Monday, March 26, 2007

Prius damages environment more than Hummer

The darling of the eco-poser set, the supposedly super-efficient (and super-expensive) Toyota Prius is the most environmentally damaging car to build. And it takes five years for the petrol savings to offset its high price. By which time the battery is probably dead.

Me, I'm buying a Tesla. As soon as I win the lottery.

4 Comments:

Anonymous crusy said...

The CNW report refered to in that artical seems to have a few "facts" wrong or at least skewed quite a bit.

Why should a Prius have a lifetime of just 100'000 miles? Will it just break down at that mileage? No, most will last at least 200'000 miles, as some have already done. Will a Hummer H3 last 300'000 miles? Maybe, but it will need some repair and maintenance too.

The facts on that nickel mine are just plain out of date, yes the situation there was terrible before the 90's. The Prius wasn't even being built at that time, though and things have changed dramatically. (http://www.inco-sudbury-airquality.com/) The Production of the Prius battery also only accounts for a very small part of worldwide nikel use, most is in any metall alloy, of wich the H3 is also made of.

About mileage, the Prius EPA mileage was 55 combined but has been corrected to 46 combined. Aveo EPA MPG was 30 combined but has also been corrected now it is 27 combined, 46 is still more than 50% better.

Adding research and development into the equation doesn’t help the Prius of course, as it is a newly developed vehicle. H3 is just a nice looking SUV on a old GMC cassis of course that didn't take much R&D. Where would we be if we didn't invest in R&D though? New hybrids will require less R&D so some of what it took to develop the Prius will be returned.

Of course driving at all causes more environmental damage than riding the bus, bike or going on foot. But if we want to use a car and need to buy a new one I think the Prius is a pretty good choice. If you want to stick with the old one, sure that will also cause less pollution, as its has already been built. If you want a cheep economy car like the Aveo, well sure that will definitely be better than an SUV.

That’s about all there is to say to that artical.

Cheers
crusy

ps Also look at what GM has to say about rebuilding Chicago from wood out of the Sudbury area: http://www.gmcanada.com/inm/gmcanada/english/about/MissionGreen/Daily/Sep22.html

3:09 pm  
Blogger Stephen said...

OK, so depending on how you look at it and which facts and assumptions you take into account, the Prius may be slightly better for the environment. I still think it's pretty marginal: the Prius still generates its electricity by burning petrol, mostly, unlike a pure electric car like the Tesla, and inefficiencies in the conversion from petrol to electric energy make me skeptical that much benefit is achieved. I've seen posts by Prius drivers complaining that unless they drive very, very carefully, the MPG isn't so fantastic. The two engines and the battery pack add a lot of weight and complexity. And the huge extra cost doesn't, in my view, make it an economic proposition.

Which is why, I think, Toyota and the environmentalists have chosen to idolise it as they have: it doesn't really make much sense without the propaganda. And I just wanted to puncture that myth a bit.

Interestingly, the dual-drive system in the new Lexus, which obviously builds on the back of the Prius R&D, is positioned very much as a performance issue. I really think that and the cost issue are the best way to get electrics sold: guilt only goes so far!

I never buy new cars anyway, why waste all that money when a perfectly good three year old goes for less than half its new price?

3:48 pm  
Blogger James said...

I would suggest that you don't discard the better in search of the perfect.

Crusy great comments, I think the crux is to look at the questionable assumptions they make, that the Hummer last 3x as long.

4:55 pm  
Anonymous Limo said...

yes I agree with you.Our environment is damaged by car day by day...
I read in some sites that Prius is more damageable than Hummer.It is true.It converts several gazes that pollute our air.

1:51 pm  

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