is pointless. I put in some effort though, seeing this as a teaching moment for others. Whether he gets anything from the exchange doesn't matter. Lurkers often benefit from such exchanges. So, I posted: It is like assuming every aspect of acceleration based entirely on the 0-60 measure. That doesn't provide an accurate portrayal of ability. Ironically, that one is among the least informative measures. Most people punch it to get onto a highway or to pass someone while already moving. Dropping the pedal to the floor from a dead stop is quite rare. In this case, we want to know what happens along the way. Maximum speed tells us nothing about sustainable speed. When does the drop-off happen? Notice how vehicles capable of 225 kW haven't shown to maintain that rate for long, that they resemble 150 kW rated vehicles shortly after they begin? Think about at what SOC the speed drops below 100 kW. At what point do you stop charging to take advantage of faster later? That depends entirely upon the vehicle's design. Sustaining faster longer is a paradigm-shift.
Inadequate. I wondered if any constructive feedback would be returned in response to this: "I guess it depends on the price, but 220 miles just doesn't seem adequate for an EV being introduced in 2023." I know the person and know the venue. Neither of which thrive on objectivity. It's simply too difficult anywhere online, but this has become a haven for antagonists. Article comments are often dominated by sparring efforts. Each side is deeply entrenched, unwilling to even listen to what the other has to say. They always have their talking-points, the same old stuff... even when the topic is something new. Today, that was the situation. It was a first-drive report of a first-offering. Subaru getting attention for trying something genuinely new... off-road capabilities... was quickly disregarded, despite that being the focus of the review. The system preformed wonderfully. In fact, that is far more off-road ability then I'll ever need... I hope. There is a slim possibility Winter driving here will present a unique challenge for my bZ4X, but that is just an extra... a nice-to-have, not a necessity. Anywho, I ended up caving and posting a reply to his talking-point: There are a number of other vehicles with similar range and no where near as good of a warranty. Think about longevity. Also, consider how much less of an impact to range the Subaru/Toyota will have using its radiant heater... a feature others don't offer. In other words, what people expect in 2023 will be different from early-adopters. Priorities are changing.
No Glovebox. It is becoming quite a common highlight
of reviews for the interior of both Solterra and bZ4X. Each person
saying that does the same thing too; they point out the omission but fail to
investigate why. Only one reviewer so far noticed the new vents, but
nothing followed. There is no critical thinking. It's nothing
but basic observation. No aspect of journalism has been demonstrated.
That absence of depth is disappointing. But then again, that's where I
come in. It's how you get attacked as a fanboy, when you point out a
feature which makes Toyota stand out as a leader. Ugh.
Fortunately, not all audiences are like that. Today, it was this
comment posted on the big Prius forum: "No glovebox which is odd."
There, I can get objective feedback. So, I replied with:
Seems odd, until you discover what is there instead.
For those paying close attention, they'll notice Toyota keeps saying their new system will only be "minimally impact by winter". Think about how incredibly wasteful it is to warm cabin air. Even with a more efficient approach, using a heat-pump, you'll still consuming a big portion of battery poorly. Rather than targeting your body specifically, energy is lost by spreading elsewhere.
If you do some research, you'll find that Toyota is introducing radiant heating. Upon further digging, you'll ascertain this with an observation of new vents targeting your feet & legs. Warmth targets your body directly, reducing losses significantly... like what a heated-seat does for your bottom & back. It's an infrared heater. Consider how the sun warms your skin. Air that heat energy travels through stays cold in space, despite how warm it feels when it makes direct contact with you. This new system works much the same way.
In other words, Toyota is proving to be quite the opposite of the "laggard" narratives portray. They are proactively addressing BEV shortcomings... before anyone comes knocking for them. Think about how little attention the rest of the industry has put on winter efficiency. Even enthusiasts state you must have excess capacity for winter to deal with heating losses. Why not just prevent those losses the first place?
Winter Range. A few degrees above freezing is not Winter; yet, that's what some are calling it. This is what results from the scramble to get useful comparison data. It simply isn't cold enough for that anymore. Spring is arriving. It means next cold season should be quite interesting. By then, I will be contributing real-world data too... but with a BEV featuring an ability others will lack. That new radiant heater sure will put an interesting twist on the existing efficiency equation. All things will be far from equal. Finally seeing more plug-ins with a heat-pump has already complicated matters, especially when they are not standard. I believe that is the case with Ioniq 5, where it is only available for the AWD model. That complicates comparisons. Anywho, we are still just in the awareness stage. Arguments about heat-pump benefit still continue, despite overwhelming evidence confirming efforts to downplay. It's very difficult to accept when you discover your vehicle lacks an upcoming standard. Moving away from resistance-heating is vital. Awareness of their penalty makes that shift obvious. Of course, that lowers resale value for those stuck with less efficient tech. But then again, that is what comes with early-adopter choice. You take a gamble on what the mainstream will accept verses what's most cool to have first. With the "hot" topic regarding the not-so-winter comparison, I posted: Measurements without defining what "cold" or "winter" is doesn't help those of us in northern states. In fact, they often do a disservice by providing false expectations. There is quite a difference between just below freezing, the heat-pump threshold, and negative F temps... yet, that continues to be glossed over. At least heat-pumps are finally getting recognized. Prius Prime had that as a standard feature back in late 2016. It took awhile for others to catch up to the supposed laggard. Another feature Toyota will be leading with is radiant heat. To reduce range impact from the cold even further, they will be rolling out an infrared-heater with bZ4X. What really needs to happen is focus getting shifted to efficiency, rather than range. How many miles/kWh is the vehicle actually delivering. That data is what helps the most. With it, you can do a better job calculating range better than the guessometer.
bZ4X Deposit. I put one down a deposit at the nearby Toyota dealership with a salesperson I have known for years. He didn't have much to share. You basically have to order everything now, regardless of vehicle. Very few deliveries aren't already pre-sold. They do what they can to fulfill your request. That means going through upcoming regional shipments and claiming a vehicle for purchase. The fact that bZ4X has an upcoming pre-order process should eliminate that step. I will be able to submit my own request to corporate (national), who in turn will attempt to assign a vehicle to me and match up with my dealer. With limited production, that makes more sense than hoping to get something for a customer by searching region inventory. Limitations exists everywhere though. My wife got lucky with her Prius Prime due to an order cancellation. So, it does make sense that you make it known you are interested... which is exactly what I did today. The loooooong wait official begins, today, St. Patrick's Day. Of course, I have really been waiting for nearly a year already. The initial reveal last April provided some substance to the "bZ" mystery with an actual prototype. Then last June we got some actual detail. It was still only a "concept" even back in November. But that is how Toyota works. You are well informed of intent well before it happens. There is always a wait... and that wait worth has been worth it every time.
Cyber Threat. I read an article today about business insurance related to plug-in vehicles. It was about the risks business owners are supposedly concerned about. It was pretty much a FUD effort. Remote access & control of traditional vehicles is pretty much the same way as EVs; yet, that was never mentioned. It attempted to direct attention to charging vulnerability following the introduction. That made even less sense since charging stations don't allow access beyond basically just a handshake. What would be at risk? I liked seeing that though. It's the type of spin which EV owners seek to help identify how people turn against plugging in. We seek out root cause, wanting to know detail revealing how resistance to change came about. There's a lot of fear out there to leverage. The nature of change is to resist it. In politics, we see how being told to be afraid motives. Scare tactics work. It is an unfortunate reality. Articles like the one today help to legitimize concern and amplify issues. Of course, absence of detail is the underlying problem. Watch for that. In this case, it was the vague use of "hacking" used throughout the article.
BYD Sales. The brand in China known as BYD (Build Your Dreams) is often portrayed as going "all in" with electric-only vehicles. That isn't reality. In fact, the numbers for January & February tell a different story. BEV sales were 89,560. PHEV sales were 90,839. That's the trend enthusiasts hoped wouldn't continue. It has though. Others are discovering it too. The practical nature of having a backup power-source for an unexpected depletion is too compelling to ignore. In fact, I have seen quite a number of posts were the second vehicle in a household is a PHEV, not another BEV. The trend of mixing plug-in types is really starting to ruffle some feathers. Rather than look at goals and embrace multiple options, there was a push for purity. I find it quite amusing. The same problem Volt enthusiasts faced lives on. They absolutely refused to accept any type of balance. It was that "one size fits all" mentality. Only a single solution was needed to solve a complex series of problems. Thankfully, their rhetoric doesn't carry over to other markets. The mess we have here will hopefully stay here. BYD is doing fine with their split of BEV & PHEV offerings. Both are contributing to the shift toward electricity. Think about how a PHEV contributes to infrastructure upgrades. Lots of level-2 charging is needed. It doesn't all have to be DC fast-charging.
Thanks. It was nice to get that today from someone who didn't want to be as polite as I was. He was responding to this: "And underneath it all, it's actually BYD? ;)" It was intentionally false information being spread to undermine Toyota. The source was well aware of that fact too. He didn't care. His want is to mislead & impede. It was quite obvious too, since that was a comment added to a video from that on-going source of attacks. That guy is still at it. Rhetoric sells and he is now making a lot of money from the over 1,000 videos published over the past 9 months. That kind of income from such little effort is simply too good to resist. Enthusiasts are frustrated right now and Toyota is the perfect scapegoat for this disappointment. I find it all quite telling. They lack substance and shortcomings are becoming quite difficult to dismiss. That's how this lie came about. Their worst nightmare is unfolding... Toyota is delivering something which addresses those shortcomings. Being supposedly "late to the party" is turning out to mean they are far better prepared to deal with the challenges mainstream consumers present. Those days of forgiveness from early-adopters have started to fade to memories of the past. What comes know is why they turn to deception. Anywho, this is how I ended up getting that thanks: No. We know who's behind that effort to mislead; don't spread his propaganda. Toyota is building Solterra/bZ4X themselves in Japan, batteries supplied by Panasonic & CATL. The partnership with BYD is with a sedan, exclusively for the market in China.
Miles per Kilowatt. My wife and I had to both drive to work today. The office has opened up, so the commute has resumed. She would be going to band practice afterward. I would be returning back to the cats. Those are opposite directions. It was the ideal opportunity to do a side-by-side efficiency comparison. 2 Prius Prime driving the same route, at the same time, under the same conditions, in the same manner. She was following me. That's perfect for getting some real-world measures. Her heat-pump temperature was set to 65°F. Mine was off, just blowing in air from the outside. That temperature was in the mid-40's. It meant her accessory drain 9%. Mine was only 1%. The difference was intriguing. That 19-mile drive resulted in an efficiency of 4.6 mi/kWh. For me, it came to 5.2 mi/kWh. Both numbers are amazing. That's quite remarkable EV efficiency. Toyota has done exceptionally well in that regard. Also finding out how much of an impact that heat-pump makes is great, since it isn't as obvious as with a resistance-heater. That types reduces range noticeably more. Toyota's choice is better. I can't wait to find out how driving under similar circumstances will be with the bZ4X.
Stable Prices. Ever notice how gas-price instability continues? Some have grown tolerant of it. Others seek blame elsewhere. Admitting that loss of long-term stability was a key indicator of having reached "peak oil" is something naysayers refuse to do. Disruption and the magnitude of the fluctuations keep growing worse too. It's becoming even more difficult to deny. Meanwhile, the opposite is holding true for electricity-price. We are adding more and more sources. Electricity from solar & wind continues to grow as off-grid storage strives to prove a long-term solution. As people become aware of how battery-banks, hydro-pumping, and hydrogen can serve to balance demand with the supplemental power they store, their goal of ensuring stable prices will become apparent. No longer being a victim of oil supply-shortages due to an environmental event, transport accident, or political conflict isn't something those fighting EV are prepared to deal with. That's a wonderful benefit decades in the making many had no idea would be possible. It only gets better as the technology evolves too. Green energy will get greener over time. More efficient turbines & cells is a win for electricity. Oil peaked long ago and has been on a steady decline. The imminent death of coal is a foreshadow. Price instability is a sign that makes it difficult to avoid. Pain at the pump really cannot be ignored.
Being Proactive. I read through the other 115 comments posted. The author was clearly upset that his suggestion to only focus on need was an obvious problem with context. He was focusing entirely on a short-term limited-scope paradigm. But rather than reply to his follow-up about need, I switched over to another reply where he said the very same thing. That way, I had an ally attempting the same push to effort to expand his perspective. It really isn't want when you consider that bigger picture or time & people. This is what I posted: Waiting to spend money until you need to can often be more expensive. Being proactive tends to equate to a savings overall. Think about your entire household. Since you already have a PHEV, there is a very strong possibility the next purchase will be a BEV. How will both vehicles charge? That existing 120-volt line cannot be shared; it simply lacks the capacity. You will end up having to add a 240-volt line anyway.