Prius Personal Log  #1161

August 20, 2022  -  August 26, 2022

Last Updated:  Mon. 9/19/2022

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8-26-2022

Denial, innovation.  Quotes like this tend to be my favorite: "Once again Toyota is reminding us that the company is stuck in 20th century unwilling move on with innovations."  That requires the reader to be clueless, to assume Toyota hasn't actually delivered anything for decades.  Problem is, there are people like me who spread the word about new offerings.  When people see the Toyota plugged in at the grocery store, nonsense online instantly becomes rhetoric.  There's no credibility for enthusiasts when an owner expose their outright lies.  I have witnessed the innovation firsthand, watching the technology evolve from a push to explore new opportunity.  That typically comes in an invisible manner, since enthusiasts couldn't care less about engineering refinements and trying to things.  They thrive on range & speed.  Toyota customers don't.  That's why Prius & Corolla were always strong sellers, despite being looked upon as ordinary.  They don't stand out.  They simply deliver an affordable choice with impeccable reliability.  So, when something standout does come along, there's an obvious effort to divert attention elsewhere.  Watch for that denial behavior.  The most common reaction is to bring up hydrogen.  Innovation from Toyota is unacceptable, since it derails their narrative.  From this claim, it was just a flat out denial... no attempt to change focus.  He just outright lied.  I was amused and responded with:  Claiming that is an exercise in denial.  Prius Prime delivered to-the-floor EV acceleration and all-electric driving up to 84 mph.  It comes with a heat-pump standard.  The hatch is a carbon-fiber structure. RAV4 Prime introduced liquid-cooling.  bZ4X will introduce an infrared-heater (radiant warming) for improved cold-weather efficiency.  Nothing about that is an effort to hold onto the past.

8-26-2022

Denial, false quote.  Making up quotes, as if you are just a third-party reciting what you heard, is a common deception tactic.  For example: "Same goes for prices. "Oh, there's no cheap BEVs now, so surely there will be none in 2030."  Nonsense, but that's exactly what I expect from Toyota."  Their point is to misrepresent.  Notice how vague that is.  Notice how it fails to address other expenses, like the purchase & installation of a EVSE.  Notice how there is no effort whatsoever to define cheap.  Notice how it implies an absolute of none.  Notice how this fails to acknowledge other automakers & markets.  You just make up a quote and pretend that is the message.  Grrr.  I fired back with:  Narratives setup expectations.  What Toyota is actually saying is quite different.  They will be delivering 7 dedicated-platform BEV by 2025 to get the "bZ" line of vehicles established, while at the same time deliver 8 other BEV converts by 2025.  That's a clear effort to address the need for a diverse product-line.  It won't be cheap though.  Evidence of struggle to get cost down quickly is overwhelming based on the supposed leadership from Tesla and GM.  Then look at what Nissan and VW are attempting to do to target specific markets.  Toyota will be in that mix.  Each automaker will achieve a significant shift away from ICE by 2030, but 50% is arbitrary.  What is in place to support/guarantee change to that degree?  There are other barriers still holding back change... politics... petroleum... infrastructure (public)... infrastructure (home)... infrastructure (supply)... and education.  To think those will all get resolved & delivered to achieve 50% transition ignores lessons learned from the past.

8-26-2022

Denial, economics.  Like many enthusiasts, they like to argue a favorite strength.  That's why I ultimately ending up triumphant with most arguments.  They absolutely refuse to consider the bigger picture.  In this case, it was: "The whims of consumers are not the driving force here; economics is.  Economics already chose a winner."  Sure, it is far less expensive to drive & maintain a BEV, but that has only partial influence on purchases.  So many other factors are pushing back, it seems almost overwhelming... hence the tendency to focus on just one.  Enthusiasts can't handle a wide range of parameters all at the same time... which is the very reason for denial.  Admitting Toyota is better informed and making better choices for the masses is too much to accept.  They need someone to blame for their own failures to recognize what holds back change.  Ugh.  I find it all quite redeeming.  My thoughts are documented in great detail within these personal log entries.  They confirm I took a great deal of time to comprehensively consider every possible influence fighting status quo upset.  Again, ugh... because they clearly don't do the same.  That's why many of my posts are nothing but a brief summary.  If they want detail, I'm happy to provide it.  Most just want to argue though.  This is what I had to say about the economics claim:  Implying there are no other forces at play like... politics... petroleum... infrastructure... or even education is an exercise of denialism, which is what you replied to claiming a non-issue.

8-25-2022

Denial, repetition.  I got a kick out of reading this comment: "Toyota is nothing but a broken record.  Denialism.  "people don't want them" they keep saying over and over."  Toyota isn't actually who says that.  That's a narrative repeated by enthusiasts.  It's much like nonsense of the past.  This is what I had to say now about their attempts to misrepresent Toyota:  Denialism is not acknowledging what Toyota is actually saying; instead, we see a narrative intentionally misrepresenting the situation.  The cold, hard reality is that low-hanging fruit is the only thing getting attention.  Selling to mainstream consumers is far more difficult than appealing to enthusiasts.  In other words, to achieve 50% you must offer a variety of choices.  Not everyone wants to buy the same thing.  That's why Toyota's popular purchases are spread across the fleet... Camry, Corolla, RAV4, Highland, Tacoma.  That absence of diversity is a barrier yet to be overcome. It takes time to deliver that much on a scale targeted for just 8 years from now.  Denialism is not wanting to admit 50% requires rose-colored glasses.  The quantity will be lower, around one-third. 2030 simply does not make sense in a market fighting hard against change.  Toyota has the stones to recognize that problem and draw attention to it.

8-25-2022

Denial, media spin.  When there's an article states this, be wary: "Toyota is at it again, claiming that there's not enough demand in the United States for electric vehicles..."  That's way better than the "no demand" claim I seen elsewhere.  It's still a problem though.  Notice the absence of context.  It was with regard to being able to meet the 50% sales goal by 2030.  That's a heck of an achievement considering how many barriers there still are... stuff enthusiasts don't want to talk about.  Instead, they thrive on claims like this: "Toyota continues to reiterate that most buyers don't want EVs."  That's so incredibly vague, it could mean anything.  It's the lack of clarity which feeds a narrative.  In this case, the not wanting comes from price being too high.  You get the impression it has something to do with confidence in the technology though.  Signs of deception like this are actually a good thing.  Misleading in such a manner comes about when antagonists get nervous.  They recognize the inability to compete on the terms they established, the precedent they set.  In other words, the criteria for purchase by an enthusiast do not match the priorities of mainstream consumers.  Evidence of that comes about when market penetration well beyond the early-adopter niche becomes a problem.  They are unable to appeal to that audience.  Needless to say, media spin on the situation is a gold mine.  They thrive on the participation resulting from the denial.

8-24-2022

Order Cancel?  I'm seeing a look of posts related to order status.  There's a variety of responses.  What I'm most curious is how those who decided to either not wait for delivery or to accept a buyback offer will react once bZ4X sales resume.  Will that participate in discussions?  Will they constructively share pros & cons about the BEV they purchased instead?  Will they express remorse, especially if recall repair/replacement proceeds quickly?  It's all a situation if intrigue.  As I already stated, I suspect the outcome will be a bit of an overkill solution.  We'll end up with better components as a matter of reliability assurance.  It costs less in the end to address even the most rare of situations as a means of fortifying reputation.  That's why it as easy for me to provide my response saying this:  I see no reason to cancel.  The expectation was I'd be lucky to get 50% of the tax-credit, simply due to timing.  It will be an upgrade to the Toyota EV system I already have, a Prius Prime.  My wife has one too.  Over 5 years each of flawless all-electric driving speaks for itself. bZ4X will add power & capacity to what I already favor.  Having to wait for Toyota to sort out the hub-bolt setup isn't a big deal.  The outcome will likely be an overkill design, exceeding requirements as a result the unfortunate circumstances.

8-24-2022

75 kW Stations?  A new provider of DCFC (DC Fast-Charging) stations just cut the ribbon on their first production facility in the United States.  They will be manufacturing stations delivering a 75 kW speed.  Such a charging-rate is bewildering for enthusiasts.  It seems way too slow.  They clearly haven't considered the business perspective.  The goal is to attract & retain brand loyalty.  I provided the real-world example under construction right now, the first of its kind... a coffeeshop route supporting your trip from Seattle, WA to Denver, CO.  Here's what I shared in that regard:  Starbucks will be installing 62.5 kW stations.  If your vehicle can draw faster than that, you should be able to pull 62.5 kWh in an hour... which is how long Starbucks wants you to stay.  They want you to patronize their establishments by purchasing a beverage and a food item.  If you are traveling, there will likely be several individuals each purchasing something during the wait.  It's a sound business model for encouraging return visits.  The draw should be low enough so there's still capacity available for additional stations to be added later.  Also, don't overlook the fact that faster speed can require the business to pay their provider for a higher tier service.  btw, that hour's worth of electricity at the common 3.0 mi/kWh (101 MPGe) efficiency rate will deliver 187 miles.

8-23-2022

Blaming The President.  This is how you respond when an old friend continues to post propaganda, in this case blaming the president for high prices... with the price of gas at the top of that list:  It is intriguing to see Biden get blamed for high prices, even though we are seeing inflation across the entire planet... not just this country.  Here, he just signed the Inflation Reduction Act bill to help with recovery.  There's opportunity it will pursue.  As for gas prices, that's a red herring.  Even at $2.50 per gallon, the savings simply isn't there.  That $2.50 will only take you 30 miles in a 30 MPG vehicle.  In an EV, the same $2.50 will get you 33 kWh of electricity (from overnight charging at $0.075/kWh) which will enable the typical EV (efficiency rating of 3.0 mi/kWh) to travel 100 miles.

8-22-2022

DCFC Problems.  Some don't work.  Some are difficult to activate.  Some are painfully slow.  Those problems aren't encouraging.  A new video uploaded today addressed the variety of challenges we still face.  From out local EV group, this was posted as a comment: "I've used DCFC twice in two years.  Both times just out of curiosity.  It will be important for many users, but I just haven't had any reason to drive more than 260 miles in a day, and even high-mileage days have been a mix of driving-easily got home (or to my destination) with plenty of range left."  That topic of reliability is interesting.  As you ramp of speed, you are more likely to encounter a problem.  That is one of many reasons I'm just fine with slower.  But disregarding business challenge, there's the owner perspective.  Most see range as a means of avoiding use of DC fast-chargers.  If you have enough, you likely won't need to bother.  That doesn't make sense when you discover the value is arbitrary.  How far is enough?  I presented that problem this way:  Smaller capacity choices are on the way, like the 62 kWh ID.4 from that new VW production in Tennessee.  If it delivers a guestimate of 112 MPGe rating, that's 3.32 mi/kWh. From a full usable capacity of 58 kWh (49.6 kWh @ 80%), you'll get a range of 192 miles (165 miles @ 80%).  That's short enough to require a quick stop at a DCFC if you drive much beyond the Twin Cities.  It won't be a big deal, but that is a paradigm shift... something new we'll have to keep in mind when promoting BEV.

8-21-2022

Cold Weather.  Prior to last winter, most people were clueless about the impact lower temperatures have on electricity consumption.  In fact, even many plug-in advocates really hadn't paid attention.  They knew there was an impact but hadn't ever given it much thought beyond noting a capacity drop.  It was all quite vague.  Heck, even now there is no embrace of EV efficiency.  The idea of tracking mi/kWh simply hasn't caught on yet.  At best, you would get range difference.  That data wasn't deemed important... despite the reality that MPG is a selling point with traditional vehicles.  Anywho, the event last winter where hundreds of people were trapped on that highway in Virginia finally got people thinking.  They asked what if that happened to you a plug-in vehicle?  How long could you run the heater?  Would you freeze to death?  In other words, it became an opportunity to undermine by using fear.  Ugh.  Trying to be more objective, we got this from a Minnesota journalist in a Minnesota publication today: "One reason electric vehicles are not more popular here is because cold weather affects them and steals their range."  The article tried to give an appearance of comprehensive reporting, but there was no depth and that isn't really true.  Measuring popularity based on vehicle registration in no way reflect the impact lengthy delivery waits.  To place an order, then be willing to wait 6 months to an entire year before taking ownership reveals there is strong demand with very little supply.  Isn't that how popularity should be measured rather than some arbitrary measure of cold weather impact?  So what is range is less.  The article never actually provided any numbers.  If you range drops to 150 miles in extremes and you are only traveling 40 miles per day, what difference does it make?  If you travel, that means having to stop for a recharge.  That's it.  Most people simply won't have any issue.  This isn't the past where some EVs could barely deliver 150 miles in ideal conditions.  This is a time with larger capacities and faster high-speed chargers.  Sadly, most reading that article won't find that out for a very long time.  They will assume the article was well researched and written by an industry expert.

8-20-2022

Big Elephant.  When you encounter a discovery post: "I'm on a waiting list to buy plug in hybrid suv.  BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM... is that during cold weather (6 months) will not run on battery for short trips.  WOW!  Stupid me.  Of course sales NOT tell you that."  My people simply told the poster of that comment to purchase a BEV instead.  Few online really understand plug-in hybrids and even fewer care.  They have moved on.  That's what enthusiasts do.  When a technology becomes mainstream, they lose interest.  In fact, that behavior is confirmation of having reached that point.  It makes sense.  Toyota's first-generation is over a decade old now and the second is approaching 6 years.  Imagine what the third-generation Prius plug-in will be like.  Remember how normal the third-generation Prius was?  It's time had arrived.  That was the version for the masses, so well proven it doesn't get question.  It just works.  In the meantime, I still have to remind people where we are and where we are heading:  Toyota PHEV have heat-pumps, so they will drive in EV mode down to 12°F just fine.  I live in Minnesota and have been driving a Prius Prime that way for 5 winters now.  It has worked great. My wait for a bZ4X is naturally a long one, but that will bring about even better cold performance with Toyota's introduction of infrared heating (radiant warmers for front occupants).  I'm looking forward to giving that a full real-world exploration 5 months from now.  In short, not all plug-ins are the same.  Make sure to research thoroughly prior to starting your order.

8-20-2022

Recall Exaggeration, expectations.  I'm trying get others to consider more than just the immediate situation.  Looking beyond what is easy to see rarely happens.  That's not the nature of online interaction.  In fact, that is one of the biggest challenges.  People seek quick satisfaction, not a means to see what other problems their may with how they perceive the world.  It is why the saga with Volt continued for an entire decade.  Seeing the forest, not just the tree, didn't happen.  Anywho, I have much more optimistic outlook for this audience:  Expectations based on hope, not history, tend be destined for disappointment.  Research of prior new technology offerings, especially those with same-time debuts worldwide, have had extremely long rollout waits.  Toyota has many examples of exactly that. Much of the BEV market ended up in the same predicament.  Knowing such history, I'm not the slightest bit put back by this delay.  It was predictable.  Something always happens.  Sorry, but at least there are words of encouragement.  When looooong delay became apparent back in fall of 2000, I found myself becoming much more of a participant with online sharing than I ever imagined... because I ended up being among the first when deliveries finally began.  You can do the same.  People will yearn to live vicariously through your real-world experiences.  I suggest preparing for that.  Study the tech while you wait for that opportunity.

 

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