stephent
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:34 pm

Smidge204 wrote:
stephent wrote:I just am puzzled why people are criticizing the Volt as unsuited to any application, saying there's no reason to own one
Who is seriously making that argument? If you're referring to when I said 'zero reason to buy a vehicle with a gas tank' then perhaps you missed the context, because that context most certainly was not for any application.
You did. At least twice you made statements basically equivalent to:
"If your driving is such that you never ever exceed the ~40 mile electric range of the Volt, ever, then you are still wasting whatever little fuel the Volt burns". And twice you mentioned the pickup truck analogy. And multiple times you asked basically "if most of your trips are so short, why are getting a vehicle with a gas tank?"

All of these statements are implying that the amount of gas the Volt wastes on daily short trips is significant, which would make it not worth buying. Since these statements basically are implying Volt is unsuited to its main purpose, short trips, aren't you implying there's no reason to own one? What context did I miss? If you weren't trying to dismiss the Volt as a viable vehicle for any purpose, why would you make these statements at all?

These arguments are fairly stupid, and hopefully I have demonstrated that all of these are irrelevant in the big picture.
Hopefully you now agree with this, and won't repeat them. If you want to criticize the Volt, criticize it for wasting gas on the *medium* range trips, not the short ones. The Raison d'être of Volt is frequent short distance driving combined with infrequent long distance driving. Hopefully you have now abandoned your criticism of the Volt's gas usage in short trips and now only are arguing that the long distance driving is so infrequent that there's no good reason for a Volt.

I think DrInnovation's posted stats sufficiently argues for the frequency and length of those long trips.
You guys really seem to flip a lid when someone even suggests that a BEV might be a better fit for someone than a PHEV. What are you defending exactly?
When have we ever flipped a lid when someone suggested a BEV is a better fit for someone in a particular, valid scenario? I have repeatedly said in this thread that Leaf is better for people with 40-80 mile commutes, or 80-160 if work charging is available. When have I ever criticized someone for suggesting a Leaf is better in such a situation, or some other valid situation? Please quote me.

We flip a lid when people make stupid, illogical arguments that a PHEV is NEVER a better fit than a BEV, that BEV is always superior, and that the Volt is a crappy car with no purpose, etc. We aren't flipping a lid when someone suggests a BEV is a better fit for SOMEONE, only when they suggest it's a better fit for EVERYONE.
Again, data we don't have... so basically I'm saying stop getting on my case for saying long trips are relatively infreque2nt
Even if long trips are infrequent, it doesn't matter, if the medium 40-80 miles are even more infrequent. It's comparative frequency that matters, not absolute frequency. It doesn't matter if the person is only making 2 long trips a year, if he's also only making 2 medium trips a year, they cancel out in favor of the Volt. You can only "win" if long trips are completely non-existent, which is obviously untrue for most people, or if a person's driving habits are such that the 40-80 mile trips are of significantly greater frequency.

And it's all kind of silly anyway. I don't really care about the average stats and who "wins". I just want people to realize that it's up to their individual driving pattern, and think for themselves, and realize that the short trips are irrelevant, that the maintenance mode penalty is insignificant. I *think* I know which driving patterns are more frequent, but if I am wrong and you are right, it's fine with me. I know what's right for me, and have made that choice, and other people can think for themselves.

stephent
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:10 pm

LEAFfan wrote:DC QCs will be here soon on the Interstates/freeways and then all your arguments against the LEAF will be moot. I'm one of the few right now that has been using QCs about three times a week and ONLY drive my LEAF so I have ZERO gasoline miles. People that drive hybrids such as the Volt have a different mindset than people that choose to drive ONLY BEV cars. I wouldn't own any gasoline car even if it got 300 miles a gallon because that's still one gallon of gasoline too much! But that's I.
Good for you, the Leaf is clearly the right car for you. I have no argument with that.

Quick-chargers -- how many are there now? How many in the next 3 years? What are the charging costs going to be? Will a significant # of people really be willing to put up with half-hour of charging for every hour of driving?

If the game is reduction of gasoline usage, it's much more effective to get 5% of people to reduce their usage 80%, than to get 1% of people to reduce their usage 100%.

Are you guys going to be able to (1) get enough QCs installed that long distance travel is viable (2) convince enough people to drive 65 miles from QC to QC, increasing their travel times by 50%+? When hybrids are only 3% of the market as it stands?

The Volt doesn't have these hurdles and gets 70-80% of the job done. Striving for the perfect can be the enemy of the good. Maybe in 6-8 years, batteries/charging will have advanced enough that I'll agree with you that BEV is for nearly everybody. Next 4-5 years, I don't think so. Maybe I'm wrong and a breakthrough will come earlier.

stephent
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:32 pm

AndyH wrote: It seems absolutely absurd to me that someone needs so badly to justify their choice by putting down or trying to trivialize the benefits of another's choice.
I agree, so why do MNL people do it? I only came here to defend the Volt against MNL members doing exactly this. I didn't come here to put down the Leaf. When did I put down the Leaf?
Especially when it's so easy to beat 40 MPG on the highway. I've been doing it with my 1996 and 1997 VWs since the beginning (45-50 mpg), and many of the Leafers have a Prius in the garage at 50+MPG.
So then you immediately put down the Volt. If you do have a high efficiency vehicle you plan to keep and use it regularly, I fully agree a Leaf is a good complement to it. OTOH if your high efficiency vehicle is sitting mostly idle in the garage for months at a time, I'd argue it's better to sell it, let some other person reduce their gas usage daily in it, hopefully replacing some SUV monstrosity, and use slightly more in a Volt in your own long trips if they are infrequent.

Also note that 3 gallons in a Volt takes you 160 miles on a full charge. 3 gallons in a Prius takes you 150. If you are only counting gasoline usage, it takes extra lengthy trips in a Prius to get ahead. If you are counting fuel costs including electric costs, then it's much less (varying greatly region to region), particularly if no charging/ev driving around the destination is going to be used.
But if this forum draws the attention of any more "my hybrid is better than your EV" zealots, I'm going to have to go somewhere else to live. ;)
It would draw less attention if the EV zealots wouldn't start threads like this, and your people stop chiming in with illogical putdowns of the PHEVs that either are untruthful or irrelevant, that draw out defenders. Note this thread was started by one of your guys. If your (plural your) criticisms of the Volt were more logical, I wouldn't have responded, as I don't really do "+1" posts with any frequency.
Keep up the good work, Smidge. And here's a dermal regenerator - your forehead is bruised.
So my arguments have been effective & have caused some damage? :)
His defenses are weak, that's why :).

Smidge204
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:14 pm

stephent wrote:So my arguments have been effective & have caused some damage? :)
Not unless your argument takes the physical form of my desk :lol:

And I think the problem here is you are apparently viewing this as a fight. I'm sorry if you feel that I'm attacking the Volt (which you seem to take personally even if you deny it) but if you clear your head and re-read what I've been saying I hope you'll find that's not the case. If playing GM's white knight is your mentality going in then it's no wonder you so easily see differing views as hostile.

"I only came here to defend the Volt against MNL members doing exactly this." - Like who? Me? Really? Sorry, that's not what I'm doing. To your credit, you haven't put down the LEAF either so I doubt anyone thinks that. From my point of view this is not, and has never been, a fight over who's vehicle of choice is the ultimate... its mostly been about semantics and statistics. I'm searching for an optimal solution, and I like to think I'm being properly skeptical that the Volt is that solution by considering real-word driving mixes rather than overgeneralized BTS statistics and anecdotes about extended trips.

I disagree that "Striving for the perfect can be the enemy of the good." You can't improve if you don't have a vision of what you feel is better than the now. One of the reasons I'm so interested in this discussion is because no gasoline use is better than "just a little" gasoline, so exploring the real-life utility of various hybrid and battery powered vehicles is important.

stephent wrote:You did. At least twice you made statements basically equivalent to: "If your driving is such that you never ever exceed the ~40 mile electric range of the Volt, ever, then you are still wasting whatever little fuel the Volt burns"
But I never said the Volt is "unsuited to any application" which is what you just accused me of. I said that because that is the only conclusion you can draw from the BTS data Volt supporters are so eager to whip out when it suits them. And for the stated premise ("If your driving is such that you never ever exceed the ~40 mile electric range of the Volt") the statement is 100% true - problem is the premise itself is a rare case (which we hopefully both agree on.) Nevertheless it's the only conclusion the BTS data supports, because it tells us nothing of the deal-breaking "long trip" statistics.

stephent wrote:All of these statements are implying that the amount of gas the Volt wastes on daily short trips is significant
"More than zero" is significant if the main goal is to eliminate it entirely.

stephent wrote:ll of these statements are implying that the amount of gas the Volt wastes on daily short trips is significant, which would make it not worth buying. Since these statements basically are implying Volt is unsuited to its main purpose, short trips, aren't you implying there's no reason to own one?
If you insist on relying solely on the BTS data, that is the only supported conclusion you can make. We both know that conclusion is dubious, and isn't that why we agreed to dismiss the BTS data?

Incidentally, for REALLY long trips the Volt loses out over other vehicles as well. The ~40 mile gas-free head start the Volt gets becomes lost in the total distance traveled. If your trip is a over 240 miles between charging, the Volt uses more gasoline at 40MPG than the 2011 Prius at 48MPG. So what happens is you get a lower and upper bounds on where the Volt is the best fit: x>70 and x<240 respectively.
stephent wrote:When have we ever flipped a lid when someone suggested a BEV is a better fit for someone in a particular, valid scenario?
You seemed to object pretty strongly to my retelling of yesterday's driving activities. You wondered why I posted it, then immediately leapt into dismissals ("Sure, long driving miles can work in a BEV if you have charging opportunities at work") and altering the story with hypotheticals so that the Volt would work but the LEAF would not.

DrInnovation wrote:Smidge: you seemed to ignore my posts with data.. (and then attributed someone else's quote to me, I did not say anything about free-passes. I think you personally do get a gold star, I'm more interested in the overall household usage model).
Apologies for the misattribution. It has been fixed.

I didn't ignore your data so much as pass it by having already addressed it. The BTS data is useless here for the reason I described above and in earlier posts. The anecdotes from LEAF owners is not solid ground to work from as I've also mentioned before, so unless we are prepared to start going case by case it's hardly worth discussing... and with so few data points it wouldn't mean anything anyway.

Speaking of, out of the six people you quoted it seems only four explicitly mention using an ICEv as a backup and only two mention approximate frequency of those trips. I think everyone acknowledges the range limitations of current gen BEVs and nearly everyone acknowledges that a second backup vehicle makes a good addition to the family fleet, so there's no earth shattering revelations here. Just anecdotes we can't draw useful generalizations from.
=Smidge=

stephent
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:35 pm

Smidge204 wrote:And I think the problem here is you are apparently viewing this as a fight. I'm sorry if you feel that I'm attacking the Volt (which you seem to take personally even if you deny it) but if you clear your head and re-read what I've been saying I hope you'll find that's not the case.
Mainly, you seem to be making criticisms of the Volt, many of which appear to be off-base. I don't know exactly how to define the difference between "criticism" and "attack". I'm not taking anything personally, I'm just attacking the misinformation and faulty logic with vigor, that you're misinterpreting as me taking this personally.
stephent wrote:Since these statements basically are implying Volt is unsuited to its main purpose, short trips, aren't you implying there's no reason to own one?
If you insist on relying solely on the BTS data, that is the only supported conclusion you can make. We both know that conclusion is dubious, and isn't that why we agreed to dismiss the BTS data?
Why are you attributing arguments to me that I didn't make? I at no point insisted on relying on the BTS data for commutes. I agreed only long trips are the difference. It is YOU who brought the BTS data on commutes into play, by trying to use an irrelevant long commute example and arguing it wasn't far-fetched, and YOU who made the ridiculous leap to "why own a vehicle with a gas tank". Not me. My arguments in this thread have been consistent. You are the one who keeps on leaping around as your original arguments are shown to be illogical. Being apparently impossible to defend your initial statements, you introduce something else, instead of directly addressing my rebuttals (e.g. defend your pickup truck analogy, or agree with me that it's a bad argument), and sometimes twist my words around.
Incidentally, for REALLY long trips the Volt loses out over other vehicles as well. The ~40 mile gas-free head start the Volt gets becomes lost in the total distance traveled. If your trip is a over 240 miles between charging, the Volt uses more gasoline at 40MPG than the 2011 Prius at 48MPG. So what happens is you get a lower and upper bounds on where the Volt is the best fit: x>70 and x<240 respectively.
Agree, if your other vehicle is a Prius. But earlier in the thread, you were using generic ICE as the alternate car, and even proposing relatively inefficient 25 mpg rentals as the alternate car. To me, this appears to be a tacit admission that your previous arguments were poor, if you now have to make the alternate car a Prius. Note earlier in the thread I already said the Leaf was a good complement to a Prius.
stephent wrote:When have we ever flipped a lid when someone suggested a BEV is a better fit for someone in a particular, valid scenario?
You seemed to object pretty strongly to my retelling of yesterday's driving activities. You wondered why I posted it, then immediately leapt into dismissals ("Sure, long driving miles can work in a BEV if you have charging opportunities at work") and altering the story with hypotheticals so that the Volt would work but the LEAF would not.
My primary objection was that your anecdote was completely irrelevant to the previous discussion, and didn't at all address the previous statements & scenarios. It was just an introduction of a tangent, and irrelevant to the argument since it was already previously conceded to be a scenario where the Leaf works better. It is not an objection to the suggestion that a BEV is a better fit for that scenario, it's an objection to the introduction an irrelevant scenario, not under debate, to the debate of separate issues. It's non-responsive.

My "dismissal" wasn't a dismissal of the viability of a Leaf for the particular drive, it was just showing that small alterations, not improbable, would have given the Leaf difficulties. Small alterations imply that SOME of your long drives may not work in a Leaf. While you have been strangely appearing to argue that such long drives don't exist, or are exceedingly rare, therefore no reason to get a Volt.
I didn't ignore your data so much as pass it by having already addressed it. The BTS data is useless here for the reason I described above and in earlier posts.
No, you didn't address it. You addressed the use of BTS *commute* data. DrInnovation introduced BTS *long trip* data, which you haven't addressed.

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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:14 am

stephent wrote:
LEAFfan wrote:DC QCs will be here soon on the Interstates/freeways and then all your arguments against the LEAF will be moot. I'm one of the few right now that has been using QCs about three times a week and ONLY drive my LEAF so I have ZERO gasoline miles. People that drive hybrids such as the Volt have a different mindset than people that choose to drive ONLY BEV cars. I wouldn't own any gasoline car even if it got 300 miles a gallon because that's still one gallon of gasoline too much! But that's I.
Good for you, the Leaf is clearly the right car for you. I have no argument with that.
Quick-chargers -- how many are there now? How many in the next 3 years? What are the charging costs going to be? Will a significant # of people really be willing to put up with half-hour of charging for every hour of driving?
Are you guys going to be able to (1) get enough QCs installed that long distance travel is viable (2) convince enough people to drive 65 miles from QC to QC?
I guess you haven't been reading much about the installation of QCs. There will be MANY within three years. There will be 40 or more right here alone by early next year. The residential installations ended Sept. 30, so now the QCs will be next. They will be FREE until at least 2013. I don't know about you, but I don't need to drive 75mph. I'll drive my usual speed of 60mph in the right lane and drive for about an hour and a half before I recharge and that will give me time to use the restroom, stretch my legs, and eat a snack. It doesn't take 30 minutes to recharge. If the battery pack is low, which it probably would be after driving over 80 miles at 60mph, it will recharge it to 80% in about 24 mins. People that care about the environment and want to stop giving money to BIG OIL and terrorists, won't mind taking a little bit longer for an out-of-state trip. They will feel MUCH better when they reach their destinations. :mrgreen:
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hodad66
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:23 am

let's see... that's one QC per day right? Or
should one ignore Nissan's caution. :shock:
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Smidge204
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:10 am

stephent wrote:Agree, if your other vehicle is a Prius. But earlier in the thread, you were using generic ICE as the alternate car, and even proposing relatively inefficient 25 mpg rentals as the alternate car. To me, this appears to be a tacit admission that your previous arguments were poor, if you now have to make the alternate car a Prius. Note earlier in the thread I already said the Leaf was a good complement to a Prius.
I put the Volt's BEST scenario (40mile electric + 40MPG) against the BEV+ICEv's WORST scenario (70mile electric + 25MPG). I am generally being overall generous towards the Volt and pessimistic towards BEVs.

stephent wrote:My primary objection was that your anecdote was completely irrelevant to the previous discussion, and didn't at all address the previous statements & scenarios.
Your reaction doesn't seem appropriate for something "completely irrelevant." The foundational argument in favor of the Volt is the occasional longer trip, so I provided a personal anecdote which, as the math works out, still fell within the LEAF's pessimistic abilities. If the math had worked out that the LEAF wouldn't be adequate, I'd have gladly conceded that the Volt would be a better fit - and I bet you'd just eat that up, wouldn't you? Would you still be saying it was irrelevant if that was the case?

stephent wrote:No, you didn't address it. You addressed the use of BTS *commute* data. DrInnovation introduced BTS *long trip* data, which you haven't addressed.
If DrInnovation could provide a link to where he got that information it would be helpful. particularly for the 24 trips per year part. Seems to be a mishmash of pastings from the BTS website and I've yet to find that particular tidbit. Another reason links are needed is because BTS seems to freely switch between one-way and round-trip miles in their figures: The median long distance commute is 69 miles? That has to be one-way, because a 35 mile one-way trip wouldn't count as long distance per the definition below. These numbers should be clarified.

97.2% of long distance trips are 300 miles round-trip or less. It's a shame they don't break this down further, because BEVs can tackle at least half that range with only endpoint charging availability. So what we're still lacking is what portion of these 24 trips/year are under ~140 miles round trip. If it's an even distribution we can expect about half of them but I suspect it's more.

I've managed to download a mountain of raw data from the BTS site but admittedly it's not as straightforward as I'd hoped. Might take me awhile to figure out how to properly get the data I want out of it, if it's even there. It should be there. If anything comes from it I'll let you know.

Note: From BTS: "Long Distance Trips are more than 50 miles from home to the furthest destination."

From the same page, 13% of long trips are commutes, so that justifies my earlier "120mile/day commute" scenario: 60 miles one-way is not much more than 50 miles one-way needed to qualify as a long trip. If 69 is the median then I was actually being a tad generous again.
=Smidge=

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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:40 am

whether its here or Priuschat; ALL these discussions seem to degenerate into

1) people over reacting to a casual observance perceived to be some sort of insult

2) people not accepting other's people needs as being just as valid as their own

3) the fact that this site is for informational purposes only. its hardly to convince us to buy this that or anything else. we are not here to tell you what to do. that is your job. we can only relay personal experiences on our observations to help you make a decision.

now with all that; there is no doubt i have made comments that might be taken negatively concerning the Volt but let me tell you. i was very interested in buying the Volt to compliment my Leaf. i have a Prius fully paid for that probably has $20,000+ in value ready to trade.

in my situation i have to have two cars period. we work in different cities, different directions, different hours, different everything. public transportation is not an option, carpooling failed miserably.

one commute is 64 miles RT, the other is 12 miles. the Volt would have allowed EV only driving 99% of the time (the amount of time the Prius is currently used for non-commuting purposes that would have been longer than the Volts worst EV range estimate using 30 miles here)

so this would have left us gasless nearly all the time. charging would not have been an issue. as it is, i only charge the Leaf 4-5 days a week so sharing a single charger would have been easy.

but all in all; the money just did not work out. the Volt was waaay more than it was supposed to be. so it doesnt work. but that is me. i am not saying it does not work for anyone because it obviously does.

i know several people who have used little or no gas since getting their Volts, others averaging 200+ mpg for what little gas they do use. hey!! i would be one of them.
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 13,705 mi, 93.41% SOH
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DrInnovation
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Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:36 pm

Smidge204 wrote: ...........
If DrInnovation could provide a link to where he got that information it would be helpful. particularly for the 24 trips per year part.
Seems to be a mishmash of pastings from the BTS website and I've yet to find that particular tidbit.
Yep data is a mishmash as their data is horrible to try to use, and I did not want to bore people with calculations
In addition to the links you posted you want to look at http://www.bts.gov/publications/highlig ... on_03.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

24 trips per year is computed from the 2.3Billon long trips in personal vehicles, the number of households of 105Million (a footed link somewhere) and number of households with at least 1 vehicles (about 92%, another footnote somewhere) which is about 23.80 trips per person.
Smidge204 wrote: ...........
97.2% of long distance trips are 300 miles round-trip or less. It's a shame they don't break this down further, because BEVs can tackle at least half that range with only endpoint charging availability. So what we're still lacking is what portion of these 24 trips/year are under ~140 miles round trip. If it's an even distribution we can expect about half of them but I suspect it's more.
You are mis-reading that table. The table says that 92.2 of all trips < 300 miles are done in a personal vehicles. It does not say anything about how many car trips are < 300m, its percentages of the modes used at various lengths.

If you want do something quick, use the median PV trip length of 194miles, recognizing that by definition at least half of the trips are longer than that, so you can use that as a reasonable lower estimate, 12 trips at 194 miles. So even if you ignore half of the long trips
Average ICE for average long trips at or above the median is 194/25mpg * 12 trips is 93.12 gallons
Volt for long trips is (194-37)/40mpg * 12 is 47.1

Of course a more efficient ICE would do better. There are too many rounding assumptions to determine a meaningful cross-over point with this data. Even truncating half the trips to free for both, and the other half down to the median (clearly favoring the ICE as the Volt does better for every mile traveled), So the ICE is uses more than 2x fuel than the Volt.

There are millions of Americans for whom BEV or BEV+ICE is the right choice. I'm not one of them. More to the point of where this tread wandered, by using long-distance BTS data we see the Median/Average American usage seems to favor Volt. ( Volt vs BEV + >40MPG ICE cannot be answered with this data).


After there are enough QCs and after productions of both BEV and EREV's ramp up, it may matter. For now both seem to be production limites, so I hope to see both companies ramping up!

As I've said in many posts, both are great choices for some people, and my reason for continuing to post on this topic (and maybe, for some, beating an apparently dead horse), is that others may read this looking for answers and the analyses have been very lacking in data and/or weak in analysis.

As they say in emergency response, they're not dead until they are warm and dead. Hopefully this data adds enough warmth and we can call it dead.
Loving the Volt. I've saved 29 gallons compared to a BEV+CUV. From 10/29/11 to 12/29/12, went 11097 on 27.7 gallons of gas + 2742kWh Total fuel costs=$259.27, yielding: 0.25 gal./100mi, 400.5 MPG, 101.73MPGe, 166.5 MPG$ or $.0234/mi.

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