Prius Personal Log  #1135

March 30, 2022  -  April 1, 2022

Last Updated:  Sun. 4/03/2022

    page #1134         page #1136         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom     

       

4-01-2022

Varied Models.  It seems rather odd from my perspective that such a question would be asked: "Is Toyota opting for different charging capability than the Solterra? Or is the EU spec differently matched from the US spec?"  I know the answer.  Some have never considered such a thing though, so they ask.  That's good.  Curiosity is what helps progress along.  This is how I answered that:  You're overlooking the assortment of options this platform was intended to deliver.  Think about the advantages of sharing design, but being able to alter configuration.  You start with a Toyota to be the high-volume, profitable model for dependable, on-going sales.  Then there's a rebrand/partner model, in this case Subaru. It should be obvious what's missing... Lexus.  That luxury model, which we already know the name of... RZ450e... will obviously offer more power. It will almost certainly offer faster DC charging to contrast a mass-market choice... a slower configuration, possibly the Subaru.  Want proof of such divergences, look no further than RAV4 Prime.  Notice how it is offered with a slower level-2 speed for the base model?

4-01-2022

Not Pay Attention.  The reply I got from that foe of the past was a distortion of achievement.  In other words, he decided how progress would be measured rather than looking at what had been accomplished.  That's yet another form of cherry-picking.  Ugh.  In this case, his measure of success was based solely upon sales... you know, ignore context to portray a narrative.  Prius history here was without tax-credits for incentive.  In fact, there was basically nothing from a social perspective endorsing emission or consumption reduction.  From the start August 2000 to January 2006, there was nothing beyond a small deduction available here in the United States.  No financial support.  The very opposite happened.  Reaction to 9/11 was to encourage waste.  Businesses could get a $10,000 tax-credit for the purchase of a Hummer.  This is the same era where climate change was still mocked as "global warming" and misconceptions about batteries & motors were abundant.  That is all profoundly different from what we saw during the previous administration.  Needless to say, I was quite annoyed.  He was still an antagonist of Toyota, not giving a damn about fundamental change.  It's still about conquest.  That's really sad, but not surprise.  Some people never learn.  That's why I found an analogy to point out his misrepresentation:  Toyota pushed hard, breaking a lot of ground to prove & refine that technology.  Fruits of their labor didn't become apparent until 2017 because you weren't paying attention.  It's just like planting trees.  Judging progress based upon harvest, disregarding all those years of nurture to get to that stage, is a false measure.

4-01-2022

20 Years.  A foe from the past who eventually abandoned Volt made this comment today about bZ4X, in an article about its readiness for market: "It took nearly 20 years for them to move tech from the Prius mainstream..."  How do you deal with such a wild claim.  Supposedly, that move was regulation pressure.  All the emission-reduction and cost-reduction work Toyota had done prior to that didn't count.  The worldwide rollout and spread into a wide variety of markets with an array of choices didn't count.  It was very much in line with that narrative of Toyota resistance.  They must portray something as opposition to make themselves appear better.  Acknowledgement of goals is evaded in every regard.  You can't let anyone see that Toyota is actually diligently working to move their entire fleet forward.  All you need to do is put up a good show, demonstrating potential with token offerings but not actually disrupting the status quo... which is the very problem I had with this individual.  His interests were conquest, not true change.  Ugh.  My response to that nonsense today was brief:  In what reality do you live in?  We had a minivan, sedan, and SUV prior to the 10-year anniversary.  In fact, the first plug-in hybrid was at year 15.  By the time they hit 20, a majority of the fleet had hybrid models available and some were already on second-generation.

4-01-2022

Messaging.  How much time it will take for DC fast-charging of Solterra and bZ4X continues to baffle enthusiasts.  They don't understand the language of Toyota.  They don't understand their audience.  They basically don't understand the market.  It's that problem of focusing exclusively on engineering again.  They don't get it.  So just like the "Who?" question of market, I ask:  Who is the messaging for?  Enthusiasts are well aware of how "150 kW" is basically impossible in the winter.  Ordinary consumers are quite unaware of how much longer it takes until the pack warms up... hence, under an hour.  Toyota has a history of dealing with misleading reviews, where some vital fact was omitted resulting in undermined expectations.  Notice how vague references to "winter" are with the BEV market?  What temperature that actually represents, combined with whether or not the pack was still cold and what SOC it started at, poses quite a dilemma to address.  Use of "under an hour" sets the expectation lower with no real harm.  Just like with PHEV, don't put too much weight on promotional materials.  Owners will report much better observations... something Toyota leverages for sales.  For that matter, Tesla does the same thing.  It's all about messaging.  Some other automakers really struggle with that.  Toyota ignores the noise & rhetoric.

4-01-2022

Maximizing Battery Life, full capacity.  Wrapping up my long post with a sample of how far you could drive under ordinary circumstances seemed a worthwhile include.  It was the same route I have done for years, the drive to & from a local coffeeshop.  The distance was perfect, just under half of the EV capacity.  Driving that entire route twice eliminates possibility of wind or traffic bias.  You can witness in great detail what the system does and how it handles the variety.  It also clearly showed how Prius Prime easily exceeds the EPA rating for range.  Since I repeat that same drive year after year (early Summer) when temperature is the same, one more video capture prior to getting the bZ4X should work out nice with regard to timing.  That type of detail is priceless years later.  It's vaulable now too.  This is what I shared:  No big deal.  All of it was just fine.  In fact, the new owner of my PHV is still using it after a decade of service.  He liked it so much, his household now has a RAV4 Prime too.  For an example of the entire EV capacity being used, watch the following video I recorded.  On the right side is an aftermarket app.  It shows true battery-capacity, so you can the entire range, not just EV.  Including that HV and longevity buffer is useful toward understanding how the system operates.  There is more at play than what the dashboard information presents.  See...  Prius Prime - Construction Summer Drive

4-01-2022

Maximizing Battery Life, repeated success.  That first video I shared was of my PHV, which is now over 10 years old and still working fine.  It was of a drive during Summer.  My thought was one of the Prime during Winter would be a nice compliment to that.  The same commute but under quite different circumstances could help reinforce confidence in the technology.  The same usage year after year without any surprises should be a good sign... especially since I plan to repeat the process yet again.  Though, that commute only takes place from time to time now.  Nonetheless, you can clearly see my circumstances for driving.  That variety of suburb and highway should be informative.  My continuation of the post was as follows:  I did the same with my Prius Prime for 3 years... until the pandemic.  Now, I work from home most of the time.  But that commute was no different.  The drive to work started with 100% and so did the return home.  Here is an example of that...  Prius Prime - Early Spring, Winter Returned

4-01-2022

Maximizing Battery Life, deep cycle.  There was a post on the big Prius forum from a new Prime owner that caught my attention.  It concluded with: "...this was a giant expenditure that I've just gone through and I would like to maximize life of the batteries."  He had some interesting observations and highlighted a few areas of concern.  This is the first I decided to addresss: "This means I will "deep cycle" the Prius every day."  It was worry about completely draining the battery.  He was under the impression that was bad.  I found it odd in the context of a plug-in hybrid, which is specifically designed for exactly that.  When you run out of electricity, the gas-engine takes over.  A reply with video seemed the best way to confront such a misunderstanding.  With that level of detail in an easy-to-absorb format, I should get some type of meaningful dialog.  So, I led off with:  That is not "deep cycle".  When you see 6% remaining, it is really 18%.  That displayed percentage is really only EV capacity, not overall.  In fact, continuing beyond that depletes HV capacity.  Even then, it is not deep.  There is still a buffer remaining.  To be "deep" you would have to draw even more electricity.  The system won't allow that.  For the 5 years I owned a Prius PHV, it got recharged twice every workday.  I would start with a full battery in the morning and recharge it back up during the day while at work for the commute home.  Work was further than the entire capacity, so it was quite handy having chargers available.  I filmed many of those drives.  Here is an example...  Prius PHV - Summer Commute Work

4-01-2022

bZ4X Anticipation.  We now know when the embargo will be lifted.  There was a growing expectation of drive reviews, package detail and pricing information to be released prior to Earth Day.  Timing was an unknown... mostly because the industry itself is being shaken.  With so much at play all at once, there was simply no rush.  After all, we will need to wait for delivery anyway.  Anticipation is a plug.  In this case though, it is exceptionally well timed.  Even the media who had been quite anti-Toyota are now reconsidering their stance.  With today being the 5-year anniversary of my Prius Prime purchase, seeing that in my newsfeed this morning was quite nice.  Anywho, the wait for the lift is only 11 days away now.  On the 12th of April at 7:00 AM Eastern, a flood of new material will be available.  Hopefully, that means I will be scrambling to place an official pre-order then.  I have a request at my dealer already, complete with a refundable $500 deposit already.  But that isn't a match up of vehicle to customer like the pre-order will be.  It is simply a statement of intent asking them to find a vehicle matching criteria when region allocations are available.  Getting the reverse is what I seek, an assignment from corporate for my specific choice of vehicle configuration & dealer.  That will result in a very long wait, but more of a guarantee of what I want and some sense of a schedule.  It's all about patience and what the resulting anticipation gets you to think about.  That has been very, very helpful in the past.  It contributes to how Toyota is able to get so much of an endorsement from owners.  In the meantime, there will supposedly be some type of tease in a few days.  I suspect first thing Monday morning (today is Friday) we will be getting a stir from Toyota that more is "soon" to come.

3-31-2022

Impatience.  That writer is at it again.  He makes money spinning the perspective of imminent danger from climate change casting Toyota as the villian.  That's quite frustrating.  Feeding fear by amplifying & misleading is old school, a tactic resulting in lots of attention.  He's struggling to make it work though.  I was pleased to see some rather hefty pushback in the comments.  Piling onto that type of mess can sometimes be informative.  So, I gave it a try:  That repeated exaggeration is the problem.  There is not a sentiment of 30-40 years.  Reality is, the shift will take 2 product-cycles.  For production, that is around 6 years.  For planning & setup, it's roughly the same.  For service, it's about 12 years.  In other words, we a still looking at 2035.  Regardless of urgency, it logistically can't really happen much faster.  You'll see certain markets leading the way, but there are far too many factors at play those analogies fail to address.  I have been driving plug-in vehicles for over a decade now and hybrids over a decade prior to that.  As much as I would like faster progress, I see that isn't going to happen.. everywhere.  So, I push where it is realistic in the meantime.  Concentrate on milestones along the journey.  Think about how much will be achieved by 2025 and 2030.

3-31-2022

Inevitable Fallout.  This was an interesting ponder about Toyota's participation in an apparent effort to prevent efficiency standards from being raised: "...but it has something to do with why they were so reticent to get into EVs."  Most people have no clue.  It was the original supposed reluctance to lithium batteries.  Statements were so far removed from context, they became mere hearsay.  You couldn't find detail even if you wanted to.  Antagonist narrative distorted reality to such an extreme degree, there was no telling who said what or when or even how.  That's the point of rhetoric.  Anything you can do to impede is the point.  Fortunately, some of that can be overcome simply by providing spective on what's to come.  Look forward, not backward:  That "something" is the United States.  We started out as the leader, showing the world how to embrace paradigm-shift.  Then we fell into the enthusiast trap.  Tesla focused on expensive & proprietary niche and GM pursued conquest.  It simply made no sense for Toyota getting tangled in that mess.  Why not just continue refining motor & battery tech with hybrids & plug-in hybrids while waiting for consequences of those non-mainstream endeavors to become apparent?  Think about the position Tesla is now in here (United States) compared to Europe with regard to fast-charging standards.  That reluctance is becoming a costly setback.  Think about GM's rush with Bolt to beat Model 3 and supersede Leaf. It didn't address either audience well.  Never targeting their own loyal customers is becoming a costly setback.  Narratives about Toyota make it easy to overlook what those elsewhere see as good reasons for them to avoid the inevitable fallout.  Notice timing of this first of seven "bZ" vehicles follows the point at which those other automaker problems are becoming difficult to deny?

3-31-2022

Worried.  This is part of the FUD approach.  The person expresses concern without substance: "I'm glad they finally have a EV platform.  Better late than never, but generations behind others.  I'm worried about Toyota/Subaru software thou."   What exactly are they worried about?  When pushed, they change the topic.  That's why my replies tend to be exposition for lurkers rather than a direct response.  The absence of any type of reasoning to support "behind" claims is quite a powerful confirmation that Toyota will do well.  If there was a shortcoming of some sort, you know they would be yelling about it from rooftops for all to hear.  Instead, there is silence.  Even rhetoric of the past has vanished.  They have nothing to portray Toyota as being caught off guard and scrambling to catch up.  With bZ4X drive videos now being filmed and a hint of what's to come from Solterra, antagonists are themselves scrambling.  Lacking anything to sight as an impedement, they have to invent one.  Raising doubt is how it starts.  You simply present a stance of lacking confidence and let people assume there is something to justify it.  There is not.  Desperation is beginning to show.  This is going to be fun.  For now though, I have to patiently wait for the opportunity to prove them wrong with real-world data.  Sometime this Summer, that should happen.  In the meantime:  Toyota EV has been in real-world use for many years already.  Look up the variety plug-in vehicles with all-electric drive already offer.  The narrative claiming otherwise provided a means of refining software without having to deal with rhetoric.  Enthusiast priorities are so different, it was best to just avoid any of that.

3-30-2022

Misunderstanding Statistics.  Sometimes, the person sighting statistics doesn't recognize the information they actually convey.  They assume and pass on incorrect conclusions.  In this case, it was: "60% of Americans live in single family homes.  Your "people without easy charging access" demographic is shrinking every day.  15% of new car sales globally are expected to be BEV this year."  It is like assuming because the home has water service in the house, you can refill a glass of water anywhere within it... and quickly.  Being able to park in a garage likely means you have access, but it doesn't mean it will be easy.  Where is the outlet and what is the capacity?  If all you have is 120-volts and that line is shared with other appliances, that will be quite inconvenient.  Of those 60% quoted, how many are in that situation?  For those lucky enough to actually have some type of 240-volt line, does it have capacity?  Think about all those southern homeowners with dryer outlets (here in the north, we don't since our garages drop below freezing every winter).  Are most all of them the 10-30 type?  That means you can draw a maximum of only 24 amps, not the full 32 amps many BEV charge at for level-2.  Making matters worse, that is only for a single vehicle.  If you have multiple, sharing becomes a nightmare with both physical parking arrangement and timing.  Needless to say, I see a major disservice at play when people so carelessly quote statistics like that.  This is how I responded to such a post (that quote above):  Living in a single family home does not mean you have easy charging access.  In fact, we are seeing many BEV owners purchase a PHEV as their second vehicle for that very reason.  For that matter, there are quite a number of BEV owners making due with just 120-volt charging because that's all they have.  The cold, hard reality is level-2 for everyone in the household is a number of years away still.

 

back to home page       go to top