Skip to comments.Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage
Posted on 09/30/2007 9:14:48 AM PDT by 1066AD
March 7, 2007 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 Priuss 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 wouldnt 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 environmentalists 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 doesnt 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 havent 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 Priuss 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.
This is a bad comparison. The forces of the market have done the Hummer in. It is no more.
A better choice would be a Ford F450
Doesn't matter what the amp rating of the supply is, it will only push so many amps into the battery at a given voltage. Perhaps you meant to crank up the voltage and touch to the terminals briefly, this would push more amps through the battery and, as you say, not to be tried by at home!
I understand. Voltage is potential.
I never tried the experiment. I only recently heard of it.
The main idea is to blow away the “memory” junction that is formed in batterys without blowing up the battery.
Upping the voltage a tad is a good idea.
The memory junction is the resistance that we need to overcome
NiCd cells which have developed internal short circuits can sometimes be "zapped" back to life by a high-current pulse, which burns out the metal whiskers which caused the short. This is usually done by charging a good- sized capacitor up to 5 volts or so (from a DC power supply, through a series resistor), and then "sparking" the NiCd cell from the capacitor... the sudden current surge will vaporize the whiskers. The cells should be removed from the battery [pack] before this is done... don't try to "zap" the cells while they're still connected to one another or to any other equipment.
BTW, speaking from personal experience, I would recommend against trying the pickle experiment.
The Aveo's 2008 EPA score is 26mpg. 45 to 26 isn't spitting distance, it's very nearly double.
I’m gonna give this article to a lefty at work that drives one.
I’m glad it’s posted again. I fished it out of the archives the week before last to share with officemate M. who found it highly amusing.
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.
You can check this out on Google Earth. To me it looks like the article is incorrect.
The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles.
= $325,000 -- $25,000 for the car and $300,000 for gas?
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.
= $585,000 -- overstated perhaps?
I searched on Prius .....
The dealership replacement of a Prius battery with parts and labor was about $8k (circa last summer). I knwo several people that bought a Prius. One guy had a manufacturing defect and the battery had to be replaced. He said it was $8k but covered under warranty to get it fixed. He also said that he is not getting near the mileage he expected. That is probably due to his driving style. Lots of long highway miles with a canoe strapped to the top.
This may have now come down like the halogen headlight bulbs of the late 80's and early 90's. The dealers charged $28 for them and a year later they were $9. I haven't bought one in a long time but I imagine they are lower.
I’ll stick with my glorious F-250 SD 4WD. With BF Goodriches. Just so I can look down and see what people are doing in their Priuses. Ask big rig truckers about what they see on the road.
No problem. I’ve been referencing this article all year to my pals that own hummers and they’re ....... thrilled! :-)
I’m a little scared to send this article to my leftist sister in North Carolina. For starters, if she decides to sell the car, she’d have to carefully take off the “Obama for President” bumper sticker. LOL
But seriously... leftists don’t like to confuse their feelings with facts.
I don't particularly mind people buying hybrids but there are a sub-set of them that get self-righteous about it and we need articles like this to humble them a little.
You probably over-specified the search. Son't type in the whole title. Different sources have the same story under different headlines. Search only key words. Try "hummer prius" and you will find several.
And lets not forget the training involved for first responders in a bad accident scene.Cutting into one without proper training can get you hurt.Jaws of life chopping in the wrong spot can light up a small town.Yes,the training on how to properly access them costs money.Lots of amps hanging out.
Yeah, FR’s search leaves a lot to be desired.
Same article, same author, dated 3/7/2007:
I have a Prius and lurk on several online Prius forums. Folks with accident damage seem to be quoted $1-2k to replace the battery pack nowadays. The prices are definitely coming down, both as a result of volume increase and because battery packs from old or junked Priii are starting to fill the pipeline for recycling.
What galls me about threads like this is the eagerness of folks to believe things they earnestly want to believe. It’s the exact point-and-laugh mentality seen in Bush Derangement Syndrome, just directed in a different vector. Folks, don’t believe everything you read. Investigate a little. Better yet, in this case maybe talk to an owner, and you’ll find that this is a fantastic, capacious, safe, fast, reliable and durable car that just happens to put fewer dollars into the pockets of sheikhs and jihadis.