Prius Personal Log  #1145

May 17, 2022  -  May 21, 2022

Last Updated:  Sun. 9/18/2022

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5-21-2022

Nothing New.  One of the tactics an antagonist will use is to present an observation as if it is new.  For example: "It's not a rational decision it's an emotional one."  That was pretty much pointless to say.  What part of this market has any logic remaining?  We are in a downfall with a slim chance of the expensive offerings now really making any difference.  True, taking advantage of high sticker-prices to introduce new technology can be an opportunity to exploit.  But when conditions swing the other direction, you better have those affordable choices at the ready.  They need to already be affordable too.  If not, expect major involuntary change.  In other words, the low-hanging fruit available now will disappear at some point.  Better prepare for that day.  It all comes down to recognizing the difference between want and need.  Some still don't see that.  I do.  I point it out on a regular basis.  Here it is again:  None of this is new.  On a daily basis, we see people here arguing for WANT and absolutely refusing to address NEED.  Notice how even this article never states "range" as some vague measure.   Don't be naïve. Surveys can be conducted with bias. We have already seen studies with cherry-picked data to support a narrative. When it comes to plug-in vehicles, that is very easy to do.  People simply don't have all the information. Being poorly informed is key... like treating "range" as concept rather providing any type of context.  Of course, stating a minimum distance to fulfill ordinary driving situations would be rational.  Specifically identifying a NEED will allow goals to be achieved, ending the emotional exchanges that keep discussions active.

5-21-2022

Continuous Attacks.  Certain people are known trolls.  They just relentlessly attack, doing everything they can to undermine & mislead.  In this case, there is the effort from a former Volt owner attempting to misrepresent the appeal of PHEV in favor of BEV.  Today, it was: "Is this because there is no DCFC network in your traveling area?  Have you checked recently?  New DCFC stations are being installed daily!"  If you couldn't predict, that made me quite annoyed:  Losing touch with reality comes from wearing those rose-colored glasses for too long.  The cold, hard truth is that we are still years away from any type of practical DCFC usage.  It is very much the wild early stages of establishment.  Heck we don't even have a standard here yet.  Replacement of my Prius Prime with a bZ4X is eminent.  Living in what became a ZEV state last year (Minnesota, first in the Midwest), hope was we would be much further along with install plans.  Instead, there is political fighting to prevent opening up of public places (like highway rest-areas) for adding chargers.  DC fast-chargers are pretty much absent in all but a single corridor.  I simply won't be able to travel up north with the BEV for awhile.  We'll end up using the PHEV for travel.  There is nothing bad about that situation.  It's just truth some don't want to accept.  All of the travel within the metro area and even my adventures out to country trails will work just fine without a gas-engine for backup.  The misleading about "daily" is utter nonsense though.  It may be true statistically, but most people will be lucky to see just one DCFC in their area come about within the next year or two.  Heck, I'm in a booming area with lots of new construction; yet, we don't even get level-2 chargers.  I'm not in denial about that though.  No rose-colored glasses for me.

5-21-2022

Hummer EV.  Renewed insanity has begun.  Supposedly, there are 60,000 orders for this beast.  Why?  Think about what happened to its predecessor.  It represented what Americans were hated for.  Repeating that mistake makes no sense.  Yet, we see GM following their same history of following the appeal of gross overkill.  This is how an article featuring it today concluded: "It may not be the Supertruck anyone expected, but it may be the one we need."  I was beyond irritated.  Ugh.  This is how I chose to comment:  1.6 mi/kWh makes it the ultimate electricity guzzler.  Simply changing from one fuel to another doesn't actually solve the problem.  Why are we endorsing resurrection of such a vehicle with the same shortcoming of energy waste?  When it was a gas guzzler, it was the a symbol of excess.  What does it represent now?

5-20-2022

Infrared Heater.  It gets mentioned from time to time now.  That's progress.  When something entirely new is introduced, people typically have no idea what it represents.  So, it ends up getting disregarded... until later when something happens to draw attention to the benefit.  That was definitely the case with heat-pumps.  For years, that efficiency improvement technology was disregarded.  That was in part due to some going out of their way to downplay its importance.  When their vehicle didn't have it, that behavior was an expected outcome.  I suspect something along those same lines for this.  It won't be until years later when it has been delivering flawlessly that others will become interested, then it will get the praise it deserves.  It's unfortunate that such efforts to innovate get the "anti" treatment.  Even though Toyota takes risks by trying something new, they are still labeled as conservative.  You can tell where priorities really are by behavior like that.  Anywho, this is what I had to say when someone brought attention to the new feature:  I'm really looking forward to that infrared heater.  Radiant warming transmits energy directly (think sun on your skin) rather than wasting it to warm the surrounding air.  Living here in Minnesota and having enjoyed the benefits of a heat-pump in my Prius Prime for 5 years now, that next level of electric efficiency will be really nice.

5-19-2022

Are They?  I couldn't resist asking that question upon stumbling across this: "Why is Tesla the only non-Chinese company putting LFP batteries in non-Chinese cars?"  Following my long series of researching evenings since late last summer, there is now a compelling collection of tidbits all seeming to provide confirmation of something different intentionally being tried.  There is nothing to benefit from by revealing chemistry now, but a huge gain later with supportive real-world data.  So, just wait.  Eventually we'll find out what Toyota had contracted for.  Most likely, it will be when a renewal takes place.  Like all new things, we must exhibit patience.  In the meantime though, there can be questions:  Are they?  Digging for clues about the circumstances & cells supplied by CATL for the US version of the AWD bZ4X and Solterra, you'll recognize traits in common with LFP.  Notice how voltage, amp-hours, C-rate and temperature criteria all conveniently?  Then there is the intense desire for CATL to get entrenched into the North American market and how Toyota is supplied constrained?  That is a win-win for both companies.  It is rather remarkable how so many have mocked Toyota for supposed shortcomings, but never bother to look into the detail.  Since the final for patent for LFP expired just 3 weeks ago and delivers of bZ4X started a few days ago, there's good reason to dig for clues.  Think about the advantage CATL had up until 3 weeks ago.  Without patent-protection for LFP chemistry, anyone can now produce them.  CATL making an arrangement with Toyota for limited initial supply that's too good to resist is a sensible business move.  In fact, a strategy exactly like that is necessary to fulfill the aggressive growth plans CATL now has.  As for Tesla, notice how rapid the switch over to LFP was?  For those paying attention back in September, you could see how it caught others completely off guard.  The safety & longevity advantages alone make it a very compelling choice.  Then when you factor in the lower cost, no need for a buffer, and no dependency for either nickel or cobalt, the decision is obvious.

5-19-2022

Over Promise, Under Deliver.  Here we go again.  Fortunately, I'm far from along this time: "Wow, another proclamation from GM about how they are really going to build and sell EVs.  No, this time they mean it.  Honest.  LOL"  Reminders of the past are different now.  Way back, it was outright denial with a lot of enthusiasts fighting you.  That was mostly due to GM being the only real push from legacy automakers.  It was a hollow one, but nonetheless the one retaining the spotlight.  That was the trouble too.  There was no pressure to deliver with so much hype.  Ironically, GM rested on its laurels for so long, that previous argument against Toyota is now coming back to bit them... hence this renewed hype effort.  Ugh.  This is what I had to say about all that:  5 years ago, the statement GM provided was there would be 20 new "all electric" vehicles delivered by 2023.  That obviously won't happen. Here's some background why.  GM was well aware of the need to diversify an entire decade ago.  In fact, the spread of Volt technology to other vehicles was such basic business principle to follow that expectation was a given.  After all, spread of tech was the secret to Toyota's success with hybrids.  GM didn't show interest in though.  Investment was directed toward gen-2 rollout instead.  Expectation of spread we postponed as a result.  GM's struggle to deliver continued.  How to achieve a profitable design appealing to its own customers without subsidies and sustain sales remained beyond GM's grasp.  That's how the turn to Bolt came about.  It's better to abandon ship when you still have viable resources to leverage.  Focus was directed entirely to BEV... which was rather ironic, since EREV campaigns were against that very choice.  Needless to say, it failed to overcome the same problem of appeal & sales.  Now, we see a complete reset taking place... new battery... new platform... new audience.  How will this be any different from what other automakers are striving to deliver?  GM's long history with "over promise, under deliver" is good reason to just wait & see.... especially since expectations often turned into hype.

5-18-2022

Charging Category.  It gets messy when you take other markets into account.  Heck, even just here people still refer to their 240-volt service as "220 volts".  So, I tend to just focus on the results instead.  After all, everyone's goal is to maximize their at-home charging.  So, understanding how it varies there and commercially is helpful.  Today, it was a sharing of the basics:  120 volts * 12 amps = 1.44 kW.  That is the base power output available for us in the United States.  You want faster, you have to purchase a converter to bump voltage to 240 volts for an increase of speed to 2.88 kW or purchase a level-2 EVSE for the 6.6 kW speed. Keep in mind, that "6.6 kW" is a level-2 category.  The actual speed will vary.  From a public charger (like ChargePoint) you get only 208 volts (since it is 3-phase electricity) which is indeed 6.6 kW.  But if you are at home (240-volt single-phase), it will be up to 7.68 kW.

5-18-2022

Primarily On Gas.  You gotta love the desperation in such statements: "If you have 33% plug-in vehicles, that matters very little when the majority of them are forecasted to be plug-in hybrids still running primarily on gas."  It came about from yet another one of those reports basically just making up numbers.  How are these forecasting agencies performing research?  With values I can clearly see are outdated or way off, it doesn't make sense that they are being used for actual investment.  For propaganda, sure.  But for serious measure of progress, that information is pretty much worthless.  You can easily confirm that when there isn't any type of data associated with the executive summary.  There should be source references and something to support integrity.  Without that, what is it?  I didn't want any part of the nonsense this time, so I fired back on the "primarily" part rather than digging into numbers:  False information like that wrecks credibility of forecasts.  5 years later, my Prius Prime is still delivering over EPA rating (25 miles of EV, my real-world is 28 to 30 from similar criteria) with a warm-weather efficiency of around 5 mi/kWh.  It's successor, RAV4 Prime, bumped EV range up to a 42-mile rating.  Those are all-electric miles.  Claiming "primarily" is just plain not true, currently.  By 2029, that already well-proven tech will be spread across the fleet.  Also by 2029, access to level-2 EVSE will be so common, opportunity charging will be routine... making that "primarily" an absurd claim.

5-18-2022

Overly Optimistic.  That's the polite way of saying they are out of their minds or so poorly informed, they don't have a clue.  When you have been actively participating in green technology advancement for 22 years, the reality of scope & time becomes all too clear.  The outcome you want is slow & steady.  Faster can cause fade or go astray.  That's the last thing an enthusiast wants to be told.  It is why they fight and create narratives.  Acceptance is not a trait they embrace.  This expressed that well: "There is very little chance of there being ANY mass produced ICEV in 2029."  Imagine a world with full acceptance, affordable choices, and supportive infrastructure in such a short amount of time.  Of course, there are unintended consequences to consider.  Think about the transition.  What happens in the meantime?  Since discussion like that online is basically impossible, I focus on just observations.  Electricity was a luxury for where I visited in Africa back in June.  If you finally get some, it wouldn't be used for transportation.  It would be used for comfort & convenience, to make life easier.  Think about how much electricity it takes to charge a battery-pack compared to the tiny amount needed for lights, fans, and entertainment... not to mention communication.  I shared my observations:  Lack of market awareness is blatant in that claim.  Tanzania was my destination last year.  It is a country dominated by Toyota vehicles for personal and small-commercial use.  I saw firsthand how very, very limited electricity access & supply is.  There's no way in hell their infrastructure will even remotely able to support BEV by 2029.  Of course, looking at the current status of CCS availability in the US makes a 2029 cutoff quite unrealistic.  Basically, it is a joke to take any type of transition seriously without a variety of choices & support being available in the low-cost market.

5-18-2022

That Narrative.  You can see the struggle to keep it alive from: "Seriously screw toyota.  Not only are they refusing to get in the game, they're trying to help destroy the planet so they can conserve their profits.  No different from oil companies or republicans."  It is basically becoming flat out denial.  I replied to that nonsense with:  Quick, release the report before data catches up with us.  That narrative is becoming difficult to support.  Notice how it uses 2029 as the forecast date rather than 2030 like every other report we have ever seen.  Notice how focus is entirely on "zero-emission vehicle" rather than carbon-reduction goals.  Notice how we only get executive summary graphs rather than actual measurement criteria.  For those paying attention, they'll come to realize Toyota's being misrepresented.  With a 2030 target of 33% production being plug-in and hydrogen vehicles, combined with a significant chuck of the remainder hybrids, the claimed score doesn't add up.  Think of how much further battery advancements will take the hybrids and plug-in hybrids, not to mention the 7 vehicles planned for the "bZ" nameplate along with the other 8 converts to BEV.  Of course, the opinion of "screw Toyota" is that way from enthusiasts in the ICE world too.  Their audience is the everyday driver, those who favor the traits Toyota thrives in... longevity & reliability... what enthusiast deem as dull & boring.

5-17-2022

The Magic.  An online friend summarized the situation well: "Concur with previous replies.  Further, from an emissions/environmental perspective I side with Toyota logic - it's better to have ten Prius Primes with an 8.8 kWh traction battery on the road than one EV with an 88 kWh traction battery.  At least for now until battery supply increases."  For far too long, approach has been to focus on individual specifications of each BEV offering.  Enthusiasts absolutely refuse to look at the market as a whole.  That's why they consider the competition other plug-in vehicles, not what is sharing the showroom floor with dealers.  Not wanted to address the big picture is both overwhelming and disenchanting.  It's too much for them to ever really declare victory or even recognize progress.  Too slow and too small to detect is a let down for those who don't invest in long-term returns.  That's why our short-sighted society is now struggling so much.  Anywho, this is how I replied to that:  That is the magic BEV enthusiasts cringe about.  They continue to wear the "EV Market" only glasses, still refusing to look at the entire fleet.  If you are producing 1 million vehicles and have only a limited number of battery cells available, your emissions & efficiency results are far better off spread in smaller kWh distribution to reach as many vehicles as possible.

 

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