Prius Personal Log #1154
July 8, 2022 - July 11, 2022
Last Updated: Mon. 9/19/2022
page #1153 page #1155 BOOK INDEX
Wasted R&D. I love responding to comments like this: "Toyota is very late to the EV game because they wasted their R&D for the past two decades on hydrogen vehicles. Claiming they were waiting on magic batteries may help them save face, sure." Whether the person is poorly informed or they are trying to push a narrative doesn't matter. You cannot just omit vital facts... which I am more than happy to point out: Pretending Toyota hasn't already delivered EV drive... all-electric systems... for both Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime is a blatant attempt to mislead. UX300e and CH-R are BEV converts as well, both delivering full electric-only propulsion which further reveals an effort to feed a narrative. In other words, Toyota didn't waste anything. They made components & software the priority, since that could be shared among with the plug-in hybrids... something very important for profitability and offering a variety of vehicle choices. We already see that bZ4X will be rolled out with 2 different battery chemistries. Having yet another choice planned does not indicate late in any regard. It is confirmation that Toyota included flexibility their long-game plan. In fact, we have seen that already. Some models of Prius used NiMH cells and some Li-Ion cells.
Spreading Propaganda. What do you do when a friend posts this comment: "Yep, electric vehicle just don't make any sense." That made me pause. Sigh. I got worse though when I looked at this caption in the photo of a charging-station he attached: "Checked out the cost to charge at a local charging station and it was $0.32 per minute or $19.20 per hour. Figuring a full charge being 8 hours, that is $153.60" It is one of those situations where he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about, just blindly spreading propaganda material supporting his belief. I was beside myself, disappointed with the situation but recognizing it was a teaching moment. So, I posted the following: 30 states use per-kWh pricing rather than per-minute, including Minnesota. 8 hours for a full charge is what you get at home, using AC and cheap overnight rates. It takes under an hour for DC fast-charging, using stations like those shown in the photo. Usable battery-capacity is about 65 kWh for a typical EV. Overnight rates here are $0.08 per kWh, including tax & fees. That's $5.20 from empty to full.
Diverting Resources. I just checked on my post from 3 days ago. He never answered. Someone so upset had nothing to say afterward, I figured as much. This was his declaration: "The issue with PHEVs is that they *slow down* the transition to BEVs by diverting resources." It was with regard to infrastructure. That made no sense. What was diverted? It's not like we see level-2 charging-stations popping up everywhere instead of DC fast-charging. In fact, that simple reuse of commercial AC lines (208-volt that businesses use, rather than the 240-volt for household use) continues to be rare... so much so, opportunity recharging with a PHEV remains quite difficult. Needless to say, I was quite annoyed. I was curious a bit too. Where did he think waste had already taken place? We have basically nothing for infrastructure here for condo & apartment dwellers. In fact, I know someone who owns a condo and his association just won the selection for full tenant support. His building will get a level-2 charger for each parking spot. It's part of a pilot program in the Minneapolis area. Those installs won't even begin until next year. Anywho, did the "diverting resource" person actually think a small number of DC fast-chargers would be better instead of a plug for each owner? How is that better than the convenience of overnight charging that takes advantage of lower-cost electricity? My request for clarification fell on deaf ears: What resources are being diverted? People still need a place to recharge and level-1 isn't enough for a BEV, level-2 is needed. The fact that PHEV promote the install of level-2 is a benefit, not an impediment.
Outlet Advice. That strong contender post included a vague inquiry about the vehicle having an outlet. To me, that brings about a concern for practical use. What would it be used for? Why be tied to the vehicle when there are now portable choices available... of which I doubt many people are aware of. So, I posted this information about them: If you really need a 120-volt outlet, consider a portable unit instead. It's far more practical than having one in the car. Now that the big ones (1500-watt output) are switching over to LFP batteries, they are a great deal. Around 3,000 full cycles of use makes them a really good buy. If all you need is 150-watt output, just get an inverter that can take advantage of your lawn mower battery. The one for mine is just $99.
Regret, No Regret. In that thread with that new forum member inquiring about Prius Prime, this comment was posted: "The only thing we regret is that we did not get another one for my wife back last year when Toyota had a great rebate of $4000." Timing is key. If you are looking in the right place at the right time, you can score a really good deal. Watch for model-year clearance and end-of-year opportunities. Since we have been a 2 Prime household since back mid-2017, there was no resisting a post about our purchase choice: Less than 2 months after getting mine, my wife was able to get one too. That was 5 years ago. We have no regrets whatsoever. Both have been fantastic, especially on the long trips out west at 80 mph and carrying the 2 kayaks on top. Since we can recharge at work and my wife also where her band practices, most driving is entirely electric... which is how we ended up taking the next step, putting a deposit down on a bZ4X.
Strong Contender. It is always nice to see the very first post from a new forum member stating something like this: "I am about to purchase a vehicle and Prius Prime 2022/2023 is an extremely strong contender." It was like that good old days. I remember when there was so much interest in Prius that it dominated discussions. The goal of Toyota was to spread that technology though. So, success made it inevitable that attention would shift elsewhere... which is exactly what happened. RAV4 hybrid is the most popular model now. Following it is Venza (which is only available as a hybrid). The next-generation model of Prius Prime could very well shift the balance again. But for now, we still have the current generation my wife and I are driving. Here's the advice I was able to share with regard to that new member inquiry: As for your decision criteria, don't overlook the Prius Prime standout feature... especially since you live in Canada. I live in Minnesota, so I have lots of firsthand experience with true winter. You'll discover Toyota provided a benefit other automakers did not with, for both plug-in hybrids and full electrics... a heat-pump. Some instead use just a resistance heater. Those are not as efficient. You'll tradeoff more EV range as a result. Also, note that there are a few plug-in hybrids that don't have any type of electric heating.
Lamppost Charging. This was an interesting comment I stumbled across today: "I wonder if we won't start seeing 120 outlets installed on lampposts in apartment and office lots as a cheap stopgap solution for residents and employees demanding some way to charge their cars." Not understanding how electricity is delivered is quite common. When & Where would you ever get exposed to that. Such education is rare, since you simply don't need it. Most household devices are plug & play. You never have to give them a second thought. They just always work regardless of how they are plugged in. That's not the case with the needs of charging a vehicle. You will usually consume all that is available from the line, pulling the maximum rate of electricity it offers. That means sharing the same line with another vehicle isn't realistic. Either the draw has to be reduced or they have to alternate usage. That wouldn't work along a string of lampposts... which apparently isn't obvious to some people. It's like adding spigots to a water line. Each reduces the amount of water available. Anywho, this is how I responded to that comment: An outlet is only as good as the circuit it is on. If there aren't enough amps, it's pointless. That's why you can't just plug in a second EV in the same garage on the same line. Each line should be a separate circuit supplying a continuous 12 amps. Capacity simply isn't available in some locations. Heck, that problem isn't limited to AC charging either. DC fast-charging is often restrained by supply. In fact, that's why the federal funding requires 4 lines each capable of 150 kW at the same time.
Like Tabloids. I remember seeing headlines on those newspapers while in the line to checkout along the rows of registers in the retail & grocery stores. All those years ago, that hype was king. My dad like to read them for entertainment, a light-hearted twist on reality. He knew and understood the twisted take on our views & beliefs. We see online versions of that now, where there is a clear understanding of it being satirical spin to provide an escape. That's a means of dealing with the nonsense we are otherwise overwhelmed by. Sadly, not all sources of tabloid type news is taken the same way. Some use it to validate their perspective. All they need is some outside source to supply some type of credibility. It can be extremely dishonest at times too. Heck, the video I watched yesterday had an opening headline that was not followed by information to support it. In fact, it was quite the opposite. People don't listen closely. Some don't listen all the way through. Articles works the same way. I pointed out how that manipulation can be exploited: Referring to another source helps to legitimize claims, especially when so vague. Sadly I expected that, since I saw that same thing a lot in the past with hybrids. They will undermine & mislead every chance they get. Now that their anti-EV narrative for Toyota is falling apart, watch for new rhetoric. They'll eventually find something new to stir trouble with. It's what they do.
Unfixable. It is disturbing how stupid some people
think readers are. I'm glad there are those who are also saying
something to that affect. I see it as great that Toyota is taking a
risk and that the response has been so affirmative. The message being
sent is one of recognition & responsibility. Why is acknowledgement
and taking it seriously a problem? As for this particular problem, the
platform has already been extensively tested by both Toyota & Subaru.
So even if worst-case scenario were to happy... finding a fundamental
flaw... how is that unfixable? It is just wheel assembly parts.
It's just a matter of getting the right combination and torqueing correctly.
That might be expensive, but it is not impossible. Oh well. Spin
is that Toyota is doomed... same old nonsense. This was my take on the
claim: The very idea of it not being fixable is absurd. Heck,
replacing an entire hub is far easier than an entire battery-pack.
Yet, GM can handle the 144,000 Bolt requiring that but Toyota cannot for
under 6,000 bZ4X/Solterra, most of which were not even delivered to owners
Cannot Be Fixed. One of the websites which routinely
publishes articles against Toyota used another anti-website as a source for
it's deception. When the media teams up like that, expect a serious
battle. Most people don't pay enough attention to even know their is
any type of deception at play. They don't bother to follow links and
rarely understand what the detail actually means. It's a recipe for
trouble. That's why I climbed up on a soapbox when 2 friendly forums
starting forwarding that nonsense, asking what in the world was being
spread. I was all to happy to provide some background, sighting the
provide & writer names (which I removed from here, since I don't want to
contribute to their click count):
Know your information source. That news provider and that particular writer have been publishing fierce anti-Toyota articles for quite awhile now. The content is bias & short-sighted, perfect click-bait for drawing readers and stirring comments.
The spin recently is that Toyota is really just pushing hybrids, that none of their experience designing & producing EV components for PHEV deliver any benefit for their BEV. It is utter nonsense. Anyone with half a brain can see Toyota's investment for the new "bZ" nameplate is a serious long-term strategy, a flexible & profitable platform leveraging prior experience.
As for the "cannot be fixed" claim sighting that source, it's just more click-bait. When you follow the link, it doesn't actually say that. There is only more statements attempting to divert & mislead. Notice the cherry-picked references to other automakers and claiming "this puts Toyota at odds with its industry"?
Basically, the writer is a purist. Anything with an ICE is unacceptable, period. I've had several exchanges with him. He labels the current climate situation as a crisis, insisting we rush to deliver whatever we can now rather than taking a few years to refine battery chemistry and establish charging infrastructure. When has haste been good for the long run?
What's wrong with a PHEV delivering all-electric drive to help with transition to BEV? The plug-in hybrid technology shares battery, motor, inverter, heating, cooling, charging, and control software. Why is having a gas-engine for backup such a problem? Most markets are still many, many years away from having reliable & convenient DC fast-charging.
North Carolina, equivalent. Failing to think an argument through has consequences. In this case, it provided me with a soapbox to preach from... which I was more than happy to use: btw, that 0.19 gallons of gas will only take you 6.6 miles using a 35 mpg vehicle. From a 25 mpg vehicle, you will only be able to travel 3.8 miles with the same amount of gas. But with that $0.87 cost for fuel, an EV averaging 3.0 mi/kWh getting 6.2 kWh of electricity would be able to travel 18.6 miles. Face it, the logic fails no matter how you look at it. That $0.87 is used far more efficiently when the fuel is electricity rather than gas. That is why efficiency ratings are given a "MPGe" value; it represents a MPG equivalent measure. The rating for AWD Toyota bZ4X Limited is 3.03 mi/kWh, which is 102 MPGe.
North Carolina, outburst. This was the reaction I got to my proposed solution: "BULL!" Such an emotional response was great. Rather than explain his position or counter with some other logic, there was only an emotional outburst. That's a sign of true desperation. He has nothing remaining to argue. He lost. He backed himself into a corner. That sensible proposal of time equally made a sound point. I was quite amused. That was interesting too. It was the more generous of the options available. I was done with generous at that point. It was the opportunity to really let him have it. So, I did by pointing out how we could look at the situation they way the bill itself had... by drawing attention to cost. After all, wasn't that the point? Think about what a business forced to disclose close would actually put in the receipt. Clearly, that person making the outburst did not. Here's what I posted to point out his blatant mistake: If you don't like that, treat the situation using cost instead of time. The matched 20 miles-per-hour pump speed delivers 6.2 kWh of electricity. At the national average cost of $0.14 per kWh, you would get $0.87 worth of gas. So, at $4.50 per gallon, you get 0.19 gallons of "free" gas.
North Carolina, solution. Logic is not a trait of those trying to undermine. They don't think through a situation; they just trying whatever talking-point stirs reaction. It's about appeal to emotion, not an exercise in common sense. The argument is that customers will not be treated fairly. If one gets free electricity, the other should get free gas. Why? We see that Wi-Fi is offering for all customers. How come the cost for their consumption of that isn't documented anywhere. Supposedly, the patron must be informed of the price they did not pay so others cannot pay the same amount. It is as irrational as saying everyone must get a coupon, all the time, automatically. Heck, when a business chooses a means of promoting their product or service... like advertising a product... how come that cost incurred is hidden? You pay for that advertisement whether you purchase it or not. Needless to say, the logic fails. So, we turn to detail. Do the match. What they ask for doesn't really add up. I put it this way: Simple solution, have the "free" gas dispensed at the same rate as electricity. Public level-2 provides a rate of 6.2 kWh. At the typical 3.0 mi/kWh efficiency for a BEV, that is an equivalent of 20 miles-per-hour pump speed for gas. So, for a car getting 35 mpg, you have to wait 1 hour to get 0.57 gallons of "free" gas.