+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 49
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    0

    Regarding "Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage"

    A loved one sent this to me. I wondered what my fellow Prius owners thought. I have an opinion already but wanted to share for your input.

    http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/edito...asp?NewsID=188

    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.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    HybridCars.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    0
    Just the mere reference to CNW marketing is enough to render this article totally useless by anyone who's minimally intelligent. By this I mean all the ridicule and embarrassment they (and Mr. Spinella) have been subjected by auto manufacturers, Research centers manned by real engineers and academia, and government agencies to mention a few.

    It is nice to have these silly articles foating around because we need them as real life examples of what mis-information and ignorance looks like.

    Anyhow this article is old news and has been dismissed at nauseum.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    0
    MSantos,
    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it
    Please elaborate on your view of CNW Marketing.

    I did find this after a simple google search.
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/10...eener-a-prius/

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    0
    I read this article and I came out with a lot of concern. I actually questioned my decision to buy my Prius. So I thought that if I feel this way, I should go ahead and research some of the claimed facts. So I researched. I actually spent quite a few hours researching the statements in this article. Afterwards, I came to the conclusion that a person can make ANYTHING sound terrible, as long as they omit or bend key facts and truths. Here's my thoughts...and there happens to be quite a few of 'em.

    The EPA estimates... That's old news. Fact is even regular gasoline engine cars drop their estimated percentage in real-world driving. My last car was estimated 36 mpg on the highway and my realworld driving got me 30. Hmmm...no mention of that in the article.

    This article makes an interesting environmental point, however this article seems to make a play on "pollution". Don't get me wrong, pollution of any kind is terrible. The Inco Mine, like many other metal mining facilities, has certainly not been kind to the environment with its past environmental violations. Keep in mind that this mine has been open for over a century. The largest bulk of its damage to the environment occurred in the early to mid 20th century, well before the world took environmental damage seriously, and way before hybrids even hit the market. The article seems to paint a likeness to the sulfur pollution that comes from the smelting of nickel ore and the carbon emissions that come from the tailpipe of a car. Sure, both certainly do have an impact on the environment. Relative to carbon, the bulk of sulfur emissions damage is usually localized to the region where it occurs. A single sulfur-spitting volcanic eruption does the same kind of local damage. Excessive atmospheric sulfur results in localized acid rain, flora and fauna death, and soil release. However, mother nature has had millions of years to deal with sulfur and (compared to carbon emmissions) its easier for mother nature to recover from. While I hate to downplay ANY kind of pollutant, sulfur doesn't hang in the atmosphere quite like its carbon emission counterpart. Unlike the level of carbon emissions, it's not as big a contributor to the earth's potential to turn into an easy-bake oven. Also, sulfur and many of the biproducts of smelting nickel also come from the steel, alloy, and aluminum making process. ALL cars made of metal have contributed to pollution in their making.

    According to the article, the mined nickel has to be transported here and there for further refinement and manufacturing. Essentially pointing out that additional environmental expenditures occur to transport it. Well guess what, that occurs with most all manufactured cars. Are we to assume that every vehicle part is manufactured in one place? Heck no. Every vehicle out there is an assemblage of parts from around the globe. Your brake rotors could come from China, your oxygen sensor from Texas, and your shifter knob could come from Tiawan. Like nickel, their raw materials were brought in bulk to their plants to be manufactured.

    The article hovered and ultimately ended on a note for the overall cost of the vehicle from its birth to its demise. Hybrid owners know that its technology hasn't gotten to the point where it pays for itself to purchase. At the rate I'm going, using real world gas consumption figures, the overall cost to own my hybrid versus the gasoline engine vehicle I was looking at I would break even after 4 1/2 years. Run the surplus and demand figures on steel and alloys and aluminum, then compare them to nickel. I'm sure if we had a 1 to 1 ratio of hybrid cars with nickel batteries on the road versus regular gasoline engine vehicles, the price of ownership would be closer. 6-7 years ago it was cheaper to buy a regular CRT TV versus a plasma. Amazing how prices didn't permanently stay at $7,000 for a 32 inch plasma. Price ultimately came down. Same thing applies here as does anything else that hits a healthy market.

    Should hybrids be the end-all-be-all automotive industry's answer to global warming? No. But they are a step in the right direction. The next step in hybrid battery evolution is lithium based batteries. They can store more electricity and provide more of a punch to the needs of acceleration and speed. Their addition will cut carbon emissions even further. Sure that Aveo's gonna save me some moolah at the pump, but its going to offer little benefit to the GLOBAL environment over a hybrid. The only thing this article's got is the dust to dust cost of a hybrid. And that price will come down with time, as everything new to the market naturally does.

    This article had its points but what really made this article invalid to me was the mention of the overall cost per mile in the life of a hummer. Why does it cost so little for this SUV? Maybe because it's a fleet vehicle, has been purchased by law enforcement agencies, and by the military. If you have a high enough demand, have been manufacturing essentially the same vehicle for decades, you'll have a means to spit out your product faster and at less cost. I'd like to see the Prius energy and cost to manufacture after as many decades. Show me how many tons of CO2 goes into the dust to dust life of a Hummer and pit it against my Prius. The 2007 Hummer H2 weighs twice as much as my Prius. That means twice as much metal, rubber, and plastic went into its overall manufacturing. Yet, it takes 3 to 4 times as much gasoline to drive it. If CNW wants to make the comparison betweeen a Hummer and Prius I don't care about the cost. Show me the carbon pollution figures.

    So those are my thoughts. I'm probably wrong with some things, right with others, and somewhere in the middle here and there. Thanks for putting this article up, TXatheist. I really learned quite a bit about the processes involved with building my Prius. It was really quite fun to learn about it. Ultimately, the article helped re-affirm my choice to buy my Prius. Also, it helped further solidify my belief that many authors print articles just like this in the hopes that readers will take it at face value and not research the facts to find its flaws.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    0
    Thanks for your thoughts. I replied nicely because it was a loved one saying that yes, maybe that step is more polluting to the environment than the Hummer but the article doesn't encaptulate the big picture.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    0

    Regarding "Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage"

    I found the following article and not sure of the validity of the source but I am interested to find out the truth of the situation before buying my next vehicle (but I promise it will not be a Hummer) but maybe I don't want a hybrid either.

    I would like to make the most environmentally responsible choice; I am willing to personally spend more but I would like to know that the vehicle is better for the environment in whole, not just in gasoline usage but damaging in other ways.

    Can anyone share more info or links in order to make a truly informed decision?


    Link: http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/edito...asp?NewsID=188
    Source: The Recorder, Central Connecticut State University

    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.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    0
    That's certainly a tough task. Unfortunately there's still somewhat of a war on hybrids and battery powered vehicles. It's not just Prius's and Civic hybrids taking a pounding, but cars like the upcoming Tesla Roadster and Obvio's line of electric cars. It's very hard to sift through the crap to find the truth.

    Sad thing is that unfortunately not all the facts are made available to the public. Now that human damage to the environment is now front page news, I certainly hope that car manufacturers eventually release additional facts on top of gasoline consumption. I'd like to see things like cost to manufacture, pounds of pollutants expelled per produced model, percent built from recycled parts, and percent recyclable.

    I did the same as you when I did research before I purchased my Prius. The toughest pill for me to swallow when I bought my Hybrid was the Inco Mine (the one the article referenced). For me, the current and future environment positives outweighed that negative. Obviously I still went with a hybrid. Just put Inco Mine or Sudbury, Ontaria in any search engine to research. There's a ton info on it.

    Also, hop on different forums and blogs. Statements from real owners are golden. Make sure you research both the positives and negatives of your vehicles. I won't push what I've found in my research on you. I went into my research with an unbiased opinion and I think it was for the better.

    I've found there's a lot of bright people in the Hybridcars.com forums who are more than willing to help you and share their info. So don't hesitate to post questions.

    Good luck on your research.

  9. #8
    Guest

    Total Energy Cost

    You guys might like this article:
    http://www.hybridcars.com/environmen...rgy-costs.html

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    0
    Hi all,
    New here, found this thread so I thought I would chime in.

    As MSantos says, this article has been debunked so there is no need for line by line critique.

    There are a lot of assumptions in that opinion piece that are not well supported. The one that jumps out at me (perhaps because I am a geologist) is the 1,000 ton/year purchase of Ni by Toyota. This represents less than on percent of the Ni production at Sudbury (0.75% from the numbers I found). To attribute all of the devistation caused by the smelter to a single customer is misleading. Just like global warming isn't caused exclusively by Hummers.

    All and all, the argument that Hummers are "greener" than hybrids is a distortion.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    0

    I laugh at whoever wrote that article...

    wtf was this guy smoking thinking that a hummer is more cleaner than a prius?

    maybe its ford's (or one of the big 3 automakers) sad attempt to smear toyota and the prius. Maybe if they clean up their act and start producing more and more fuel efficient vehicles instead of supersizing SUVs that are giant enough already...

    Theyre the one's thats going crying when gas hits $4 a gallon. Don't you wish you'd be driving a prius then? we'll just have to wait and see.

    -trigger

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts