Personal Log  #887

August 12, 2018  -  August 21, 2018

Last Updated:  Sun. 10/07/2018

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Efficiency.  Speaking of rapid dismissal, you'd be amazed how often I encounter it with respect to plugging in.  The person will just make a comment about electricity source being dirty, then end the topic.  It's a read-between-the-lines moment.  You hear a dismiss of the plug.  But what they actually just did was justify continued support for traditional vehicles.  Had there been something mentioned with regard to non-plug hybrids instead, that would be different.  That wasn't the situation though.  Getting any type of endorsement moving forward is what you need to listen for.  Absence of that is the real problem.  Pick something green.  They say no.  It's what makes them feel better.  After so many generations of hybrid being on the market, there is no excuse anymore for not looking forward.  Just outright statements of being unacceptable for not being an ideal is no excuse.  So what if the electric isn't from an environmentally pure source.  That's no reason to refuse to acknowledge its use results in far less waste than traditional vehicles.  Efficiency isn't an all-of-none choice.


Rapid Dismissal.  You typically only have 10 seconds to captivate an audience.  Within just 1 or 2 sentences, people listening would have already made up their mind.  It's the nature of how we operate.  Whether assumed or learned, the information people collect leads their daily activity.  Wanting to find out more or question past experience generally doesn't happen.  That's a rare event, not something you'd hope would occur routinely.  That means you need to assess the audience quickly & correctly to make whatever you share really count.  If it isn't compelling, they will just reply with a rapid dismissal.  Losing attention is all too real of a problem.  That's why knowing whether or not to convey "200 MPG" or "25 miles" or "2 hours" is vital.  Those are all brief responses to encourage an ask of another question.  Whatever the person did to stir the topic, usally a question, make sure your effort to promote provides something directly related.  In the event of an emotional appeal instead, return whatever their observation was with a confirmation... otherwise, opportunity is missed.  This is why I pushed so hard against enthusiast appeal.  That provides nothing of interest to mainstream consumers, who just dismiss what you point out so rapidly, you lose them before even finishing the comment.


Kayaking.  The racks for carrying stuff on the roof of the Prime work great.  We carried 2 kayaks on top to enjoy Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis last week.  Despite that massive added drag & weight along with having the A/C cranked, that 51.8 mile round-trip delivered 72.5 MPG overall.  That's incredible performance for a Summer activity.  Normally, I tell people not to even consider the efficiency impact of such an event... because they are too rare.  How often do you actually get to experience recreation on that scale?  My wife and I had a blast.  It would have been totally worth it regardless of MPG results.  The location is literally ideal, a treasure for paddling around.  It's so incredibly scenic there.  Right on the edge of the city, you wouldn't expect so much nature.  We paddled through the maze of islands, along the waterways to both ajoining lakes, and just floated around for awhile.  We got to watch a few kids jump off the bridge too.  It was a good time made convenient & efficient with the Prime.


Antagonist Attack.  My post from over a week ago was attacked.  It came from an antagonist, one deadset on doing everything he could to belittle Prime in the past.  Now, like the others, he's seeking out new venues to do the same... since that daily blog is now dead.  This is what I woke up to today: "A paltry charge, after ten to 15 or even 20 minute walk+task after plugging in my Gen I and Gen II Volts was enough to convince me that the slow trickle of juice was definitely not worth the frustration to myself or passengers to face the inconvenience."  Seeing that was a true surprise.  I didn't think anyone would be so desperate.  It makes sense though.  If Volt continues to suffer, why not take others with?  That is obviously a terrible belief, but his beloved is struggling to retain attention and there is no successor.  To make matters worse, that situation is what I predicted.  The second-half of a second-generation is not where you want to be without any plan forward.  Needless to say, I was happy to post this:  Who are you trying to greenwash?  Anyone who has even just a basic background in L2 recharging knows that a load of garbage.  7 min 56 sec delivered 0.389 kWh of electricity the other day when I stopped at the grocery store, paying close attention to the process... knowing any response to my previous post would be an obvious effort to undermine.  That short, very convenient recharge resulted in 2.9 miles of estimated range... more than enough to get home from there entirely with EV drive.  You flash your card or phone, then plug in.  That's it.  Spinning the process to be frustrating & inconvenient is big disservice to anyone who owns a plug-in vehicle.


Charger Issue.  That was screwy.  We drove out to the lake to kayak, which is at a park with charging-stations.  Problem was, I couldn't unlock the cord.  The charger would begin the session, but hardware wouldn't release.  I tried countless times, working that handle everyway I could.  Neither the wave of my card or my phone made any difference, on either side of the station.  Both refused to let go, but started & ended sessions just fine.  I finally gave up my efforts and called the toll-free help number.  After a surprisingly quick welcome, I was already debugging the issue with support.  His guess was something related to network communication was causing a problem.  That didn't make sense.  So, he tried sending a release signal.  It worked.  The cord was mine to use within seconds.  Cool.  Even better was seeing another Prime parked nearby after returning from our time on the lake.


Market Disruption.  Quotes like this are reason to give pause: "The real disruption from the EV adoption will be at the dealer level."  You should ask yourself was what the intended message was from such a statement.  Is that recognition of the true customer?  If a dealer isn't interested in selling the EV, it doesn't do much good for the automaker to produce them.  That reality is usually overlooked.  The assumption is consumer education will solve the problem of limited inventory.  That isn't how disruption works, though it is a contributing component.  Demand can be driven by stirring interest.  But when it comes to supply, the dealer must find a compelling reason to stock.  If that resulting inventory is difficult to sell or results in a small profit margin, why bother?  This is the issue GM has faced.  Executives listened to enthusiasts, neglecting dealers in the process.  That didn't result in real disruption.  In fact, Volt was basically a failure... since sales never broken into the mainstream.  Ther was always a dependency on tax-credits and GM's own loyal customers never showed interest.  Selling in low-volume to only enthusiats is a doomed path.  That is not a sustainable business model, the process dealers must operate.  So, we have a conflict of understanding... hence all the online conflict over the years.  Today, it has pretty much come to down to just stating this:  Dealers are the true customers of Toyota, hence... know your audience.  Early Adopters have an extremely difficult time accepting that, consequently misunderstanding how mainstream acceptance actually takes place.  That's why talk of supplier issues rarely gets addressed, yet is fundamentally important to profitable business.


Suppliers.  Attention was focused on them today by Toyota, from statements about how production will be changing in the next decade as electrification takes hold.  Rarely do enthusiasts take the role of suppliers into consideration.  Most have engineering blinders on, resulting in a complete overlook of business impact from change.  Those delivering high-volume production can't afford to be so blissfully unaware.  That type of blatant disregard for the fragile system of production parts is financial suicide.  The industry leaders cannot afford to make such impactful mistakes.  This is why GM hasn't delivered much for either Volt or Bolt.  They know change would be detrimental to profit.  Keeping the status quo, but still appearing to be fully participating, is an unfortunate reality... one that early adopters fail to recognize.  This is why "leadership" is so poorly misrepresented.  They don't understand what it takes to actually change mainstream consumers.  Looking at suppliers is a way of learning what's really involved.  Unfortunately, telling that to enthusiasts is basically pointless.  So, I kept my contribution to the discussion simple:  Prime time will be the early 20's, a generation beyond the first profitable worldwide offering.  That's exactly as anticipated.  In fact, this quote confirms it: "Toyota announced plans to add more than 10 all-battery models to its lineup starting in the early 2020s."  In the meantime, we still have to deal with early-adopters not understanding how products how products are sold to mainstream consumers.


Toyota's Future.  No matter how many times it is stated that their hybrids are vehicles to help transition to more electrification, all some people hear is the current advertising of "no plug needed".  Regardless of the plans stated to offer more plug-in choices in the future, some absolutely insist that isn't what Toyota intends to produce & sell.  It's maddening how they simply ignore some information.  That cherry-picking is a dead giveaway you are dealing with someone who simply doesn't care.  These are the same individuals who think nothing of spreading lies.  I read an article this morning about the rollout of Corolla hybrid in Australia.  They advertisements directly address the misconception of hybrids needing a plug.  Antagonisists are already spinning that to mean Toyota who ever be offering something with a plug, despite the press clearly including quotes from an executive (head of sales & marketing) there stating the contrary.  Ugh.  By the way, their expectation is for 20% of Corolla sales there to be the hybrid model.  Premium for the hybrid model of each of the package grades available is $1,500.


Ford Territory.  There's a booming market for SUVs.  This is why Ford & GM all but entirely abandoned the car market.  So, to no ones surprise, the first of the plug-in hybrid from Ford will be a SUV.  Like with Toyota, they don't see benefit from messing with the delicate balance here.  Work out the dealer's of customer preference, while also refining production & supply details, to address high-volume sales well.  Next year, Toyota is doing that with an EV model of C-HR and a PHV model of Corolla.  Seeing Ford do the same thing is a nice sign of accepting change.  That effort to retain the status quo from GM is maddening.  Antagonists get angry when I point of the lack of addressing their own customers.  We have to wait several more years before anything for GM customers is rolled out.  Heck, the latest promotion for Volt is $500 of "Conquest Cash" at the time of purchase.  That's a blatant sign of not targeting the right audience.  Ugh.  Details of this new Ford SUV, called "Territory", weren't provided.  All we have been told is that it will be a plug-in hybrid.  The 2 photos (1 interior, 1 exterior) released didn't give any sense of scale.  But since intended use is for city driving, being small has obvious advantages.


Spreading Lies.  The death of that daily blog for Volt has left antagonists frustrated.  Their venue for spreading lies is gone.  Having an outlet for rhetoric is gave them purpose, sincle it was an common gathering location to build "vastly superior" propaganda.  Being part of a team helping to spread the word about plug-in vehicle benefits is not what these particular individuals want.  They are still very much holding onto the past of being the only choice available.  That's not the world we are part of anymore, but they don't care.  So, I'm seeing more meritless claims being posted: "...cannot practically be driven with out the engine coming on to support the electric drive." and "It's good to know that it's not truly a full-time EV." and "Technically the Volt is way ahead in the PHEV game!" are among what I stumbled across recently from those individuals in a forum thread attempting to mislead about the plug-in hybrid model of Honda Clarity.  This is the very same nonsense they tried repeatedly with Prius.  Over and over again, they'll post outright lies with the theme of Volt being more efficient overall.  Evidence to that was always because it had a larger battery.  That's why they are so aggressively dismissive about actual efficiency ratings.  Try pointing out what happens if you don't drive far enough to use full capacity.  They simply don't care about electricity consumption.  They'll spread lies to conceal shortcomings.  Ugh.


That Exchange.  It happened, the administrator came to terms with what I had been trying to draw attention to.  Pointing out their is more than just innocent bias within your group needed to be done by someone.  His decision was to shutdown the thread.  After all, there were some obvious misconceptions at play feeding the problem.  So, starting fresh later was an excellent choice.  It was very clear the attack came from within.  This person was a full EV family (two electric-only vehicles, no gas anything) who was clearly uninformed about what Toyota actually delivered.  Like many, his assumption was that EV driving was just an enhancement to the hybrid system, not the fully capable design I enjoy everytime I get behind the wheel.  The attack continued with an outright denial that we are witnessing the early-adopter phase come to a close.  Phaseout of tax-credits is milestone ...he feels will have little impact.  He also feels the "laggard" label is nothing but a identifier with no negative connotations and certainly in no way should be taken as offensive or insulting.  A new thread emerged about the topic, specifically addressing responses to the other.  Within an hour, there were over 80 replies.  That discussion was about the very real "shaming" we, as PHEV owners, have to deal with from soone BEV owners.  It was eye-opening.  It also exposed a few misconceptions we were able to address, then debunk.  I'm sure the administrator learned more about his group than he expected from that exchange.


Fear.  If you push enough, listening carefully and being considerate of positions, you can sometimes squeeze out valuable information.  True, you can do that with online combat too, but this is by far the preferred approach.  In this case, the exchange today came down to:  Being under the impression that PHEV doesn't endorse BEV works explain the reactions we've encountered.  That's called a misconception.  In reality, they help to support the future.  Stepping up from hybrid to plug-in hybrid gets the upgrade process rolling, where you live and on the road. B oth Mitsubishi & Toyota already offer CHAdeMO connections for their PHEV vehicles.  Getting homeowners to setup 240-volt charger is an obvious bridge to BEV too.  All you need is a 40-amp line to deliver 200 miles of range in 8 hours.


Opposition.  The rather terse debate carried on.  I recognized many of the same problems that came from that daily blog for Volt.  The old concern of "too little, too slowly" came about from the hope that more could be delivered sooner.  It was the classic problem of trying to take on too much all at once.  In other words, it was yet another form of "over promise, under deliver".  They assumed delivering less more often would result in a diluted product that wouldn't stir much interest.  To believe that, you have to choose an opposing position of progressive upgrades.  That's a very expensive and very risky position to take... hence all my direct confrontations with Volt enthusiasts to stand their ground with actual fact.  Much of what they presented was meritless, lacking any substance to actually support a position of successful paradigm-shift.  In other words, what they proposed was too extreme... a heavy dependence on challenging cost & acceptance... no simple path forward.  That's quite the opposite of Toyota... hence an oppositional stance.  Anywho, I stated the situation this way:  The supposed "opposition" comes from the unrealistic timing.   It comes from not understanding audience.  For example, the phaseout of tax-credit subsidies is about to reveal how the initial market didn't actually reach beyond just low-hanging fruit (early adopters).  Appealing to ordinary shoppers (mainstream consumers) is a much greater challenge.  PHEV offerings are strong in that regard, an easier step that will help stimulate infrastructure investment.


Attacks.  Watching Honda Clarity getted attacked by Volt enthusiasts is interesting.  I've been watching it take place on several venues.  Some of the rhetoric is spreading to the EV purist too, those who are against anything with an engine, regardless of how it is used.  I finally jumped into the wide-audience discussion:  It comes from the basic misunderstanding of how they are designed and operate. It is easy to assume the system is just an enhancement to the hybrid, rather than being able to operate entirely without the engine.  As with Prius Prime, everything is EV.  There's a clutch to add in engine power, but that's unnecessary for ordinary drives, like the daily commutes.  The larger hybrid systems, like that in RAV4 and Camry, can deliver more power too.


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