Personal Log  #949

June 23, 2019  -  June 27, 2019

Last Updated:  Mon. 7/29/2019

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6-27-2019 kWh Video Feedback.  I did end up getting a few responses right away to the newest video.  This was one long follow-up replies:

I'm working on a cheat-sheet.  Posts like this are how I collect feedback about the content for it. In this instance, the topic is kWh.

kWh is the amount of actual electricity consumed by the vehicle.  This is a big deal, since some plug-ins are more efficient than others.  In fact, some are outright guzzlers of electricity.  That's why drawing attention to how well Prius Prime uses its supply available will help endorse Toyota's well thought out design.

Think about kWh.  That's the unit of electricity your provider bills you for.  Requiring less to travel the same distance is a better return on your vehicle purchase.  Your monthly statement will be lower.  It also means you'll spend less time at the charger.  So, knowing the actual efficiency rate is very important.  Understanding of that starts with observation of how kWh is used.

Prius Prime has a 8.79 kWh capacity battery-pack.  Part of that is reserved for longevity, never touched for the sake of avoiding stress on the cells.  Extremes accelerate aging.  There's also a portion of it reserved for HV travel.  The portion allocated for EV travel is noted on the dashboard as the percent value from 100 to 0, when the numeric display option is selected.  On that secondary display (to the right), it is the range from 87% to 12%.  In other words, the dashboard shows "usable" capacity and the phone app for that aftermarket gauge connected to the ODB-II port shows "actual" charge level.

Watching the video, you'll see the Total kWh value go up & down.  That's because it is showing the net result of using plug-supplied electricity and some of what it recovered when braking (known as "regeneration" of electricity).  For that 30-mile drive, it states a 5.2 kWh as the transition point, where EV capacity is depleted entirely and HV mode engages.  At that point, the gas-engine joins in to supply power for both propulsion & electricity.

The next step in understanding kWh is to look at what happens when you plug in.  There are conversion losses going from household AC to the battery DC.  There are efficiency differences from the charging speed as well.


Video - kWh Meter Data.  Understanding how the electricity is actually consumed to provide propulsion in addition to cabin heating/cooling is really important.  I end up having to deal with posts from people who don't.  That really confuses matters.  Their claims are misleading because they didn't have all the information that was needed.  So, I'm always on the quest to provide that missing detail.  With this newest video, you lots of new data.  I was excited to be able provide something previously unavailable.  It looks like it will be really handy to have this footage readily available... which is what you now have.  Here's the detail:  The latest upgrade from that aftermarket app (called "Hybrid Assistant") I use to create Prius Prime drive videos with has added a very informative new meter.  You can now see the electricity being consumed & regenerated.  That display of kWh is real-world data we've never had access to on this level.  It's a great learning tool to really understand what the plug-in hybrid technology is really delivering.  Here's my first video using it, featuring a 30-mile drive of all EV with kWh data the entire way.  I'm quite curious what others will have to say after observing that collection of content compiled into a single contiguous video.  Feel free to posts comment on whatever information catches your interest.  Here's the link to view it:  Prius Prime - kWh Meter Data

6-27-2019 Wondering Why.  I liked this: "I don't know the numbers, but based on the fact that I rarely see a Prime on the streets but often see the Gen4 Prius; I am assuming that Toyota is selling a lot more of them than Primes.  I wonder why that is?"  It was someone trying to figure out the true situation, knowing that anecdotal observations can be misleading and sometimes just plain wrong.  That's good to know some people are using critical thinking.  This was my reply to that:

Neither our market, nor the entire industry, were ready for mainstream PHEV offerings.

The biggest problem was cost.  That heralded PHEV leader for years was heavily dependent upon tax-credits for mere survival.  Sales never grew to the level necessary to compete with other vehicles offered on dealer's showroom floors.  It's production has been ceased as a result, without any successor model.  The entire approach was abandoned.  So, there wasn't any point rushing out the technology by other automakers.  Toyota saw the benefit of refining & diversifying in the meantime.

That positions Prius Prime incredibly well for the necessity of appealing to both dealer & consumer.  If the salesperson isn't able to get a worthwhile commission, what's the incentive to sell it?  There's no point in pushing a vehicle facing profit challenges.  Seeing Toyota invest heaving in the spread of the technology really helps.  Diversification is the ultimate endorsement.  Elsewhere this year, the Corolla PHV will be rolling out.  Seeing the technology from Prius Prime emerge in another hybrid sends a strong message... especially for those wondering if RAV4 hybrid will someday also get a PHV model.

In other words, the stage is still being set.  We'll witness the plug-in model of Prius become the dominant choice, leaving just the Limited and AWD as regular models.  It's an essential paradigm-shift long in the making and very carefully thought one... hence no reason to rush.

6-26-2019 No Future.  There's a repeat of the "vastly superior" attitude emerging.  Now that Volt has basically vanished from existence... which is strange, it's as if it never made any market impact whatsoever... we're seeing entirely new efforts to undermine.  Rather than just attack Toyota specifically, the entire category has been targeted.  For example: "The push for electrification has put a number of OEMs in a weakened position as they lack true EV tech.  To make up for it, they're trying to sell plug-in hybrids."  The article with that opening line ended with: "Numerous carmakers have huge EV plans starting in about a year for the 2021 and 2022 model years."  It's history repeating, again.  We get vague claims that hope is built up.  Meritless hype feeds the excitement.  Ugh.  I responded to the link sighting that article with:

It's the same old nonsense we saw when hybrids were new.  There was a constant onslaught of attacks all attempting to mislead about future by implying all worked the same way.  It took quite a while to finally gather up enough convenient online material to easily disprove & discredit those source.  Some were rather relentless, doing everything they possibly could to undermine progress.  That's why I've been building up a collection of driving videos, each showing in depth detail to show their claims are a load of crap.

It's sad that PHEV are being attacked by EV supporters, but no surprise.  Our owner's group here liked to mock me, but in in a friendly manner... knowing my effort was to promote lithium-battery use for any type of automotive propulsion.  For us, it's all about getting the most out of whatever plug you have available.  We have honest exchanges about how each of our designs operate... which is a far cry from this article.  Ugh.

The video I filmed yesterday captures detail about kWh consumption for a continuous drive using up the entire EV capacity.  That trip of just a little over 30 miles using only electricity is great, but this article draws attention to the HV aspect.  I'll have to do a fresh capture (now I add commentary) with a long drive using nothing but gas.  That MPG is always impressive.


More Videos.  I'm compelled to continue filming, advancing my technique with each publish.  The quality continues to improve... so much so, the videos now stand out.  With the presentation so refined over the years and the for-dummies type commentary, it's becoming easy for the content to get dismissed.  I have exactly what I need to convey the message that I need.  The aspect of being a filmed-by-owner video is lost.  There's no rough-around-the-edges element.  All those years of refinement effort put me in a challenging position.  Some moderated venues won't allow self-promotion.  That content looks exactly like that now.  Bummer.  True, I can still stir interest in other ways.  But the nature of many blogs & forums are to cater to newbies.  Content that's well-polished and carefully thought out simply isn't a focus there... since that doesn't promote participation.  In fact, that type of solid real-world data discourages it.  Nonetheless, I'll keep filming.  Know your audience teaches me that the content will be shared, just by a different means in the future.  The audience is growing.  That type of change... empowering others to share & conclude... is how growth takes place.  So, more videos will come.


EREV is Dead, trolling.  Blatant trolling has become so common, the hope is that chaos will allow it to continue unchallenged.  I'm fighting back:

Pretending this is new information screams unfulfilled objectives.

Reality is, the measure for success of failure was always based upon the ability for each automaker to deliver a system that could achieve sustainable & profitable sales prior to tax-credit phaseout.  The reason for that is uneatable.  It was the very purpose of such a generous subsidy.  In fact, that is why each automaker was given the discretion of choosing their own timeline, to best utilize that limited opportunity.

GM squandered what they had, wasting it on conquest rather than finding a means of spreading the technology to other vehicles.  That's why the lame excuse for Volt being discounted holds no merit.  That system should have been implemented within a Trax or Equinox many years ago.  Remember how all that EREV vastly superior nonsense?  Volt sales plateaued at the 1,600 to 1,700 level. Each month, regardless of what GM attempted, growth was never achieved.  That's so far below the business goal to keep the technology viable, there's nothing else to but try something quite different.

Toyota's approach is quite different, hence the absence of any constructive attempt to discuss the situation.  Toyota still has time.  They have an ample number of tax-credits available and they are already well into the diversification effort.  Corolla PHV will be rolled out later this year, starting elsewhere.  That gives them even more time to prepare the stage here for that necessary growth.  In the meantime, RAV4 hybrid is pushing well into the mainstream, reaching a new audience GM could only dream of.  It's a platform capable of offering a plug later too.

So all the spin about not failing won't cover up the reality of status quo remaining unchanged for GM.  Their dealers are doing the same old push of giant guzzlers with no plan for the future.  It's just a day-to-day survival situation... which is why there's reason not to consistently remind everyone of that past.  You don't overcome mistakes in history by not acknowledging they ever happened.

This is why recognition of Toyota's effort genuinely change their fleet should be taken seriously.  This antithesis thread revealed what about efforts to achieve efficiency & sustainability?


EREV is Dead, failure.  Posts like this speak volumes: "So the Volt wasn't cancelled.  Its factory was shut down because the other model lines made there were cancelled.  Now being a sedan'ish car, moving Volt production couldn't be justified.  The drive train is in a couple of Chinese Buicks, so Voltec didn't fail."  That's ongoing damage-control you come to expect.  The massive failure to achieve objectives is a very big deal.  Every single time Prius was mentioned in the news, it was immediately followed by a message of superiority about Volt.  Yet, that technology vanished.  It was basically a fade.  EREV was meaningless marketing.  There was never a clear definition of what it meant.  Every time that got called out, the definition would change.  If you take the time to research that change, you see the pattern of evade & alter.  It's not worth fighting the antagonists on any of that with an expectation of actually getting acknowledgement.  You use those opportunities to provide exposition.  It's a way of revealing history to newbies and those who hadn't paid close enough attention.  To that post though, I just let him have it:  That's called moving the goal posts.  We all know the target numbers, dates, and locations... none of which that damage-control effort will forgive.  This is yet another example of OVER PROMISE, UNDER DELIVER.


EREV is Dead, prevention.  This kind of spin is how narratives are established: "toyota made a bev decision recently, based on the china market alone. and they make a lot of decisions based on the japanese market alone. the rest of us get the crumbs, and we're grateful for them!"  That same old troublemaker just keeps repeating his own perspective over and over.  Sadly, it's one of very limited scope and he clearly doesn't actually read some of the posts.  It's the nonsense from years ago living on... just pass along a vague message and ignore real-world data.  Their attack often includes audience, shooting the message with efforts to discredit.  It especially angers them when you point out you are not alone.  Fighting on a personal level is much easier, hence the limited scope.  My fight with them goes on.  The experience from dealing with the trouble Volt enthusiasts created provided lots of informative background... providing an great sense of how to prevent:  Actually, we have been discussing the EV model of C-HR for over a year now.  The perspective of "recent" is the antagonist narrative being passed along.  As for that "the rest of us part", it is why the "Who?" question was asked so many times over the years.  In fact, that's how "know your audience" came about.  There was a genuine concern the EREV nonsense would mess up the market here.  And sure enough, that "vastly superior" push soured reception here.  I am not the slightest bit grateful for that unfortunate outcome, since it was preventable.... and I was one of those in the "we" that fought hard to try to prevent this.


EREV is Dead, ambiguity.  More than anything, I find that most telling.  When you push for detail and get that instead, you know they are bluffing... or in our case, intentionally attempting to mislead.  There will be references to articles & videos, but no actual link or even a quote.  So, the very idea of addressing context or audience is impossible.  It what the antagonist does to evade getting confronted on detail.  I saw that for an entire decade from Volt enthusiasts.  Their hate for me grew to extremes.  I kept out facts with lots of detail they simply couldn't deal with.  Armed with a wealth of business research, their engineering arguments fell apart.  They couldn't deal with those facts that reached beyond simply building a better vehicle.  That's why I kept bringing up audience.  Of all the challenges the technology faced, finding a way of appealing to ordinary showroom shoppers was well beyond what their technically-oriented minds were trained to do.  They simply couldn't see that perspective.  So providing detail made no difference in their willingness to try to  understand.  It was outright dismissal that what I was presenting had any relevance.  That's why the ambiguity was enough.  They didn't feel any need to provide more... which is why I kept pointing out the shortcoming of their "good enough" attitude.  After so many years of dealing with that, it feels really good for not having given into the temptation to fight back on the same level.  Instead, I kept on with my research and kept filming video to disprove claims.  That detail is priceless.


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