TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 137 Posts

·
PostSlut
Joined
·
13,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage
By Chris Demorro
Staff Writer

The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Before we delve into the seedy underworld of hybrids, you must first understand how a hybrid works. For this, we will use the most popular hybrid on the market, the Toyota Prius.

The Prius is powered by not one, but two engines: a standard 76 horsepower, 1.5-liter gas engine found in most cars today and a battery- powered engine that deals out 67 horsepower and a whooping 295ft/lbs of torque, below 2000 revolutions per minute. Essentially, the Toyota Synergy Drive system, as it is so called, propels the car from a dead stop to up to 30mph. This is where the largest percent of gas is consumed. As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving. The battery is recharged through the braking system, as well as when the gasoline engine takes over anywhere north of 30mph. It seems like a great energy efficient and environmentally sound car, right?

You would be right if you went by the old government EPA estimates, which netted the Prius an incredible 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately for Toyota, the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second. This has dropped the Prius’s EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.

However, if that was the only issue with the Prius, I wouldn’t be writing this article. It gets much worse.

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.

“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.
The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot.

One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybrid car because of lower gas expenses.
discuss.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
shoot i already knew the prius didnt get close to 60mpg. my buddy gets 45 average on his car and i told him, dude corollas get 40mpg highway and cost 1/3 as much.

All in all its just an echo with a cylinder missing replaced by an electric motor/starter with some fancy badges, tail lights, and a fancy dash. It costs 3 times as much as an ech btw lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
I knew it! I was just telling my friends the other day that Prius' don't really do all that fantastic and a VW Jetta with a diesel or similar small car would be really competitive for less money/more features.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
Very rare do I see a Prius get 60mpg.Alot of the repair orders at my work that involve the Prius are "Customer states:Not getting 60mpg.Customer states vehicle on gets 40-45 mpg.
And that my friends is coming from your friendly Toyota Parts guy.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
Hopefully someone actually reads this rather than skimming it and nit-picking...

I can get 60 mpg city on a consistent basis...unless I drive it like I do the Tbird. I consistently get around 50 mpg hwy as long as it isn't cold enough for the ICE to cool down every time it shuts down. My highway mileage is at a consistent 65 mph...the standard IL highway speed limit (10 mph over the road speed limit though). Seems to me the testers don't know how to drive... At less than $25K for a 2007 Prius touring edition with extended warranty...it was a hell of a deal IMO. Where can you get a new Corolla for 1/3 of that $25K???

Just because your friend has one and doesn't get good mileage doesn't mean the car isn't capable. Go to www.priuschat.com and you'll dozens and dozens of people who have been blowing away the EPA estimates for the past three years.

I wouldn't listen to someone talk about the mileage of a Prius unless they drive one daily.

It's the same way for a nuclear power plant. Sure, the burning of uranium doesn't emit any greenhouse gases...but take into the account the harvesting of uranium, the enriching process (CFCs like a MF'er in the past), the fuel storage/processing, water and air treatment, and so on. Does this mean we should build more coal and natural gas plants? If you're curious, I work at a plant and would be happy to give you some info on what goes on that most people don't see or know about.

The Prius was specifically designed to be a PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle), to cost the consumer less at the fuel pump, and decrease oil consumption, which is what Toyota meant by the "green" car reference. Last I knew, the world wasn't in a nickle shortage, but have been trending decreasing oil reserves.

Obviously nickle-hydrid is worse for the environment than steel...duh! But wait, we could do the same analysis regarding steel and the ridiculous emissions released by steel mills (which are some of the worst in the industry - my fiancee does stack testing at steel mills and fossil plants). Pesticides, charcoal, and so many other products/chemicals/resources all harm the environment just as much. If you really want green...WALK. Simple as that.

BTW - the 2009 Prius is supposed to see 80 mpg city with a 1.8 L ICE. Assuming I'm besting the EPA mileage numbers with a 2007, I'll definately look at the 2009 and see if I can best those numbers as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
Hopefully someone actually reads this rather than skimming it and nit-picking...

I can get 60 mpg city on a consistent basis...unless I drive it like I do the Tbird. I consistently get around 50 mpg hwy as long as it isn't cold enough for the ICE to cool down every time it shuts down. My highway mileage is at a consistent 65 mph...the standard IL highway speed limit (10 mph over the road speed limit though). Seems to me the testers don't know how to drive... At less than $25K for a 2007 Prius touring edition with extended warranty...it was a hell of a deal IMO. Where can you get a new Corolla for 1/3 of that $25K???

Just because your friend has one and doesn't get good mileage doesn't mean the car isn't capable. Go to www.priuschat.com and you'll dozens and dozens of people who have been blowing away the EPA estimates for the past three years.

I wouldn't listen to someone talk about the mileage of a Prius unless they drive one daily.

It's the same way for a nuclear power plant. Sure, the burning of uranium doesn't emit any greenhouse gases...but take into the account the harvesting of uranium, the enriching process (CFCs like a MF'er in the past), the fuel storage/processing, water and air treatment, and so on. Does this mean we should build more coal and natural gas plants? If you're curious, I work at a plant and would be happy to give you some info on what goes on that most people don't see or know about.

The Prius was specifically designed to be a PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle), to cost the consumer less at the fuel pump, and decrease oil consumption, which is what Toyota meant by the "green" car reference. Last I knew, the world wasn't in a nickle shortage, but have been trending decreasing oil reserves.

Obviously nickle-hydrid is worse for the environment than steel...duh! But wait, we could do the same analysis regarding steel and the ridiculous emissions released by steel mills (which are some of the worst in the industry - my fiancee does stack testing at steel mills and fossil plants). Pesticides, charcoal, and so many other products/chemicals/resources all harm the environment just as much. If you really want green...WALK. Simple as that.

BTW - the 2009 Prius is supposed to see 80 mpg city with a 1.8 L ICE. Assuming I'm besting the EPA mileage numbers with a 2007, I'll definately look at the 2009 and see if I can best those numbers as well.
yeah I thought that was a little bias too.
and epa's are never the same as they predict. in my s-10 that was rated 18 city and 28 hwy I pulled 30 mpg driving thought towns with stop and go traffic for 2 years and that was average. I don't know if I would by a hybrid. even e-85 sounds kinda far fetched you use 30% more fuel and what if the country has a route or something like that and it takes more to produce yes it can be used right and more efficient but i still have my doubts as of right now.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,208 Posts
So did anyone else notice this part?
The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.
The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles.
Cost of Prius/100,000 = $3.25
Cost of Hummer/300,000 = $1.95
So what happens when you... I don't know... do an EQUAL comparison?

Cost of Prius/100,000 = $3.25
Cost of Hummer/100,000 = $5.85

Talk about just making up stats to prove your point. How many people who would buy one of those blingy "hummers" is going to keep it for 300,000 miles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,966 Posts
**** the stats, where does that battery go in 5 years when it craps out?

the envirohippies seem to forget that the entire industrialized world revolves around petrochemicals and raw material refinement, there is no free lunch.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,208 Posts
WTH am I missing?
The line above it.

total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
I think its funny people will spend 30g's on a new car to save cents for gas...

my sisters 96 tercel gets 40mpg and it cost 2000 dollars, not 30
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
i love the episode in southpark with the hybrids :D

like OMG!! your like, talking like someone who lives in like the OC, like near me ^_^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,966 Posts
i love the episode in southpark with the hybrids :D

like OMG!! your like, talking like someone who lives in like the OC, like near me ^_^
like no way, we like have an OC in florida, i like used to live in it, like omg, thats so like crazy.

i find myself watching the real housewives of OC when its on....kind of like watching a train wreck in motion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Ok, again with this battery thing. Assume we have some no cost way to responsibly recycle this battery at 100,000-150,000 miles. And that we have gotten better/ more efficient at making this huge battery and can buy it for 10k; wait does anyone know beyond speculation what this thing costs right now so we can really debate this? At any rate for 10k I can replace the engine trans and rest of the driveline and drive for another what 2-300000 miles without costing the enviroment more water, OIL, etc to make another car
 
1 - 20 of 137 Posts
Top