Personal Log  #762

September 16, 2016  -  September 21, 2016

Last Updated: Sun. 10/02/2016

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Final.  He gave up with his own identity.  Switching over to the one that is used only for attacks didn't do any good either.  Though, I find it intriguing to see that happen, since everyone notices it.  Tracking discussions is much easier.  That's a benefit for both of us.  Looking up posts later, knowing the most intense was used with the other, is easier.  Realistically, that doesn't matter.  It's just like when other chapters ended.  We all knew it was final.  The most significant was the Two-Mode fallout.  Volt simply took its place.  The same situation seems to be playing out with Bolt.  That pattern matches well.  All we need now is word from GM stating some type of status.  As for the enthusiasts, we already got that.. as I noted:  That's final confirmation.  When the spin here is spun so much, the past is denied.  In other words, the diversification now happening is claimed to be the plan all along… when the posts & blogs clearly confirm that wasn't what actually happened.  Of course, admitting that means agreeing with those who had been saying that all along… which we know won't ever occur… hence the spin to attempt to obscure that.  Whatever.  Like I said, it's happening regardless.  btw, this website was highly opposed to EVs until recently.  So, labeling me as a troll is rather pointless, since so many others have switched over.  Notice the dramatic change in daily topics?


Repeating History.  Marking the end is near.  Nothing else can be said... all rebut opportunities exhausted... all excuses exploited to their fullest... all hope faded away into nothingness.  It's over.  We see the cycle beginning again.  This is a new chapter.  Unfortunately, it's already looking like a repeat.  The same history playing out is usually a bad sign, given the previous ended so fruitlessly.  Early signs point at that same outcome.  Remember the "over promise, under deliver" problem?  Rather than rehash that, the choice was to state it as "too little, too slowly" instead.  It made no difference.  I noted the big-picture observation as:  This is exactly what we saw when Two-Mode went out in favor of Volt.  The antagonist would cry troll, followed by a flurry of childish spin.  Being an adult would be to recognize the pattern and admit the leap-frog with Volt never happened.  Sales remained flat, not achieving the hoped for minimum to reach mainstream buyers.  Bolt will be taking on that role now.


Happening Regardless.  There's a lot of anger & upset.  It's evitable the outcome won't be accepted by someone.  How they handle it varies.  I foresee an aftermath.  With the chapter closed, there is nothing else to dwell on.  We look back at the damage caused from all those battles.  Whether or not acceptance of the war ending is acknowledged, the victory from EVs overcoming "range anxiety" is obvious.  There's no denying that.  Resentment will emerge.  Letting those dealing with losses have their opportunity to vent can be quite effective.  Of course, that entitles others to provide their own retrospective.  I will too, though that isn't necessary.  Having on-going blogs documents what happened as it happened... which avoids distortion from looking back.  Feelings at the time were preserved.  Anywho, I followed up with:  The attempt to portray as "anti-Volt" simply doesn't work.  Look back at the countless posts endorsing a "lite" version of Volt and the push to get Voltec spread to other vehicles, especially Equinox.  In other words, I don't have any trouble with the technology.  It's the configuration… and we know how die-hard Volt enthusiasts hated the idea of losing purity.  (They also fiercely opposed EV offerings from GM.)  That diversification was fought against intensely.  That's sad.  Fortunately, it's happening regardless of the opposition.  We have Bolt, an EV.  We have Malibu, a hybrid system with higher efficiency.  And we’ll see the CT6 plug-in, a variant of Voltec.


Making Stuff Up.  The eruption online was intense.  That pointing out of harm being done to Bolt by defending Volt didn't go over well.  It exposed his desperation.  His loyalties were to Volt only, not GM.  That's why all arguments against Toyota were always focused on Prius, even though their other hybrids were routinely mentioned.  That's a sing you're dealing with a pride issue, rather than something actually constructive.  He wasn't interested in the well being of the automaker or the industry.  It was all about saving face.  That's sad.  Needless to say, he was just making stuff up at this point... which was a surprise, since the usual tactic was to misquote.  He simply didn't care anymore.  It became a survival struggle, for him anyway.  I've been through this cycle several times now.  Remaining true to the goal of delivering something affordable & dependable for the masses is what gets you through all the rhetoric.  If it's not truly green, that weakness will eventually be revealed too.  Patience is key.  But sometimes, it is acceptable to through a punch of your own:  Now you're making stuff up too.  It all goes to confirm the previous chapter has ended.  The very idea of not being "light-years ahead", or as it had been stated in the past "vastly superior", is repugnant.  Well, suck it up.  Volt got outclassed by Bolt.  GM's own offering brought about the change.


No Worries.  The craziness isn't over.  This transition was never expected to be easy anyway.  So much attention has been placed on plugging in.  That's especially hard on regular hybrids when gas is so cheap.  Discussions like this provide a welcoming refresh.  No surprise, a new owner was unknowingly fighting the system, attempting to squeeze out the most possible EV driving.  I posted:  First, it's important to keep the "JUST DRIVE IT" motto mind whenever you are behind the wheel.  Literally thousands of new Prius owners make the very same assumption, that more EV is better.  It's not, hence the motto.  They try to squeeze out as much as possible, not realizing the penalty that comes later from having to replenish the consumed electricity.  That can actually result in lower overall MPG.  That's not the outcome they hope for, but at least no damage comes from it.  The system is simply compensating from you fighting the hybrid system.  Instead, just drive it.  If something was truly wrong, you'd find out after a tank or two of gas.  For example, the engine never shuts off, even when stopped waiting for a light to turn green.  Poor MPG would indicate that.  Simply not seeing much EV means the electricity being generated is used for HV instead.  Great MPG would indicate that.  Enjoy your new Prius.  No worries.


Summer Commute Home, video.  Here's the description I posted of that newest video:  This is my commute home, the return drive from the "Summer Commute Work" video.  Same route, different traffic.  The resulting MPG from that direction & time is lower, but 142 MPG certainly isn't anything to complain about.  This particular summer drive was rather ordinary.  The temperature was comfortable, due to all the clouds, and the number of vehicles was typical.  I like the drive through the suburbs.  The up & down through all the hills uses up more electricity than just flat roads would, but the hybrid system handles that just fine.  You can see climbing them in EV is no big deal.  There's plenty of power for that.  As for the filming itself, the new camera for the dashboard information works great.  There's no refresh flicker anymore and the vibration becomes a soft sway from the camera's stabilization.


The Push.  Pointing out to someone that they have backed themselves into a corner rarely goes well.  They tend to get hysterical, lashing out at anything they can... but trying the best to make what they say seem rational.  This was the point at which things finally broke down: "Volt Gen2 has the 5th seat."  You know it's falling apart for that person when they begin to outright lie.  He knew there was no way to win that argument, yet tried anyway.  It's so easy to prove Volt doesn't.  That spot in the middle has a seat-belt, but there isn't a place for legs.  How is that a seat?  Do anyone really expect an adult to share their leg area with another?  It's only a compact in the first place.  That makes it even smaller.  Ugh.  Providing proof or not really doesn't matter.  It's simple to see that the claim was counter-productive.  Accepting the "5th" would result in a mark against Bolt, which I was happy to point out:  Eventually, you'll figure out why I've pushed for you to look at GM's own product-line.  Currently, the obsession with being better than Toyota is blinding you from seeing it.  For example, your quote above does a huge disservice to Bolt.  The rear seating in Volt is compact.  You have to duck down and lean forward to see out of the window.  That isn't the case with Bolt.  Your head touches the ceiling.   That isn't case with Bolt. You have to squish your legs into the same area as the two other passengers in back to squeeze into the 5th seat.  That isn't the case for Bolt.  Who cares whether or not Prius Prime has that.  You are harming Bolt by portraying Volt as if it is the same.  Bolt supporters will not be pleased.


The new "Who?" Question.  I asked it this way:  For some perspective on market diversity, note the recent reveal of the next-gen Outlander PHEV.  It is said to deliver a 120 km range for EV.  That's 74.5 miles and will offer a larger interior.  That helps emphasize the "too late" situation.  If something is tried and doesn't work, try something else.  GM is. Toyota will be.  Heck, even Nissan is planning to.  Seeing the success of gen-1 Outlander in Europe should be a clue as to the success of gen-2 here.  Who do you think the competition is?


Video for New Shopper.  Someone who joined the big Prius forum just 3 months ago with interest in Prius Prime posted a new thread, asking for reasons why it may be a better choice than Volt.  I was intrigued to see where this new discussion opportunity would take us.  So, I jumped in with:  It depends upon what your priorities are.  If you don't need more EV range, why bother with a car offering a larger battery-pack, especially if the tradeoff is less headroom for rear seating?  Prius Prime will deliver much better MPG after depletion too.  There's also the electricity consumption to take into consideration.  Your location in the Midwest would mean a greater benefit from the vapor-injected heat-pump Prius Prime will include, rather than the less efficient resistance type heater.  Having 82,000 miles on my Prius PHV, which has been averaging 72 MPG over the past 4.5 years, the decision to upgrade to a Prius Prime right away is a no-brainer.  I can recharge at work using solar electricity, which will bump my 19-mile commute average from around 110 MPG to possibly 999 MPG.  Since I take long trips routinely, the improved efficiency of the gas-engine will be a nice benefit too.  I'm also looking forward to the variety of goodies Prius Prime will offer that have nothing to do with being clean & efficient.  The LED lighting will be sweet, the color head-up-display and new screens will be fantastic, and the dual-wave rear window will be the boom.  Carrying my kayaks on top will be interesting, where high-tech and the outdoors collide.  For some perspective, here's a video of a commute to work I filmed last month:  Prius PHV - Summer Commute Home


Too Late, part 5.  My conclusion will hopefully bring about an end to the rhetoric.  What a waste having to deal with such nonsense.  It should be a matter of addressing issues, them moving on.  Some have a much harder time dealing with change though... as this exchange has clearly points out:

That claim of "too late" does serve as confirmation of closing a chapter.

The problem is your disturbing take on what should happen next: "Quantity will be determined by market demand, as it should be."  That formula doesn't work.  Volt overwhelming proved the masses won't change simply if you deliver a well performing vehicle.  No matter how much praise enthusiasts gave Volt about performance traits, the reality of compact seating and disinterest for saving gas kept sales down.

9.9 million GM vehicles sold last year should have been the wake-up call.  The other was virtually non-existent posts on the big GM forum.  Volt had already been ratified as a specialty vehicle, much like GM's others.  The choices for gen-2 configuration resulted in them moving on.  Bolt would become the plug-in vehicle to hold the spotlight. Online posts about the announcement this week solidified that.  The rant confirmed it.

Turning outrage on Toyota doesn't accomplish anything. California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Hawaii were the only states Prius PHV was offered in.  That meant the generous incentives from Georgia, Oregon, and Colorado were never taken advantage of.  Yet, despite limited availability, there were still 42,341 sales. They served to prove the technology and highlight what improvements to include in the next generation.

The topic of demand obviously stings.  Downplay from your quote and the proceeding rant attest to that.  It's over.  Chapter closed.  Focusing attention on Toyota is an obvious attempt to distract.  That red herring is dead.  Bolt's ability to deliver 238 miles of EV ended Volt's quest for mainstream acceptance.  Market demand wasn't there.  As many have pointed out, a plug-in hybrid model of Equinox holds great potential. 4,919 sales of RAV4 hybrid last month validates interest.  Imagine what adding a plug could achieve.  My guess is you already have, hence the lashing out at Toyota.

That claim of "too late" doesn't become a non-issue upon delivery of the first vehicle either... as gen-2 Volt has shown.  Sales must grow.  Since Toyota already had Prius Prime developed, so they figurative plug for Prius PHV was pulled... saving the growth for later.  Way bother rolling it out to the remaining 35 states knowing a much improvement version as on the way, especially with consumer education required.  GM has throttled back on Volt for similar reasons.  Bolt is much improved.  Not only will it eliminate "range anxiety" concerns, it also provides a more roomy interior.

Both automakers are starting fresh the end of this year.  Too bad if you don't like them sharing the same business mission of significantly reducing emissions & consumption but taking entirely different approaches.  Intermediate goals will differ greatly, but both face the inevitable reality of tax-credit expiration.  Sharing the need to deal with traditional vehicle demands makes the plug-in market a common interest.

In other words, I couldn't care less if you don't want to cooperate.  Rant all you want.  There are enough of us trying to make a spirit of uniting together for the same cause convey throughout the minds of mainstream consumers.  Volt wasn't the vehicle to do that.  Whatever.  Let it go.  Move on to Bolt with the other GM supporters.  Geez!

Do you really think it's all about Toyota anyway?  What about the push soon coming from Hyundai?  What about the long-awaited debut of Mitsubishi?  What about the intent Ford has stated?  Think about what Nissan is planning.  And of course, there's Tesla.


Too Late, part 4.  Denial.  Rage.  Dishonest.  Ridicule.  Demanding.  Contradiction. Insulting.  Hate.  Exaggeration.  Dismissal.  Spin.  It was all there.  I was amazed to see such an extreme post.  Since he obviously didn't care at that point (the same wounded & frighten animal behavior witnessed in the past), it didn't matter what I said.  Fortunately, pretty much everyone else has moved on.  Realistically, he probably has too and this only served as a sense of closure.  To that end, I posted:  That quite possibly could be the best rant posted since C-Max Energi was rolled out.  Back then, it was also a Volt enthusiast who went off the deep end.  That pattern is easily recognized.  Same result too.  Things fell apart and the outcome was far from what had been hoped for.  The door of that chapter was slammed hard.  Everyone quietly dispersed afterward.  The next chapter begins.


Too Late, part 3.  This is what I saw upon waking up the next day: "Hybrids are part of the "too little too late". Like I said, they need to get serious about plug-ins."  The discussion had degenerated down to just mindless rhetoric.  It provided a nice opportunity to remind him what the goals are:  That doesn't actually tell us anything.  In fact, that's as vague as a person could possibly get.  Evading discussion of detail provides confirmation that there's no substance to the claim...  $30,000 price, to-the-floor EV acceleration, enough EV to cover most commutes, and sales of at least 5,000 per month.


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