Prius Personal Log  #1166

September 12, 2022  -  September 16, 2022

Last Updated:  Mon. 9/19/2022

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9-16-2022

Endless Attacks.  I was amused by today's attack.  It was exactly like in the past.  I would post something complete on-topic, sighting how GM's current actions related to GM's past actions.  No mention whatsoever about Toyota resulted in a Toyota comment anyway, a blatant effort to draw attention away from GM.  That history of evading problems and using Toyota as a distraction borders on stupidity.  When it takes that much effort to hide denial, you know they are truly desperate.  Who is going to fall for such nonsense?  That's what trolls do.  I pushed to get the discussion back on track by souring the milk:  I'm sure those who are genuinely interested in this topic about marketing will appreciate the blatant effort to distract and not take it seriously.  But since you brought up Toyota, inviting the wider conversation, they are an automaker playing the longer game instead.  There's no point in advertising in market already challenged with lengthy delivery waits.  Advertising to early-adopters is a waste of money anyway.  What is that supposed to accomplish?  Delay of marketing until infrastructure, education, and supply catch up... like Toyota is doing... makes sense.  Remember how GM touted Bolt as a Tesla killer?  Expectations prior to rollout were quite a disconnect with reality.  Think about what a year's worth of anticipation with little to no detail will become while waiting for Equinox EV to roll out.  GM is portraying an image of going "all in" without really having to deliver much.  It makes for a great "anti-EV" narrative against Toyota, but there is very little substance in terms of actual change toward plug-in sales at dealerships.  Look at how much more Ford is doing in that regard.

9-16-2022

GM Hype.  The marketing nightmare has begun.  Remember all the nonsense of the past?  Most people don't.  Those who do will selectively alter that history by conveying perception.  They conveniently omit important detail or just outright lie.  That's easy to do.  Simply focus on something else instead.  It's especially easy if you claim a different goal.  Just state it as "mission accomplished" and question anyone who says otherwise.  That's absurd; of course, yet we see countless do it.  Look at the complete absence of change at GM dealerships.  Rather than endorsing plug-in vehicles, we saw an entrenchment of core vehicles... gas-guzzling giants.  Imagine if Volt has indeed become a plug-in SUV as the original Two-Mode program was supposed to evolve into.  Remember that prototype intended for 2009?  We could have easily seen a PHEV model of Equinox.  Think of what that would have done; instead, we got constant harassment of Toyota who actually did deliver a PHEV model of their most popular SUV.  What GM did was compete for the spotlight.  Conquest sales were the goal, not changing what their own loyal customers purchase.  Ugh.  I reiterated that absence of sincerity, asking how this marketing now for Equinox EV differs:  We have seen this already with both Volt and Bolt.  GM will heavily promote something long in advance of rollout, always a little ambiguous... like: "around $30,000".  Taking that, enthusiasts turn hope into hype.  It's what feeds the "over promise, under deliver" reputation.  How is this any different?  Don't over look the non-plug history either.  GM did the same thing with Two-Mode.

9-14-2022

Minnesota NEVI Funding.  Here's the information... readily available... yet some people have no clue what to look for: "The NEVI plan requires that the first $5 billion be spent only on DC fast-charging of 150 kW or higher.  There must be 4 or more chargers at each site.  Each approved route must have sites at least every 50 miles with a minimum of 2 sites per approved route."  That's simple enough.  I'm glad to see it conveyed & shared so easily.  What's more difficult to understanding of what it means for each state.  We have 2 major highways cutting through the state (Minnesota).  That made focusing on them first a simple choice, one that wouldn't take much effort to get support for.  Phew!  I looked up what the funding allocations would be for us over the next 5 financial years (2022-2026).  There will be a total of $68,164,918 distributed.  This first year will get $10.1 Million, then each of the following a little over $14.5 Million.  That's a substantial contribution to state investment, as well as some private efforts, all help to sway interest.  Seeing infrastructure emerge speaks louder than any rhetoric online, especially when you have someone like me helping promote those sites.  It will be very exciting to visit them, capturing photos & video to share.  The next few years will be exciting here.

9-14-2022

Good Luck.  That was attitude conveyed today in response to any type of infrastructure boost.  There's been a lot of negativity.  The timing was an incredible coincidence.  That question of who will invest in infrastructure now has a solid answer... our government.  For everyone complaining, it's quite a outlook shirt.  Suddenly, there will be a bunch of charging locations being announced.  It will force the naysayers to change their story.  They'll come up with some other desperate nonsense.  Each shift in approach to fighting change weakens their position.  That's what we want, especially with such a massive shift... enough to reveal a paradigm, not just a fade or trend.  This is the real thing, true investment.  The price tag alone overwhelmingly confirms commitment.  We'll see complaints about cost and how the efforts will be funded, but that cannot stop recognition.  I pointed that out with:  Luck isn't necessary.  Repealing laws isn't necessary.  National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) reached the next step today.  35 states had their plans approved.  That means $900 million will become available next year to fund infrastructure builds along highway corridors.  In my case, the highway just 10 minutes (6 miles) away have 6 locations designated for DC fast-chargers.  That's great, since the politicians here (Minnesota) have successfully blocked a bill to allow highway rest-areas to have charging stations.  They are also fighting to undo becoming a CARB state.  Efforts like GM's partnership with Pilot will really help with DCFC availability too.  Seeing Ford jump into the mix is a good sign.

9-14-2022

Publicly Facing Chargers.  That requirement from Ford was one of intrigue, at least for me.  Others didn't see it the same way: "I don't see the reason for putting publicly accessible chargers at dealerships.  I wouldn't want to charger there unless it was a dire necessity."  Market growth doesn't come from only addressing necessity.  It comes from efforts striving to draw interest related to enticement & convenience.  The easier it becomes to recognize & understand change, the more likely it is you'll get someone to give change a try.  Dealerships are where many begin their first true look into a plug-in vehicle.  You can research to death online.  It isn't until an in-person encounter that a true glimmer of reality emerges.  You commit to a drive to the dealership.  Not seeing anything supporting that plug-in vehicles would be a huge let down.  If even the dealerships are expressing support, how can you expect businesses & municipalities?  Seeing a DC fast-charger available to anyone who needs it is quite an endorsement.  I pointed that out this way:  That's short-sighted thinking.  The easiest way to sell a BEV is to appeal to those who already own a BEV.  Their endorsements are priceless.  Being able to stop at a dealer with family, friend or coworker and charge while they shop makes the trip worthwhile.  It also provides the opportunity for a demo even when there is no inventory available.  Don't overlook the challenges of convincing salespeople that is their future either.  Seeing DC fast-charging on a regular basis sends a powerful message.

9-14-2022

Ford Dealerships.  They were given a 6-week notice today.  Each is required to make a decision about what they will sell, based on infrastructure investment.  One with the designation of "Model E Elite" will agree to install 2 high-powered DC fast-chargers and a level-2 station.  One of the DC units must be available to the public too.  The cost estimate for this is between $1 and $1.2 Million.  These dealerships will have access to an unlimited number of EV they can order & sell.  For those not willing to make as much of an investment, there's the option of only installing a single DC fast-charger.  That means there will be a limit to how many EVs can be ordered & sold each year.  An interesting aspect of this is the number will be the same for all dealerships in this category, regardless of annual volume.  I think this is a great move.  It shows commitment from both parties.  Ford is taking the transition seriously; therefore, their dealerships too.  An unwillingness to invest is a sign of not embracing change.  Think about how that reflects on training of sales & support staff.  If you see the owner spending money on the future, you are far more likely to invest time & education for that future.

9-13-2022

Georgetown, Kentucky.  That's where the upcoming bZ5X will be produced in 2024.  Such news is a terrible blow for the anti-EV narrative.  Toyota is not supposed to embrace change like that.  Not only does such a move reinforce the effort to grow quickly, as well as diversify, it also supports the move to reduce cost & price by shifting to production in the market where sales will take place.  It's what becomes realistic when you are striving to achieve economy-of-scale advantage.  That type of move is extremely difficult to spin.  It's exactly what we all hope for.  I suspect by then, we'll see RAV4 Prime production local as well... since current production of RAV4 (including the hybrid model) is in Georgetown already.  It's much easier to dismiss plans when they are elsewhere.  When you can point to a map of the United States and draw attention to how much employment opportunity that will contribute to, effort to portray Toyota as an enemy to change is basically impossible.  This is yet another clue as to how the long-game is being played.  Big changes like this which stir very little interest are fantastic.  That's what provides hope, when you see actual change.  People really didn't notice how RAV4 took over capacity in Georgetown, reducing Camry production there.  After producing 10 Million Camry there, it was a big deal to focus more on another vehicle.  But now seeing how that helped to usher in plug-in choices, the evidence of "subtle yet significant" being a good strategy taken is difficult to deny.  No hype, like GM.  The supposed antithesis, Toyota, is quietly embracing change on a grand scale.

9-12-2022

Whole House Discount.  It's nice finally getting constructive discussion related to at-home charging.  The challenge is most people have never given the topic any thought.  Today, someone with a discount plan for his whole house was arguing against any need for time-of-use metering.  He completely blew off what the article was about, which focused on the need for a physical meter was going away.  Even the in-line sub-meters (like I have) are becoming unnecessary.  He didn't want any part of that.  Despite it essentially being free, included with many Wi-Fi enabled EVSE, he didn't care.  The 2 units we have from 5.5 years ago included that.  But back then, our local provider didn't have any means of taking advantage of that to attract installation and encourage off-peak usage.  Anywho, a discount coming from whole-house plans focus on high-demand devices, like A/C units.  They will cycled on & off to manage grid-load.  That's highly variable and the outcome is very unpredictable.  This guy's argument about the simplicity completely overlooked the drawbacks of having to shuffle at the moment of need rather than getting people to just plan for charging at predictable times, when demand is low so they can get a discount.  You'd think such logic would be obvious.  But then again, most people have no clue how the grid works.  They just keep saying it cannot handle increased load without any actual data to support the claim.  I kept my reply brief in this instance:  Whole house plans don't allow the utility to manage peak demand well.  With a TOU setup (either meter or smart-device), you can have vehicle charging as a low priority.  Stopping or slowing just what's on that line during when the system gets stressed makes a lot of sense.  There's a lot that must happen during heavy load.  Making the demand more predictable by offering TOU is a no-brainer.

9-12-2022

Just An Excuse.  This is the first disenchantment type post I have run across: "For ten years, I had Lexus RX and hybrid.  Then I went to highlander for another ten years and I never had a problem so I don't understand what is the problem now.  Is that Toyota doesn't really want to go electric and the wheels are just an excuse?"  That questionable outlook & motive comes from the on-going anti-EV narrative.  When you are constantly bombarded with rhetoric portraying Toyota's long game as resistance, it becomes easy to believe it.  Our society is lazy & short-shortsighted.  That makes them vulnerable to deception.  In fact, all you have to do is listen to the election lies.  Claims easily disproven live on for years.  You just keep repeating a lie until people believe it.  Rather than actually research or even just consider the bigger picture, arguments focus on just select aspects of a situation.  It's obvious cherry-picking that few ever challenge.  Ugh.  Oh well, all you can do is counter each effort pointing out what should be easy to see... especially when someone becomes disenchanted:  It's the opposite. Toyota wants to invest in the new platform.  So rather than go with the same old components, they went for the upgrade and it didn't work out for all circumstances.  Going from stud & nut to hub-bolt proved a challenge for repeated hard stops and sharp turns.  It still addresses other problems though, like when a third-party over tightens.  As much as I would have liked my delivery by now, waiting is fine.  We'll end up better off in the end. For me, it means DCFC nearby will be a reality by the time it actually does happen.  There are 4 separate entities with station install plans at various stages.  That's quite a change, since this area (Minnesota) has been a dead zone... despite being a CARB state.

 

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