Prius Personal Log  #1162

August 26, 2022  -  August 27, 2022

Last Updated:  Mon. 9/19/2022

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8-27-2022

Scapegoat.  I haven't been visiting the big Prius forum that often.  Most relevant discussion can to a halt when bZ4X sales stopped.  Rhetoric is ramping up elsewhere, so naturally posts there are too.  One of the antagonists got off on a rant about "no demand" claims and posted: "You still believing the lies Toyota is telling you?"  He's been a troublemaker for years, so I wasn't a bit surprised.  It was an invitation to provide my observations:  The lie is Toyota isn't actually saying that.  It's a narrative, portrayal from others to make Toyota appear anti-EV.  Reality is, Toyota has stated growth will not be as fast as enthusiasts hope.  Such an inconvenient truth really upsets those wearing rose-colored glasses.  This is the low-hanging fruit situation, prior to the adoption S-curve upward.  All seems to be going well, but that trends really only reflects those not facing acceptance challenges.  In other words, we're still in the early-adopter stage... a limited audience.  Recent confirmation of that is becoming undeniable.  As soon as tax-credits vanished with the IRA signing, so did a statistically significant number of orders.  With all the rhetoric from BEV purists, none of this is a surprise.  They want a united front against ICE, but can't even agree on public infrastructure issues.  Lack of agreement slows adoption.  Having someone to blame is a sign of that struggle.  They chose Toyota as the scapegoat.

8-27-2022

Feeding Hype.  I mentioned the release ambiguous press material, making promises about specific upcoming vehicles.  I pointed out how GM routinely did that and how Toyota is not.  I got this retort: "Sure they have... Aren't they promising a vague 6 EVs by 2025 with no details?"  It got me to look through all 160 posts on that discussion thread, as well as take into consideration the 285 on the other.  I noticed something no one else had.  There's no milestones.  The vague in this case goes beyond any tit-for-tat related to individual automakers.  So, I started with the automaker view, then forced a step back to consider the bigger picture of goals & timelines:  Clearly you aren't familiar with GM's history.  There were specific promises, like price.  Notice how we keep hearing about a $30,000 Equinox BEV without any detail whatsoever?  Toyota already revealed the prototypes.  You can see the size & shape.  There was no promise of anything specific, just that there would be a variety offered.  That's why when a target... like 50% by 2030... is brought up, it's valid to ask for detail.  How will that be achieved without addressing the barriers currently holding back growth beyond the early-adopter audience?  It is quite bizarre how enthusiasts dismiss concern from mainstream consumers.  They are in denial how just awesome engineering alone isn't enough to overcome those challenges.  We've learned from past CARB efforts that quotas have unintended consequences but can still have an overall positive effect.  Why isn't anyone asking if 40% by 2030 is acceptable if that amount helps establish momentum... like heavy investment infrastructure?  It's an arbitrary measure.  What should we expect along the way?  How should progress be measured by 2024, by 2026, by 2028?  What happens in 2032?  That's an aspect of vague everyone overlooked, except Toyota.

8-27-2022

Click-Bait Articles.  One of popular EV websites published an article with this title 2 days ago: "Toyota VP Says Demand Is Lacking For US To Hit 50% EV Target By 2030".  Toyota said no such thing.  This is exactly like when Toyota made a statement about lithium batteries about 6 months after Volt was first revealed.  It was about cost.  The price was far too high back then for a lithium-based battery to be competitive.  Antagonists saw an opportunity to take advantage of the statement made by claiming it was related to fire risk, portraying Toyota as afraid when in reality there was no such connection.  It was about profitability.  Since people wouldn't bother looking up what was actually said, they were able to exploit laziness & assumption.  That happened again recently, but this time from a website publisher.  They can attract lots of participation, in this case 285 posts, by misrepresentation.  To add to that, they used an image of a person with their head in the sand for the articles promo-image.  It's propaganda, a blatant effort stir attention by feeding the anti-EV narrative.  Due to my unfortunate timing (9 minutes after the 48-hour cutoff), I wasn't able to rebut that nonsense.  This is what I tried to post when the writer attempted to reinforce his position with more propaganda:  That information was cherry-picked back in 2019, since it depended upon data from 2017 and ignored what had changed following that.  5 years later, Toyota has eliminated two ICE vehicles in this market, replacing them with hybrids only models (Sienna & Venza), rolled out a hybrid model of their most popular worldwide vehicle (Corolla), introduced a new hybrid (Corolla Cross), and upgraded their high-demand hybrid (RAV4) to a plug-in model.  Now, they are rolling out a new BEV nameplate featuring several vehicle types.  Feeding narratives doesn't help, like that outdated link and this article.  There wasn't a "no demand" claim; it was about not being able to meet 50% by 2030.  There's a fundamental difference between none and falling short of a goal..

8-27-2022

$26,853.99 Replacement, questions.  His wife replied with several question: "Where does that dead battery end up?  And why didn't it last 100,000 miles?  Shouldn't technology be bringing us forward to, oh at least 200,000 miles before your vehicle craps out completely?"  That was an invitation to provide more information.  I took advantage of the opportunity:  That is an extreme example.  With such low mileage, it was probably parked idle for a extended periods without being maintained (keeping it plugged in to protect the cells.)  Batteries have advanced quite a bit since that one rolled out 12 years ago.  They are recycled and last much longer.  LFP chemistry eliminates the expensive elements... nickel & cobalt... and more than doubles cycle-life.  Also, the dealer is scamming the owner.  When you look up the battery price online, it is listed at $6,879.60, which is far less than that quote.

8-27-2022

$26,853.99 Replacement, quote.  An old friend of mine posted the photo of an estimate for battery-pack replacement on a 2012 Volt with 70,489 miles.  The quoted price was $26.853.99 for the part.  I was taken aback by that.  It didn't make sense.  The comment in the post was what got me though: "Ya, green energy my ass?  Is buy new car or replace the battery?"  What kind of response should I provide?  In a situation like this, it's best to keep the reply brief and include detail.  So, that's exactly what I did:  $0 for new vehicles, since a 10-year 150,000 warranty will be required.  Toyota's expectation is retention of 70% capacity after 1,000,000 km (621,000 miles).

8-27-2022

Denial, not serious.  It continued on to the next day: "Bollocks.  40 amp level 2 is good for 115kwh over 12 hours or 480 miles of range.  Seriously how many households are doing that amount of miles per day?  Sweet fvck all that's what."  I got that in reply to my routine access comment.  Not taking the situation seriously is the theme.  Ugh.  The volley back was:  That's a disservice to those wanting a realistic expectation.  Avoiding peak hours, going anywhere in the evening, or having a morning commute means you'll only get about 8 hours to recharge.  Typical draw is 32 amps, which would give you a maximum of about 60 kWh overnight.  Efficiency average be somewhere around 3.0 mi/kWh.  That's means you'll get roughly 180 miles of range.  Argue that more time will be available, the vehicle will have faster charging or be more efficiency, you'll squeeze out up to 250 miles.  That's why DCFC comes into play occasionally.  You need a quick recharge.  Of course, you completely ignored my point a second vehicle.  How many households can inexpensively support more than just one level-2 EVSE?  Try to be realistic.  Toyota is... hence seeing 50% by 2030 as unrealistic.  Multiple vehicles charging at home are among the many barriers that will slow adoption.  How many apartment & condo parking spots will have level-2 chargers available for each vehicle? Think about the cost of running all that wiring, maintaining all those EVSE, and clearing them of snow & ice routinely.  Residents will require that *BEFORE* the purchase of the BEV.  It's really unfortunate enthusiasts don't take barriers to sales growth like that seriously.

8-26-2022

Denial, reminder.  Perspective was never present.  Rhetoric was running rampant.  I had to post this: "Again, there was no claim of no demand.  It was that reaching 50% by 2030 was not realistic."  Integrity is an unfamiliar concept.  They just plain don't care.  Enthusiasts spin a narrative, then feed it heavily.  Ugh.  I patiently wait for the day when I finally get my bZ4X.  Being able to counter the nonsense with real-world data will be priceless.  That certainly shut up the Volt troublemakers.  They were relentlessly attacking Toyota's PHV design, claiming it wasn't capable.  I showed otherwise.  This time, it will be showing the market itself is not, by 2030.  It will happen, but the transition will take longer than they think.  I see the resources people have available at home... from budget... to education... to motivation... not to mention, what it actually takes for overnight level-2 charging to be setup for multiple vehicles.  They aren't being realistic.  It's just like finding out how my Bolt owners managed just fine with only level-1 charging and now DC fast-charging.  It worked for them, but that certainly wasn't practical for the typical consumer.  None of that has anything to do with "no demand" claims but is very much relevant to such a massive goal set for just 8 years from now.

8-26-2022

Denial, long game.  Every now and then, there is a voice of reason: "They're playing a long game and while early adopters may not be happy with what they offer today if their bets do pay out they are likely to be among the best positioned in the industry."  Seeing a sensible post is redeeming.  Enthusiast obsession with short-term gain is maddening.  Who cares if the criteria for those taking advantage of initial opportunity isn't satisfied.  That audience doesn't have any sense of brand loyalty and they get rewarded for exploiting circumstances in their favor.  There's nothing wrong with that, but the lose of perspective does have consequences.  Volt overwhelmingly confirmed that.  It's history is loaded with examples of exactly this, the history repeating right now.  Ugh.  Needless to say, I can just shrug off the rhetoric and provide support for those recognizing the situation... as I did with this posted comment:  Well put.  Prius didn't make enthusiasts happy either, but the technology still shook the world... since it was indeed the long game.  We now see the tech as standard in 2 traditional vehicles (Sienna & Venza) having phased out the ICE-only model entirely.  Whether bZ4X appeals to any particular audience doesn't matter.  The point is to establish a new nameplate to prove reliability.  Basically, it is the Prius of the BEV world.

8-26-2022

Denial, reparability.  Much like the comment about reputation, there was also one about reparability: "Toyota can turn it around but likely won't.  They have to double down and offer something that no one in the EV game has offered yet...  Reparability.  That would go a long way."  So many assume that hybrids have nothing in common with electric-only vehicles, it's troubling.  Are online posters really take stupid?  Sometimes, participation is so brainless it makes you wonder if it is even worth the bother.  We have seen promotion of EVs for 20 years pointing out how unnecessary it is to worry about repairs.  They simply don't need it.  You don't have all those moving parts or exhaust components to worry about.  It's kind of like your phone.  It pretty much works no matter what you do to it.  All that's required for upkeep is plugging it in.  It's why that quote was so strange.  Double down on what?  Ugh.  I replied to that nonsense with:  Toyota already had extensive experience in that area.  Motors, Controllers, Batteries, Software, and yes Cooling, are what the hybrids and plug-in hybrids already cover.  As a result, there is already a well established means of providing support for non-ICE related components & operation.  Enthusiast attempts to dismiss that real-world outcome as not relevant to BEV all they want.  It won't change results.  The first Prime owners started driving EV trips, without any gas at all, 5.5 years ago.  Toyota has been building upon that success ever since, quietly refining their technology.  This is why Toyota is able to address shortcomings of the 50% goal.  Notice how the recent executive comments were made about the US as a whole, not sales from Toyota.

8-26-2022

Denial, reputation.  I found this within that on-going discussion interesting: "With the transition to BEV, Toyota's reputation for quality will fade, since their quality reputation was largely based on drivetrain reliability.  With EV, there will largely be a leveling of the playing field."  Rather than rhetoric, it was somewhat constructive.  That assumption of quality perception emanating from engineering expertise is common.  It comes from those who don't actually consider how & what.  Lack of detail is key to incorrect belief.  I'm well aware that quality comes from comprehensive design, not precision of build.  Overlooking something within operational behavior can be costly.  An easy example of that is efficiency.  Who cares of the design will never fail if it guzzles fuel.  Using smaller, lighter, less expensive components is what Toyota specializes in.  Other automakers don't place that as a high priority.  Heck, some don't care.  This is why the timing of Toyota entry into the market doesn't matter.  When you are running marathon, being fastest initially can often be a penalty.  There's a lot to consider when the effort is a long one.  Use of resources must be carefully thought out.  Anywho, that's how quality comes into play.  You consider all factors of influence.  I put it this way:  It's a paradigm shift, which means perspective of quality is changing.  Consumers will look at reliability as more a matter of longevity rather than need for repairs throughout ownership.  Toyota's differing approach on DCFC rate and usable capacity is evidence of that.  Look at their expectations for battery-life.  Newer selling points, like OTA updates, will gain attention.  Look at how VW promised them, but owners are still awaiting.  There's the cold, hard reality of efficiency too.  Notice how enthusiasts have been downplaying electricity guzzling and attempting to evade mi/kWh observations.  In short, it isn't a leveling event.  All those "late to the party" taunts were nothing but tailgate-party banter.  That actual game is entirely new and hasn't even started yet... as the IRA bill just signed overwhelmingly confirms.

8-26-2022

Denial, audience.  Not liking what Toyota has to say is quite common.  That's why the automaker is portrayed as being against BEV.  They need someone to blame for their own failure to acknowledge challenges.  Typically, that comes from someone with an engineering background not recognize difficulties related to business.  Consumers don't accept logic and emotional response is commonly a hard stop.  They made their decision, refusing to consider new information.  Sometimes, it is as simple as pride getting in the way.  That's how we get statements like this: "Toyota, which has long been anti full electric still complaining.... no demand?  Tell that to Tesla."  It's easy to see how Tesla is a premium brand, that there is no interest whatsoever toward offering something capable of competing directly with Corolla.  Imagine what would happen to Model 3 with it's starting price of $46,990.  The new Corolla Cross starts at $22,445.  Think about how popular of a choice a $30,000 plug-in model would be.  Supposedly, that is what GM will be targeting for Equinox with a plug.  Toyota's partnership with BYD for the sedan BEV model of Corolla will be revealed soon for the market in China.  What do you think that will sell for?  This is where audience comes into play.  Toyota recognize the importance and statements reflect that.  Enthusiasts like to shoot the messenger.  Ugh.  Yet again, I had to point out what should be obvious:  No demand is not what was actually said.  The pattern of changing the message to portray Toyota as an antithesis is obvious.  Enthusiasts don't like Toyota's approach or their recognition of challenges still faced.  Consequences of wearing rose-colored glasses for so long are emerging.  Toyota is pointing out how 50% by 2030 is not realistic.  Resistance to addressing reasons why is a dead giveaway.  Shooting the messenger is an act of denial.

 

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