Personal Log  #754

July 23, 2016  -  August 3, 2016

Last Updated: Sun. 10/02/2016

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Blatant Lies.  The attacks have begun.  Any article now posted about Prius Prime results in attempts to undermine from Volt enthusiasts.  They clearly see it as a threat.  With so much pressure coming from GM in the form of Bolt favor, it's no wonder the support for Volt is falling apart.  The fact that we're getting rhetoric in the form of blatant lies is a bit of a surprise though.  I hadn't anticipated so desperation to drag on this long.  Today, it was: "With the Volt, it's much colder when the engine needs to run (as cold as 15 degrees) but even then it cycles; with the Prius, it is always on."  I've pointed out how the heater actually works quite a few times now.  He knows what he said isn't true, yet posted it anyway.  Prius cycles too.  I've even provided detail on how, pointing out the coolant temperature threshold triggers and the durations.  To pretend to not have ever been told any of that is clearly an act of denial... and a confirmation of being desperate.  That's sad.


Unanticipated Results.  I sure wish I had been filming today.  It was one of those ideal condition days.  Traffic was lighter than usual and the weather was quite pleasant.  Heck, even the construction delay I've been having to deal with routinely was gone.  That made for a very nice drive.  It was reflected in the results too.  257 MPG from my 18.6 mile commute.  I am clearly not see any degradation from the battery-pack... despite all the miles and the number of charges.  Such a timely example of 4.5 years of aging certainly was nice.  I definitely reinforces the 150 to 175 MPG that same commute has continued to deliver.  People assume there would be a massive drop after enough time.  That's not happening... yet.  It still could at some point.  But what car retains performance later in life?  We know for a fact that cylinders in combustion engines lose compression over time.  That reduced pressure available results in lost power.  More gas is required to achieve the same thing as a result.  How come that isn't ever brought up in discussions?  Traditional vehicles suffer from that.  A plug-in hybrid like Prius won't, since it's engine gets used far less over the same number of miles.  I look forward to more unanticipated results like this.  Of course, they'll be anticipated... so... um... not sure what to call them.


New Observations.  Having something truly new to discuss is quite rare.  It happens though.  I was lucky enough to introduce the topic too.  It came about from this: "As the traction packs age, and are less & less capable of holding capacity, in essence, they become a smaller sized pack."  Few have enough detail to make observations relevant to that statement.  I do.  In fact, I have a massive amount of detail.  I've been populating spreadsheets with my activity for a very, very long time.  There's lots to notice patterns with.  I started the discussion this way:  However, as the battery ages, it would appear as though the chemistry responds differently.  My observations over the past 4.5 years is that the internal electrical resistance has become lower.  So even though the recharge quantity has dropped from 3.1 kWh to just 2.5 kWh of electricity, the distance I am able to travel with EV has remained consistent.  There's also the fact that the vehicle loosens up over time and consequently becomes more efficient.  For example, today's commute to work delivered 14 miles of EV driving. 80,000 miles and 2,400 recharges later, that's still right on par for what I got when the Prius was new.  In other words, the net result is showing no loss.


Truly Desperate, easy as pie.  With my follow up, I got clever putting it this way:  Keep in mind, the goal of all start-of-the-art technologies is for them to mature, so mass adoption will take place.  The 4th generation Prius brings about cost reductions to the point of being competitive with the true competition... traditional vehicles... even with gas so cheap now.  The 2nd generation plug-in Prius will be striving to achieve the same thing.  Think about the smaller battery-pack.  The size makes it affordable.  The size also allows it to be used elsewhere, like in a RAV4 hybrid.  That's what some are scared of.  The ability to easily scale is an important aspect of business.  Specialty vehicles, for example Volt, don't offer that advantage. The seemingly less capable system Toyota has designed is what will be able to reach mainstream buyers in a timing and cost-effective manner.   Look at all the other top-selling vehicles. Cars like Camry and Corolla certainly don't carry any "advanced tech" type labels, yet that's what sells in high volume.  That's what ultimately pays automaker bills and populates our streets.  Watch Prius Prime reach an audience none of the other plug-in vehicles have been able to capture.  They'll be the ones confident in the reliability & value reputation Prius has earned, looking for an "easy as pie" way to also experience some EV driving.

7-31-2016 Truly Desperate, the post.  I was very happy to post this:

Prius PHV was rolled out and promoted as a PLUG-IN HYBRID. Everybody knew back then that it was a Prius augmented with a larger battery and a plug. That gave it the ability to deliver much higher efficiency. At lower speeds, the engine would remain off for longer durations than with the no-plug model. On the highway, it would gain a MPG boost from the plug-supplied electricity.

The claims of AER (All Electric Range) came about after, as a effort to undermine. That intentional misleading got pretty bad too. There was a group of Volt owners who grew quite irritated by the high MPG some Prius PHV owners reported. But rather than compete honesty, they chose to greenwash

Looking at the window-sticker's stated efficiency of 29 kWh per 100 miles, the deception was easy to reveal. It shows that you need 3.19 kWh of electricity to travel 11 miles. Being able to get that from the 4.4 kWh battery-pack should be obvious.

It never ceased to amaze me how desperate some became, pushing the belief that when the hard-acceleration point on the EPA test was reached (the 6-mile mark) there was no plug-supplied electricity remaining the battery-pack. In other words, they were hoping you'd be gullible enough to not check facts.

From my experience owning one, I routinely see at least 11 miles of EV in the warm months. In the coldest here in Minnesota, when it's well below the freezing point, I have seen as much as 9. With the heater on, it's less. But maintaining a lifetime average of over 70 MPG, even when dealing with snow & ice for months, is the point.

I'm not at all surprised to see the undermining effort continue. That seems to be a sign that the upcoming Prius Prime scares some. A clutch will be added, allowing the generator-motor to contribute propulsion-power to the traction-motor. The battery-pack capacity will be doubled. The system itself will be more efficient, requiring less electricity to travel the same distance. Delivering a solid 22 miles of EV with very high MPG following depletion is quite realistic.

To add fuel to the fire, Prius Prime will deliver industry-leading heating for high-efficiency EV operation in Winter driving. It will use a vapor-injected electric heat-pump. How will those desperate to undermine end up spinning that information?


Truly Desperate, undermining.  It has been quite quiet over the last week.  Inventory clearances have begun.  With the shortage of Prius caused by supplier & production complications in Japan, along with low gas prices here, the situation is a rather odd.  We're seeing markdowns on Prius that had only until recently been difficult to find.  I expect a decent increase when the new model-year becomes available in a few months.  The reality of cheap gas makes the idea of using less a challenging sale though.  But then again, the entire industry is struggling.  Anywho, while that has been playing out, I've been watching an entirley new problem emerge.  Over the course of the last week, a lawsuit against Prius PHV has made the media rounds.  The claim is the system doesn't deliver 13 miles of EV as promised and the engine runs whenever the temperature outside is below 55 F degrees.  What kind of nonsense is that?  I never heard such a promise.  And where the heck did that temperature limitation come from?  It's so absurd, I just ignored the online comments... until today.  A well-known antagonist re-emerged, seeing that an a new opportunity to spread his same old rhetoric again.  Ugh.  Oh well, it gave me an opportunity to present facts.  So, I did.


Exposed.  My effort to reveal the trolling did not go unnoticed.  He knew he had been caught.  The frustration in the response was obvious.  He knew I'd be ignoring him from this point on too... the ultimate defeat, not taking the bait.  So, he couldn't even address me.  I was refusing to play his game.  Phew!  Yet another antagonist exposed.  Each time something like this happens, it becomes easier to notice.  New people attempting to do the same thing get called out sooner.  Becoming aware of what to look for is key.  This was a nice example to share with the group.  On a big forum like that, such activity can go unchecked for a surprisingly long time.  People just get caught up in the participation... not taking the time to think about what's happening.  The engagement draws them into those pointless discussions.  It becomes a huge waste of time that ultimately undermines.  Progress is prevented.  That's the trolls goal.  They thrive on the status quo.


Ignore.  This is what did it: "The EV range, which is increasing a tad for the 2017 model."  My growing anger hit tolerance.  He was clearly attempting to prevent conclusions from being draw.  That's why he's considered a troll.  Though, when you've been a daily poster for years, that label is seldom associated... despite the obvious behavior.  It this case, he was making a comparison to BMW's i3.  I was not happy.  Rather than just presenting numbers for others to decide, he was drawing conclusions for everyone.  That blatant effort to avoid being constructive, seen on a very regular basis, is intolerable.  So, I called him how making reference to the quote:  Excluding detail, yet again.  Makes you wonder...  Who would ever call the jump from 81 miles to 114 miles just a tad?


Taking The Risk.  I climbed up on the soapbox.  The time to sound off was well overdue:  We get a lot of spin.  Many times, that isn't even intended.  It's just a perspective people aren't aware they are stuck in.  They have a set of expectations and don't realize what else is available.  Over and over, we hear the glass is half empty. They are taking away a seat that rarely gets used for most and used occasionally by others.  Why hasn't anyone noticed the other view?  The glass can be considered half full too.  Why not improve seating in back, starting with the introduction of a center console and bucket seats?  We also get the sensors that detect where passengers are and directs the air-circulation accordingly.  How come that isn't acknowledged as an effort to offer improvement for back seating?  I'm tired of the nonsense and know after so many years of close study that the typical consumer won't raise such a huff.  Family dynamics change anyway.  What will work with the children while they are young will alter as the years pass.  What do you do with the car then?  People naturally seek out different after a while too.  Toyota is hoping to capitalize on the opportunity... and getting grief for taking the risk... despite breaking out and not playing it safe being the very thing they were told to do.  Take a chance, get criticized.  Geez!


Trolling.  I really getting tired of nonsense like this: "And with a similar number of 3 or less households, 4 seats was a major detractor for the first Volt.  Besides, households have extended family, friends, and coworkers.  Along no middle seat for a child seat, the lack of the fifth seat meant taking a less efficient car for short outings, lunch with coworkers, when there is 5 people going."  He's been posting vague & misleading statements a lot lately.  Omissions is what crossed the line.  I wonder how much longer I'll tolerate it.  He knows I switch to ignore too:  Leaving out vital information paints a misleading picture.  Only 4 seats was a major detractor of Volt for the initial rollout.  After people discovered the other seating shortcomings (leg & head room in back, along with the low windows), it shifted to minor... and stayed that way... which is why gen-2 of Volt still doesn't offer seating for 5 people.  The arguments about family & friends fell short anyway.  People simply don't like cramming 3 across.  It doesn't work for adults in vehicles of that size... which is why larger vehicles like Camry remain popular.  In other words, it's not the big deal you make it out to be.


Spreadsheets.  I'm finally getting caught up on the number-crunching part of my data sharing.  I never stopped collecting all the detail.  There simply wasn't time to analyze & summarize.  Now, there is.  Some of the results are fascinating too.  The ultimate goal was determine that value a certain antagonist from over 4 years ago hated.  His upset over my insistence upon real-world data was intense.  Yes, he was an early Volt owner who pushed absolutes and despised Prius.  The balance from blending and the smaller battery-pack to make it affordable enraged him.  So, naturally, he resorted to greenwashing.  The intentional misleading efforts were annoying.  I just kept collecting data.  Now, all this time later, I have it.  His fighting to prevent this new measurement is how his resentment became obvious.  I simply suggested stating how many KWH and GALLONS it took to travel 100 miles.  He wanted to hide behind MPG, supporting his objection to tracking electricity consumption.  All that mattered to him was using less gas.  That's just plain wrong.  Guzzling electricity is not appropriate.  Agreeing to that point though meant unknowing Prius PHV could compete directly with Volt in certain circumstances.  He also knew that Prius PHV was only a mid-cycle release with limited scope.  The next generation would be more competitive.  And sure enough, that's exactly what Prius Prime will deliver.   So... after all that being said... the value after 73,663 miles of driving came to 8.3 kWh + 1.41 Gallons for every 100 miles of travel.  That's an intriguing result... especially since so few people actually have similar data to share.  I documented every single time I plugged in and every time I filled the tank.  Those are measured number, not rough estimates.  The spreadsheets noting all that are quite extensive.  I think it was totally worth doing.


Dedicated Platform.  We're hearing this kind of rhetoric a lot now: "Prius won out because it was the most complete package of them all.  It's not perfect but it had the rooms, the reliabilities in both the engine and batteries.  It was a dedicated platform and not a converted platform like the civic or the accord..."  It comes from the lack of a small, cramped middle seat in back and a raised floor in the cargo area.  I'm finding each new post interesting.  The lack of substance is beginning to reveal itself.  Rather than arguments growing stronger, weaknesses are emerging.  That's the result of constructive discussion.  Yeah!  Such an outcome is rare.  I appreciate the devil's advocate approach some are providing to foster that.  This was my say on the comment today:  Ironically, Toyota is doing the same thing now and that fact continues to be overlooked.  The hatchback model of Prius is almost 13 years old.  Any type of interior or exterior match would put it in the same "converted platform" category, especially with that being 3 generations.  Making Prime stand out as different was an important goal.  Yes, it shares some of the hybrid system, but clearly there's a very easy to see difference... the seating... the battery... the body.  If it hadn't been given the "Prius" prefix, many would think of it as a distinct vehicle.  If Prime gets a 5th seat later, unique identification would have already been achieved at that point anyway.  Goal fulfilled.  People like standout traits, even if it means a tradeoff.  RAV4 hybrid is selling well.  Why?  Efficiency is quite a bit less.  Remember how many people in the past said they'd be willing to give up some cargo room for the sake of more EV miles?  Also, keep in mind that winning formulas of the past don't necessarily deliver another success when repeated later.  Think about how little competition Prius had back then.  Having Prime standout from the regular Prius makes sense it this crowded market with a wide variety of choices.


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