Personal Log  #1134

March 23, 2022  -  March 29, 2022

Last Updated:  Sun. 4/03/2022

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Volumes 1, 2, 3.  My efforts to get the new server setup have been going well.  I spent weeks updating photos.  With over 20 years of archives, it was a hunt & organize undertaking for original edits.  I used them to render much higher resolution files than I was able to offer in the past.  Sharing was limited to bandwidth.  Gigabytes of transfer was realistic back then.  It would be costly for me to provide and painfully slow for people to download.  For that matter, most people had no means of viewing that many pixels.  Now, they can.  They can also download a massive number of pages contained within a single file.  That adds an entirely new dimension to searching.  Rather than use an online search for content, the speed & flexibility a PDF file offers can be exploited.  Taking advantage of new opportunities like that are great.  I spent the last few evenings rebuiding personal logs to deliver exactly that.  Each file originating from Microsoft Word still take around several minutes to open.  With so many embedded links, that makes sense.  It is why I set the maximum size to 750 pages.  Now all these years later, increasing all the way to 2,500 page per file is quite realistic.  So, I did.  That allowed me to fit my first 12 years of Prius history into a single PDF.  The following 2,500 pages delivered the next 8 years.  The remaining history was just shy of 750 pages.  That makes finding references incredibly handy.  I have quick & easy access to basically anything I need to look up on my phone as a result.  It's exactly what I needed to help build useful materal for the bZ vehicles.  What I learned from Prius will go a long way toward this new endeavor.  Hopefully, others may find it useful as well.  Looking at access logs for the website, I see lots of hits within those logs.  Covering the entire history in great detail from first-person observation & participation has been quite educational for me.  Anywho, you'll each of those resulting volumes here...  Personal Logs - Book


Deep Denial.  Misrepresentation of Toyota continues.  The ploy divert attention is quite desperate.  They spin the automaker as only being interested in ICE production & sales.  With plugable vehicles already available and more on the way, who are they trying to fool?  Themselves?  I posted the following: "Toyota sells plug-in vehicles too.  Those choices available will be expanding with a new sub-brand, starting with bZ4X in a few months."  The response was to deny that was true.  Huh?  How can such an easy to disprove statement be disputed?  It's just like Camry hybrid.  Volt enthusiasts pretended it didn't exist.  Everytime they brought up power or speed for Prius, I would point out that it wasn't the only hybrid that Toyota offered.  I also brought to their attention how much more power Camry hybrid offered, hinting at the strong likelihood it would be followed up with a RAV4 hybrid.  Heck, I even went as far as predicting the very real possibility of a RAV4 Prime.  They denied it all.  Evidence derailing their propaganda was dismissed.  It was quite vindicating when that became a reality.  To see Toyota deliver what GM had promised for a decade must have been devastating.  I was right.  The slow, well thought out path Toyota was taking made sense.  It not only didn't disrupt business, it made change easy.  Heck, almost 2 years later, RAV4 Prime basically sells itself... which has laid the foundation for volume to come.  Priority has been to establish & refine the technology.  PHEV is maturing and BEV is moving beyond introductory models.  Sadly, we are still waiting for infrastructure to catch up.  But in the meantime, the plug-in vehicles available will help stir curiosity & education.


Blind-Eye.  There were several exchanges yesterday.  It was the same old nonsense as countless times in the past.  This morning, he attempted to end with: "I have seen nothing, but you are trying to convince me with nothing but words."  That seemed like pretty good closure to me.  He didn't want to see.  So, I responded with:  Turning a blind-eye to what you don't want to see is common.  Reality is, Toyota rolled out their first EV drive in 2012.  It was limited to 100 km/h (62 mph) for a top speed, but provided a solid basis to build upon.  In 2016, the next-gen of that design was introduced.  Power was significantly increased and top speed was raised to 135 km/h (84 mph).  Then in 2020, it was upgraded yet again.  Whether or not you saw any of it makes no difference.  It was an entire decade of learning & refining... all of which you dismissed with a blatantly false "start that process from pretty much scratch" claim.  Think about how many have seen & experienced that EV drive already.  It allows Toyota to hit the ground running, quite the opposite of the anti-EV narrative being portrayed.


Better Chemistries.  Look on the periodic table of elements.  Notice what is next in sequence with regard to composition?  You know, that shared similar build on the atomic level.  Think about what we have been told many times on Star Trek.  If the life-form isn't carbon-based, what would it be?  On the table, you just look underneath Carbon in the same column.  That element is Silicon.  The life-form would naturally be silicon-based instead.  Use the same logic for Lithium.  See what's there?  It is Sodium.  Now, do a quick search for "sodium battery".  I did and here's what I found: "Sodium-ion batteries offer better performance and can operate at a wider temperature range.  They work much more efficiently in cold environments, compared to lithium-ion batteries.  Another advantage of sodium-ion batteries over lithium-ion batteries is they are non-flammable and there is no thermal runaway."  In other words, while we pursue a means of replacing anode & cathode components with better material and replace liquid electrolyte with something solid, we are also researching how lithium itself can be replaced.  This is what the "party" or "race" or whatever nonsense enthusiasts use to measure progress is basically meaningless.  They don't want to acknowledge these are still the early stages of electric vehicles.  There is still much opportunity awaiting.  This is a marathon run and they still believe it is a short-distance sprint.


Adopting LFP.  There are many who have been caught totally off guard.  That obsessive push to commit to massive-scale production of proven battery-chemistry has revealed itself to be misplaced priority.  Focus on maximum range looks more and more like a grave mistake.  This final thought from an article today stated the situation quite well: "...noted the competitive dynamic heating up between LFP and NMC batteries.  Safety advantages, long life-cycle and lower costs have led to EV makers starting to accept the trade-off of lower energy density in adopting LFP batteries."  Enthusiast assessment that mainstream consumers require the farthest possible EV distance was a choice with consequence.  Balance was sacrificed.  When has a tradeoff for an extreme ever been a good idea for long-term strategy?  All those attacks I endured was for this egg-on-face moment.  Realization of having been mistaken.  That guy with a Prius was correct.  Gasp!  What's most telling is the denial continues.  bZ4X range is getting the same type of criticism.  Chemistry doesn't make any difference if you don't recognize goals.  NCA isn't talked about much anymore.  It sacrificed longevity for performance.  Who thinks that is a good idea for middle-market shoppers or those on a very limited budget?  We'll find interest in NMC fading for similar reason.  It's use will shrink to the confines of performance models.  The everyday, common choices will heavily favor the safer, affordable, longer-lasting options instead, like LFP.


Beyond Desperate.  The response to my reply was a ramble about depending upon ICE for profit and fighting government regulation, along with this: "We shall see how much Toyota sticks to what you've said."  My post was mostly about the past and the eminent rollout of bZ4X.  It was a sign of desperation.  When you get cornered, you raise doubt.  When faced with irrefutable facts disproving your claim, the reaction is to attempt to discredit by raising doubt.  I know that game well.  He got caught.  I let him know that too:  Nope, unacceptable.  Claiming from scratch has been revealed to be false.  Toyota is about to hit their 200K threshold here as well.  That is not testing-the-waters quantity.  You got caught trying to downplay.  Toyota been refining their EV motor, invertor and control software for years.  They have learned much from those small, high-usage battery-packs.  That endeavor has been so successful, Sienna, Venza, and Sequoia will only be sold as hybrids, no more ICE only.  RAV4 is now a popular choice with a plug.  Corolla Cross is the likely next candidate to get a plug option. And rollout of their first dedicated-platform BEV is about to begin. Spin about intent won't change any of that.  Ordinary consumers will see plug offerings grow, including you.


Ramped-Up Rhetoric.  It is getting especially bad now.  Efforts to mislead are beyond desperate.  This post came from a video pointing out why Toyota may not be behind after all: "Hindsight (as shown here) is reactionary and not quick to implement.  In the long run it will help them to grow, but unlike companies who have decided to diversify earlier and are already ramping up their EV product manufacturing Toyota has to start that process from pretty much scratch.  This costly and slow... 2025 will be most likely their entry into this BEV market despite having the RAV4 EV be a limited run trial vehicle in the past."  I was beyond amused upon reaching the from scratch part.  But then when I saw 2025, I was aghast.  How could anyone be either so poorly informed or in such deep denial?  Needless to say, I felt free to reply with the following:  Claiming that "2025 will be most likely their entry into this BEV market" is basically an outright lie at this point.  Toyota is already selling RAV4 Prime, which delivers full EV drive... complete with heat-pump and liquid-cooling.  The UX300e convert is a full EV also being produced & sold.  That recent real-world experience will be leveraged for bZ4X... which rolls out in a few months.  These are their BEV plans made many years ago now playing out.  Remember Toyota's reveal back in June 2019?  Think about Prius Prime before that, rolled out in 2016 with full EV drive, to-the-floor all-electric acceleration, and a heat-pump standard.  There is nothing reactionary about any of that.


Free Level-2.  When your power company provides a free level-2 EVSE, is it worth it to pay for wiring in the garage to use it?  That's an interesting question.  Here is the answer I provided:  If you only have 1 car in your household and don't ever plan to replace the Prime with a vehicle offering more EV range, then sticking with a level-1 is a no-brainer.  For me, I'm looking back at that upgrade decision made 5 years ago.  Nothing is required to replace my Prime with a bZ4X.  The same level-2 EVSE... which I got a $500 rebate for and have been enjoying electricity discounts for ever since... will work as is. I won't have to spend a penny; yet, I will be able to enjoy a speed bump from 3.6 kW to 7.2 kW.  Way back in 2017, it seemed like a good choice for me. Now in 2022, there is no doubt it was.

3-24-2022 Overly Optimistic.  Danger from setting unrealistic expectations comes about from group-think, where a narrative is created & spread.  We have seen that repeated pattern with GM.  The same hype-from-hope behavior dominated discussions, overwhelming any type of constructive criticism.  Eventually, it gets so bad the apparent trolls fade away.  That's the trap.  There is no longer anything to confirm merit or to even measure progress.  You just end up with comments like this: "We are already several years into the BEV revolution."  That came from an article writer who continues to be way overly optimistic.  He continues to publish what is essential anti-Toyota articles, the kind that conveniently omit vital information to portray a status with rose-colored glasses.  Ugh.  I replied to that nonsense with:

That belief is a very real problem.  It's the narrative of "late to the party" that distorted what stage we are actually at.  Tesla helped prove out technology, but the absence of a standard in the US and the lack of any affordable (something comparable the likes of Corolla).  Legacy automakers are only now rolling out and establishing their first offerings.  So basically, we are still emerging from the early-adopter stage.

Put another way, the race hasn't begun yet.  Everything up until now has been qualifying rounds for the vehicles themselves and infrastructure isn't even there yet.  My location (metro of Minnesota with 3.5 million residents) has a DCFC station (more than just a single plug and faster than 50 kW) count for non-Tesla use of just one... yes 1, for that entire population... which means barely anyone even knows about it... despite now being a ZEV state.  That's establishment, not revolution.

It is really unfortunate that enthusiasts get way ahead of themselves, but that is nothing new.  They have been turning hope into hype for decades.  Just look at the disaster Volt turned into due in large part to their overly optimistic portrayal of status.  It took far longer for the efficiency, size, power and cost to reach the state hoped for than they ever imagined.  It did become a reality. RAV4 Prime is exactly what GM had set out to do, starting with Two-Mode then adding a plug.  Volt was the next step in that evolution.

Keep in mind, the revolution itself will slow later.  Following the low-hanging-fruit (easy sales to ambitious & wealthy consumers) will require exactly what Tesla has been avoiding... division of resources to produce very different vehicles and entering the highly-competitive, low-profit market.


Barely A Mention.  This nonsense gets very tiring: "Toyota: More Of The Same On Hybrids, With Small Plays In BEV Charging And Fuel Cell Vehicles."  There was only a brief mention of bZ4X.  Nothing about e-TNGA or any of the upcoming converts.  With 15 vehicles having been revealed, all planned for rollout by 2030, there's no excuse for a supposedly journalist to completely ignore the topic.  That more of same isn't even true.  Toyota is clearly working to phaseout traditional vehicles and push more toward plug-in models.  Knowing how diverse the variety of markets Toyota produces for and the reality of how long it actually takes for change, not to mention issues of price, his attitude is misleading.  Being able to get that many people to switch to a very with a battery-pack so well is something none of the other automakers have achieved.  That first step is extremely difficult and hoping to jump straight to BEV without supporting infrastructure is madness, especially knowing how long people have been greenwashed to resist change.  He claims to be gravely concerned about the status quo, but expresses it by only telling us what he wants us to know.  That's not objective.  In fact, that is what we often refer to as propaganda.  I was quite annoyed and posted this:  bZ4X will usher in the start of a series of dedicated-platform BEV from Toyota, 1 of 7 new offerings in the next few years .  Yet, it barely got a mention.  Those upcoming plug-ins represent an effort to achieve their production goal of 3.5 million per year by 2030.  That wasn't mentioned at all.

3-23-2022 Cost Per Mile.  We got another one of those studies again.  I wasn't the only one who got annoyed and wanted to climb up on a soapbox.  After relating well to someone else's shared frustrated, I replied with this advice:

As you said, it is very easy to cherry-pick and to get into a mismatch argument.  Telling someone how much it costs for 100 miles of EV is as simplistic as I have been able to come up with.  I see no reason to provide detail, since most people only give you a few seconds to state your facts.  Here's my situation:

$0.1238 midday (8am - 4pm Weekday)
$0.4420 peak (4pm - 9pm Weekday)
$0.0755 night (9pm - 8am Weekday)
$0.0755 all day (Weekend & Holidays)

2.5 miles/kWh for heavy consumption
3.0 miles/kWh for ordinary consumption
3.5 miles/kWh for efficient consumption

Knowing almost all my charging will be during night, I can focus on that rate.  With regard to EV efficiency, that obviously varies.  Focusing on "ordinary" at least gives me something reasonably average to work with.  100 miles divided by 3.0 miles/kWh = 33.3 kWh needed.  Multiply that with the $0.0755 rate, you get $2.52.

Using the 52 MPG efficiency rate for Camry hybrid or Corolla hybrid as a basis of comparison... 100 miles divided by 52 MPG, you get 1.92 gallons.  At the current $3.899 price per gallon of gas here in Minnesota, that's $7.50. Using 40 MPG for RAV4 hybrid... 100 miles divided by 40 MPG, you get 2.50 gallons.  At $3.899, that's $9.75.

Knowing the national average is 27.5 MPG and gas less than $4 per gallon will become a thing of the past, it's very easy to see EV driving is far less expensive.  Just tell people how much it costs you to travel 100 miles using electricity and let them figure out for themselves.


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