There’s a fair amount of hoo-har in the press this week, regarding Toyota’s plans to begin building hybrid cars.
Will be good for those wanted to save some $$ on petrol costs – and supposedly great for the environment.
It was with much (current) interest that I pass on the following :
Pound for pound, making a Toyota Prius contributes more carbon to the atmosphere than making a Hummer, largely due to the environmental cost of the 30 pounds of nickel in the hybrid’s battery.
Of course, the hybrid quickly erases that carbon deficit on the road, thanks to its vastly superior fuel economy.
So – environmentally speaking – they cost a LOT more to construct.
More energy required, and thus WORSE for the environment.
Until you start driving it.
Or – more realistically – until you’ve driven 46,000 miles (over 70,000 km) :
Making a Prius consumes 113 million BTUs, according to sustainability engineer Pablo Päster.
A single gallon of gas contains about 113,000 Btus, so Toyota’s green wonder guzzles the equivalent of 1,000 gallons before it clocks its first mile.
Think of it as a carbon debt — one you won’t pay off until the Prius has turned over 46,000 miles or so.
So – I think I’ll stick with my 12-year-old Ford Festiva. Only a 1.3 litre motor, and the “construction costs” are well and truly irrelevant (carbon dioxide, etc)
If you’re REALLY to save the environment – the best way is to stop building new cars !
Ditching your gas guzzler is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but if you really want to do something about global warming, get a used car.
You’ll be putting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Sounds like the hybrid car is more efficient “while on earth” – but before life, and after life – they can do some major damage (environmentally speaking).
And – there’s this article also :
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.
…building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius.
And – there’s more (environmental damage):
…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 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.
Hopefully there are no environmental impacts or damage within Altona, Melbourne (new Toyota factory from 2010).