Prius Personal Log  #1138

April 12, 2022  -  April 15, 2022

Last Updated:  Sun. 9/18/2022

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4-15-2022

Seeing Detail.  I am not alone with the effort to help inform.  Unfortunately, many with good intent lack detail: "Most chargepoint do only up to 6.6 anyway so it's probably not that bad."  As correct as that was, it did nothing beyond just convey a sentiment.  Absence of detail makes it easy to forget.  For that matter, how do you convince the uncertain without any substance?  People need to see terminology and be told about measures many times before it finally sinks in what those really mean.  What you share doesn't have any weight until the information is understood.  Detail about charging speed or even electric efficiency were entirely absent back in the days of Volt.  That's how I knew it was doomed.  How do you attract interest from those who have misconceptions?  They have already made up their mind based on either an incorrect assumption or ill-intended messaging.   That's why we need to share detail, continuously.  For example:  That speed difference between 240-volt from the single-phase lines everyone in the United States has at home and the 208-volt commercial 3-phase used by public-chargers will catch new owners off guard.  For me, that means I see 3.2 kW at ChargePoint and 3.55 kW at home.  In terms of range difference, that 0.35 kW is easy math.  If your vehicle is averaging 3.0 miles/kWh, you will gain about 1 mile faster at home per hour than at a public charger.  For a 6.6 kW system, that's 2 miles.

4-15-2022

Want vs Need.  The classic argument has shifted to recharge speed: "6.6 is a pretty poor AC charging rate."  Enthusiasts don't diminishing returns.  Reaching a plateau is even worse.  There's no point of faster.  Acceptance of an "it works fine" outcome is what they despise.  When more is not better, they lose purpose.  Actually achieving a goal means their opinion is no longer of any value.  It's all about the fight.  Victory is means no more fight.  That's why we see a shift to want, a moving of the goal-posts.  I'm not going to let that happen and I'm all to happy to tell them why:  6.6 kW covers exactly what the target customer needs.  They will have a 40-amp line available at home to cover days that actually require a full recharge.  Most days won't.  Most households will have multiple vehicles too, so having just one high-draw EVSE doesn't make sense anyway.  6.6 kW is not the max speed anyway; it's just a rating.  The system will sustain a draw up to 32 amps.  Owners will 240-volt feeds on a 40-amp line can expect to see at least 7.2 kW, just like RAV4 Prime owners already get.  We want to encourage people to recharge overnight, taking advantage of off-peak discounts and keeping grid-load predictable.  That means a rapid draw at home during the day should not be encouraged.  Faster would contribute to exactly what is trying to be avoided.

4-15-2022

Everyone Else.  That long-time troublemaker author is at it again.  Given a platform to publish bias, he does.  That exploit has been going for a week with the latest topic.  He simply refuses to accept any approach not matching his way.  It's all about running the race in a particular manner, not actually winning.  Ugh.  This was his latest rant: "Tesla will sell ~1.5 million BEVs in 2022. Toyota will sell almost none.  Their hybrids have ICE with the same sized engine as their ICE only cars.  The claimed emissions reductions are misleading.  It is still pretty clear that Toyota is holding on to the ICE era at a time when everyone else is switching."  I find the participation rather interesting, since most authors don't bother.  With him, posts are quite engaged.  At all costs, he is determined to support/defend his article.  This how I responded to today's nonsense:  That claim of "everyone else" is based upon initial rollouts.  Expanding beyond the first vehicle is still a leap of faith, one acceptable for all but Toyota.  If there is an engine available for backup, there is outright dismissal... regardless of the positive impact it has bringing their consumer & dealer base forward.  The reality that many PHEV owners next purchase is a BEV conveniently gets evaded, as if an impossibility.  In other words, Toyota's plan to reach the difficult-to-reach audience is just dismissed and everyone else's all-in approach praised despite absent of merit.  In other words, Toyota is switching too.  You just don't like the approach.  That's really sad, especially when turning a blind-eye to what happens with the vehicles still being purchased.  Those guzzlers from everyone else are no where near as clean as the hybrids & plug-in hybrids from Toyota.  Think about how much an old plug-in hybrid will get plugged in when chargers are abundant.  The child getting a hand-me-down will be milking the battery-pack for all it's worth, avoiding having to purchase gas as much as possible.  Perspective is quite different when looking at the rest of the fleet from everyone else and their lack of any type of transition plan.

4-14-2022

Far Inferior.  I wonder how often this attitude will surface: "Toyota EVs are presently C-L-E-A-R-L-Y far inferior to Tesla EVs.  Tesla is the obvious leader in the industry, hands down."  It was an endless battle back in the days of Volt.  Some of those enthusiasts were so smug, it was astonishing to witness such a level of ignorance.  Facts didn't matter.  They simply pushed a belief to the point where they convinced themselves of being right.  Looking back at the idiot we had in office and his blind followers, that is no longer any surprise.  It was very difficult to imagine back then though.  People weren't following delusion on such a massive scale or with such consequence.  Denial could be dealt with.  Overcoming this now though, ugh.  Notice how there is nothing quantitative anymore?  At least with Volt, the supposed shortcoming was identified.  There is nothing clear about that claim.  What makes Toyota EVs far inferior?  I see the well refined software and hardware with potential for strong reliability as competitive.  I also see Toyota's approach as being superior in terms of profitability.  One could point out vertical integration (other than battery cells) as an obvious advantage, but isn't what happened in this case.  He claimed there were 9, but didn't bother to provide any.  Failing to share even just 1, to at least show an effort to make the discussion constructive, was all I needed to identify the post as rhetoric.  He was wasting our time.  So, I punched back with:  I asked how you quantified being 5 years ahead and you responded with "Tesla has NINE competitive advantages" but didn't actually list what those were; instead, you responded with new version of "vastly superior".  That is so vacuous, there's no way to respond.

4-14-2022

New Charging Stations.  It's rather surreal when you read an article about new chargers becoming available in some other state and you recognize the location.  I knew exactly where they had been installed.  That type of change is intriguing for me, having grown up in one of the faster new development areas of the entire country... just south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  The area here is still booming.  In fact, just a mile up the road is a massive new commercial complex being built in what had been an industrial area with a 50-year phaseout plan.  This area has a lot of Ice Age deposit material, so there is a lot of sand extraction along with farming of the rich soil.  Eventually, that becomes suburb area and the industry moves further south.  I have been watching that movement for decades.  In fact, my home sits on what had been farm fields back when I was in high school.  Now, the homes are getting restaurant & retail to fill in gaps for goods & services.  There are no DC fast-chargers yet.  Those big stations remain just a dream.  At least there are a few level-2 locations for now.  Anywho, the article today gave me a little insight into what an area entirely new to BEV will be addressing.  I posted this about it, following the questions I asked:  On the topic of states changing, Wyoming just got their first Electrify America station.  It's in Gillette, close to the Starbucks we routinely stop at while visiting my sister-in-law.  The trip there is a 80 mph drive through open country with no chance of using anything but the plug-in hybrid.  Absence of DC fast-chargers makes that travel impossible with a BEV.  I wonder how long it will be until we get our own highway system here throughout the state upgraded.  Out there, I suspect those chargers will be for local use only for quite a number of years.

4-14-2022

Asking Questions.  This one I asked today sure stirred a lot of interest right away: "Yesterday, CARB (California Air Resources Board) proposed a rule to require 35% of new car sales for model year 2026 to be zero-emission vehicles (BEV, PHEV, Hydrogen).  Since Minnesota has adopted existing rules (though those don't begin until 2024), what would be reasonable for adopting the next set of rules?  How much effort & time does it take to continue raising the bar here?"  Posting that on the group for Minnesota plug-in owners meant I would get objective replies.  We all want more BEV to become available here.  Looking ahead to the need for a standard plug and simple payment, the fact that we are still struggling to get inventory is not encouraging.  Our group is well informed.  That's a start.  Feedback should be quite useful too.  Unfortunately, getting answers is a challenge.  In other words, we are still very much in the early stages.  It's a solid start though.  We know the technology itself works.  It's like the early 2000's with portable computers.  Those expensive, clunky machines worked... but they left much to be desired.  It was a matter knowing several generations of hardware & software upgrades would get us to the goal.  Though distant, that finish line was realistic.  That's why all this "behind" nonsense is just rhetoric.  Those claiming it are far from completing the race still too.  Our group is well aware of the Tortoise & Hare problem.  We are working to overcome such distractions by providing information to help answer questions.

4-13-2022

E15 Approval.  Just when you think the audience couldn't be any more out of touch with reality, this happens.  To lower gas prices and address limitation of our reserves, the regulation to prevent more than a 10% ethanol mix in gas will be lifted.  Allowing an extra 5% was restricted to certain areas and certain times of the year.  People are freaking out, claiming the switch from pure gas to E15 will harm their vehicle.  They are completely oblivious to the fact that they have been using E10 for years without trouble.  For us in the Midwest, it has been decades.  Many are claiming that vehicles won't even allow it, despite that information being clearly labeled on the gas fill-cap and printed in the owner's manual.  It has been that way for an entire decade.  Minnesota had an E15 mandate planned for 2013.  No big deal.  Automakers already had support in place.  It boggles the mind how people fight change without critical thought.  Many of the comments posted are knee-jerk reactions without any reasoning.  To think the previous claim of ICE car sales coming to an end soon would be realistic is an out-of-touch statement just based on this alone.  Resistance is shockingly bad.  You get backlash from pretty much anything which threatens to break the status quo.  People are overwhelmed.  More is unacceptable, regardless of necessity.  That's not a good sign.

4-13-2022

Abrupt Change.  This type of claim is becoming more common: "By 2024/25 the sales of ICE cars (in the western world) will be close to ZERO..."  Could you imagine if that was realistic even by 2030?  Where is such a wide variety of vehicles and support for such vehicles supposed to come from?  Within just 3 years, we are supposed to somehow get everyone on board... from education to infrastructure.  Whoa!  It doesn't make sense.  How could we possibly get homes, parking lots, and roadways equipped for charging quickly, correctly, completely, and without financial struggle that fast... not to mention getting the vehicles affordable so quick.  Heck, just getting payment simplified & standardized by then would be a miracle.  Remember, we are still in the middle of a battle for a common DC fast-charging connection.  I couldn't imagine how dealership would take such news.  Think about the scramble & expense for them having to support such abrupt change.  It makes no sense.  Of course, there is no politic will for it anyway.  I wish there was.  But with so much pushback just from the enthusiasts claiming range for 4X isn't enough, despite it being similar to many other new BEV offerings, there is obviously trouble with priorities even among those who are in favor of plugging in.  I dream of years from now where locations to recharge while traveling and within suburb mingling are so common, there is no concern or need to plan out driving routes anymore.  At that point, all the other challenges will seem trivial.  That's the point where we look forward to technology improvements.  We are still establishing that new world, laying down a path for others elsewhere in the world to follow.  It will happen, but it will take a lot longer than many hope... especially those online posting comments like that one today.

4-12-2022

Understanding Design.  There's all kinds of trouble brewing.  People didn't have a clue how plug-in hybrids worked, which meant the propaganda to mislead would be easy to push.  That has been so effective, removable of subsidies and public outcry is a growing sentiment.  Basically, there is fear of change on many levels.  With regard to BEV advancement, the basics is all we have.  Acceleration curves and the design of how much energy is directed where and when is a complete mystery.  So, people are making assumptions... bad ones, stuff quite incorrect.  Some of it is worse than with hybrids to, since the conclusions people are jumping to are almost universal.  No one is questioning claims.  Ugh.  You'd think there would be someone in the crowd who understands there is more to what a vehicle delivers for performance than just horsepower.  Turns out, there is not.  It is almost universally misunderstood.  Blah.  Here is my first attempt at dealing with such clueless claims:  As for the difference between the FWD and AWD models, focusing entirely on HP is the same mistake countless others have made.  Listen to the reviewers.  When the pedal is dropped while already in motion, what happens?  They feel a lot torque, not horsepower.  That supposed trivial gain is actually significant with regard to the LB-FT difference. It  jumps from 196 to 248.  So, while horsepower only increases by 6%, the amount of torque increases by 21%.

4-12-2022

Behind Narrative.  It's quickly dying.  Yeah!  I was a bit surprised how little such a heavily repeated mantra has abruptly died.  Video reviews show a highly refined vehicle.  It's not rough around the edges like pretty much everyone else.  We have see VW and Hyundai both struggle with updates of both hardware & software.  They will deliver and the vehicles will become competitive.  Discovering Toyota is already there is proving to be quite a sucker-punch.  Did they really think hybrids were a total waste of time & resources, that none of that knowledge & experience was transferrable?  Thankfully, all that hard work Toyota did to establish & refine has paid off.  It's interesting how much is required to build a good, solid foundation.  That is what's needed though.  I know this all too well with my 3 decades of being a software engineer.  It takes many, many years of thankless struggle to get in that position.  Reward from such endeavor is sweet though, well worth it.  Some still don't understand the process.  A few are still making claims like this: "Toyota is still about 5 years behind Tesla."  It makes you wonder what they are thinking.  Perhaps it is Tesla's vertical integration, trying to do as much in-house by themselves as possible.  Toyota's relationships with Panasonic, CATL, and BYD must be pretty unsettling from that perspective.  It can't be the vehicle itself.  The fit & finish of Toyota vehicles is still superior to Tesla... and the reviews today made that quite unmistakable comparison.  Toyota is far better at targeting middle-market as well.  Tesla prices keep going up, making Model 3 and Model Y even further from the reach of mainstream shoppers.  What in the world does "behind" actually mean to those still making the claim?  I see ordinary consumers dismissing Tesla as "too expensive" all the time.  In fact, I expect the same from those asking about 4X.  It's too expensive for them; however, the smaller 3X will not be.  That's where Toyota's years and years of affordable pursuit will become evidence.  In the meantime, I just post stuff like this as my reply to the behind narrative:  There is nothing to quantify that 5-year claim, nor does it matter. bZ4X reviews are pointing out how well refined the EV drive is already.  That knowledge comes from 10 years of real-world experience producing plug-in hybrids with all-electric drive.

 

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