Personal Log  #886

August 5, 2018  -  August 12, 2018

Last Updated:  Sun. 10/07/2018

    page #885         page #887         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom     



Video:  New Route, New Parking (to home).  This is the return trip home, a second half to complete the drive to work footage.  Like that previous video, it is packed with detailed real-world data.  With the new route and parking location, it adds to the collection of examples of what an owner may experience on their particular drive.  There are so many factors of influence for efficiency, seeing lots of various sample videos if the only good way of building realistic expectations.  Anywho, I enjoyed filming this particular commute.  It was a nice summer day and just happened to end with a unique twist.  That black car which cut in front of me near the end of the drive was a Tesla Model 3.  Being able to follow that for a few blocks was a nice opportunity.  As for the statistics, I enjoyed EV the entire 20.8 miles of travel, with an estimated 10 miles remaining.  That's quite impressive for a vehicle rated for just 25 miles, especially when running the electric A/C at the same time.  Notice that I just drove along with the flow of traffic, doing nothing special whatsoever to achieve those results... Prius Prime - New Route, New Parking (to home)


Setting Precedent.  I spoke out because no one else had.  Drawing attention to the fact that no opposition or even acknowledgement makes you an enabler is important.  That silence is setting precedent.  Today, that silence was broken.  An administrator reached out, saying the naming-calling (use of insulting & denagrading terms) is unacceptable by using my drawing attention of an automaker as an example.  I pointed out that was just following what had been established, posting the same way others had been.  He stepped up and deleted those previous posts, leaving mine to represent & document the change of policy.  No more.  Finally!  It was the hypocritical stance of "no plug, no sale" that was getting to me.  That supposed unity wasn't reality.  An attitude of "vastly superior" had worked its way into the group.  I was able to successfully get recognition of the problem that brought about.  An administration reiterated goals.  Phew!  We're at a turning point.  The stage of "early adopter" is coming to a close.  That will bring about a new audience.  This group isn't prepared yet to deal with it.  Making sure we share goals is the start.  There's an interest in equality, regardless of whether or not a vehicle guzzles electricity or is far too expensive for mainstream consumers.  The goal is to push plug-in technology of all sorts.  That's why the group embraced me years ago.  Despite Prius PHV carrying such a small battery-pack, it was still an endorsement for lithium technology.  Just imagine if those antagonists of the past had done the same thing.  I wouldn't have learned so much from having to deal with their rhetoric... the precedent they set.  As a result, I'm able to provide detailed education video & materials about plug-in vehicles.


Video:  New Route, New Parking (to work).  The quest to provide as much detailed real-world data as possible continues.  With this drive, I took a new route to work and parked in a new ramp.  In this case, it was also quite a warm morning for here in Minnesota.  So, there's nice variety to observe.  Being warm already, I had the electric A/C running.  That's a reducing factor in how far you can drive in EV mode.  Another is the speed of travel. On this drive, there was about twice as much at 70 mph than with my old route.  Upon conclusion of the 21-mile drive, there was a third of the usable battery-capacity remaining.  That means I would have been able to travel roughly 30 miles total in EV, despite also using the A/C at the same time.  It's a nice example of how under-rated the system in Prius Prime actually is... Prius Prime - New Route, New Parking (to work)


Measuring Efficiency.  It became obvious within just minutes of posting that message about priorities that some plug-in supporters have no idea what the heck I'm taking about.  The discussion immediately took a turn in the direction of battery-pack size.  In their mind, more equates to better efficiency.  That's as absurd as the vehicle carrying a larger quantity of gas being more efficient.  Ugh.  I'll share a post shown the dashboard display with a miles/kWh readout.  That alternate perspective of the same meaure may help.  It's not really any different from explaining how backward & misleading the MPG system here is.  The rest of the world shows consumption in other terms for good reason... what we use is very misleading... as we see the same problem coming from capacity now.  Ugh, again.  I attempted to convey the message with this, but am sure more follow-up will be needed... which is good, since getting a discussion going was the point:  You are comparing the size of the "tank" not the actual efficiency measure, think MPG but for a plug.  kWh/mile is that measure for EV travel.  For EPA rating, it is the number of kWh of electricity it takes to travel 100 miles.

8-11-2018 Priorities.  I climbed up on the soapbox today to address the rhetoric, with the intent to provoke new discussion by starting a new thread:

It's time to finally address them, moving beyond just the basic support for plugging in.  We shouldn't allow EFFICIENCY and AFFORDABILITY to continue to get pushed aside, especially at the market becomes more of a challenge with the phaseout of tax-credits.

Plug-In vehicles can be guzzlers, wasting fuel just like the traditional vehicles they replaced.  Needing more electricity to travel the same distance increases both vehicle & operational cost.  We shouldn't turn a blind eye to that, or worse, feed rhetoric to draw attention away from the issue.

A simple example of EV efficiency is to look at the most common comparison, Volt verses Prime.  31 kWh / 100 miles is efficiency rating for Volt. 25 kWh / 100 miles is efficiency rating for Prime.  That means it requires 6 additional kWh of electricity for Volt to travel that same distance in EV as Prime.  (Put another way, Volt delivers only 80% the efficiency of Prime when consuming electricity for propulsion.)  It also means more battery is required, as well as extra recharging time.

Even if electricity was provided entirely from renewable sources, would we really want to promote wasting it?

We are long overdue to finally start addressing issues like this.  Seeing this group not take the responsibility route of encouraging the better technologies and pointing out those with shortcomings would be unfortunate.

In other words, don't allow enablers to distract from the importance of EFFICIENCY and AFFORDABILITY.


Ramped Up Rhetoric.  Pressure from the upcoming phaseout trigger for GM tax-credits combined with the reality of poor sales has ramped up rhetoric.  Anytime you bring up what's really important to mainstream consumers, there's a GM enthsusiast their to evade the issue.  They will typically either change the topic of Toyota's perceived lack of EV support or their interest in fuel-cell diversity.  Both are obvious attempts to draw attention away, yet their actions aren't called out.  We have large groups of enablers, no one will to speak up for what's really important.  True, their silence is better than the meritless push for token rollouts of the past.  Nonetheless, it's a clear barrier to progress.  Efforts like that to impede advancement are undeniable after awhile.  That's getting really easy to see at this point too... especially when "laggard" is brought up to describe work to advance the technology that aren't related directly to large battery offerings.  I simply fired back to the post that set me off this way:  Calling Toyota a laggard for delivering a more efficient and more affordable system is a disregard for what's truly important.


New Videos.  It was Summer break for me... time away from providing much Prius content online.  My job actually changed, same location but in a significantly different role, that inevitable major shift you encounter at some point throughout the career.  It's exciting, but lots of work.  That made other changes, like work-time and parking-location, easier to embrace.  So, I did.  You get to see it in new videos.  I filmed two yesterday.  Unfortunately, the second (driving home) included a battery overheat issue with the 4K camera.  Mounted in the windshield, it gets hot... blinks a warning... then shuts off.  That's not good while you are filming.  I managed to keep in cooler today.  Between the drive being a little faster, the battery cool to start with, and leaving the camera cover open, I was able to capture the entire drive without issue.  Phew!  The other footage (driving to work) worked just fine first try.  So, you get to see my full commute, the new ramp where I park & plug, along with the new route.  More ideas to come.  That at least rounds out the warm weather coverage.


Available Plug.  There's still this problem no one wants to address.  Where will people plug their vehicle in to recharge?  Taking it for granted that people will be able to front the setup money and understand all details of what that install entails rather naive.  There's a lot of intimitation.  There's also the reality of infrastructure shortcomings.  I keep hearing there's a plug available to some percent of homeowners.  None of those surveys actually sight any specifics though.  In most cases, you'll be lucky to pull 8 amps, since it is an exisiting line that is already being used by some other device.  That makes recharging a challenge for just one vehicle.  For perspective, it takes 32 amps at 8 hours to recharge 200 miles of capacity.  How many people are you aware of that have a 40-amp 240-volt line readily available to provide that?  There's the logistics of simply how to park multiple vehicles for recharing overnight in the garage or driveway.  We need to address these issues... so well, they become easy to respond to.  Right now, I'm getting a lot of evade responses.  That's not a good sign.


Going Private.  Hmm?  The comment about Tesla considering the possibly to go private caused quite a stir today.  You don't exepct a random comment like that from a CEO.  It's understandable.  The stockmarket is influenced heavily by short-selling, rather than long-term investment.  Tesla is very much in the position of focusing exclusively on long-term well being.  Having to deal with minor shifts shouldn't be consuming time & resources.  Not having a public offering prevents that; however, it also raises concern of intent.  We see commentary on a regular basis of how luxury automakers should be taking Tesla more serious.  Why?  The target-market for Model 3 is mainstream consumers, not those in the luxury market.  Remember?  It's all about delivering an affordable offering with a price competitive with other high-volume vehicles.  Luxury offerings are by no means high-volume.  They are a well establish niche, which works just fine for that audience.  You don't transform the world from gas to electrici with a narrow scope.  That's why idea of going private raises alarm.  What would that do to the mission statement?  How would it change the business approach no longer being under public pressure?  When would we get to hear about future plans?  There are many questions.


Doomed.  The message of doom for Toyota is remarkable.  People without business background are judging the based exclusively on what they see right now, in the moment.  That's called using anecdotal evidence.  They figure their engineering expertise or their desire to pursue green solutions is all it takes to understand the "Who?" question.  It's quite obvious they lack economic, accounting, and marketing knowledge.  That causes them to make incorrect assumptions and follow false leads.  It also leaves them vunerable to repeat problems of the past, those only recognized from a business perspective.  It's very, very easy to overlook the signs when you are looking for them.  It usually comes down to thinking a well-informed consumers is all it takes for the automotive industry to change.  They don't see the market as a whole, everything it takes to appeal to those who make it possible for the consumer to even have that choice.  Ugh.  Oh well.  I keep pushing to get that message across:  Toyota's measure of leadership is being able to capture the hearts of their true customers... DEALERS.  That's a fundamental mistake GM made they are trying to avoid.  If their dealers have no interest in stocking inventory, ordinary consumers are doomed.  This is why Toyota has been working so much to stave larger hybrids for a plug, like Camry and RAV4.


EPA.  We keep hearing about the upcoming rollback.  The current administration is getting ready to annouce the elimination of new efficiency restrictions introduced by the previous administration, freezing current levels for the sake of safety.  They are using the same old misconception exploit that sacrificing safety is the only way to achieve efficiency improvements.  Having been proven false is of no consequence.  They simply pretend that never happened.  They are telling people what they want to hear for the sake of being able to continue driving guzzlers.  Do everything to retain the status quo.  Sadly, that "safety" is only with regard to perceived benefit.  It's really a loss though.  Emissions from that extra fuel consumption are harming people slowly.  Pollution is costly, whether you acknowledge it or not.  They couldn't care less.  We'll have a similar problem with coal later this year too, except that is expected to remove many barriers... allowing for much greater pollution than the current levels.  That excuse is for job security.  Supposedly, that will save employment, even though the act of extracting & processing coal is becoming more and more automated.  It's really sad.  Even with that terrible head of the EPA having been removed, some of the distructive behavior continues.  Our environment's well being is being traded for profit.


Dominant.  Understanding the technology is a fundamental mistake those nasty Volt enthusiasts never learned the importance of.  It was always rhetoric like this that they were endorse & embrace: "Linked here from a Forbes article and I think it's safe to say the days of the Prius being anything near dominant are definitely over."  That's all that was provided, no detail explaining why.  They just referred to the link with the hope of not being confronted on any detail.  I always push for detail.  They see that as refusal to acknowledge the conclusion someone else drew, something you are supposed to do without question.  Asking why is how you learn.  They know that, so calling what you do as "spin" makes responses appear to be denial.  In reality, I see how they attempt to draw attention elsewhere.  In this case, the word "dominant" is reassociated to Prius, rather than the hybrid system.  They know HSD is used in quite a wide variety of other vehicles and Voltec is trapped in a car no one wants.  GM exhausted the market, reaching out to all possible conquest interest... because their own customers had no desire for a compact hatchback.  Toyota has strived to deliver a compelling SUV hybrid.  GM never did.  The hope of one with a plug is still years away, with nothing certain planned.  That's why there is so much rhetoric still.  I simply responded to this one with:  The tech in Prius will remain profitable & sustainable for years to come.  We will see many more hybrid & plug-in hybrid offerings taking advantage of advancing batteries, whether it gets attention or not.  That's the nature of most automotive business, not just a single model holding a spotlight.


Already.  Unrealistic expectations is quite common.  The response to that is often to sight an extreme: "We all should've been driving fully electric vehicles already.  Unhealthy, polluting, fossil burning vehicles should have become a thing of the past."  That's a great example.  Oversimplifying the problem is why progress is so difficult to recognize.  People in general don't notice detail, the small influences that really make a big difference.  Seeing that a better product exists doesn't mean adoption of it will come easy, even if you see that step as trivial.  After all, that serves as proof of the technology being viable.  Old habits are difficult to break though.  The purchase of a vehicle is profoundly significant too.  It's the most expensive decision you'll repeatedly make many, many times throughout your life.  Annoyed by such complacency of the situation, I posted:  Between all the anti-hybrid rhetoric of the past and the reality of battery-tech still being sub-par for mainstream acceptance (too expensive, not energy-dense enough), there's no need to mention infrastructure shortcomings (houses without sufficient capacity).  We will get there, but it's not ready for primetime yet.  Think about the challenge of selling a profitable $35k vehicle without tax-credit.  Thinking we should already be there is quite unrealistic... especially when in comes to competing with traditional vehicles priced in the 20's.


back to home page       go to top