So you just bought a Toyota Prius, and you’re feeling pretty good about your now environmentally conscious self, huh? Well, how about this fact: the Prius is “the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer”. But how can that be, you say? A few reasons:
- The old EPA estimates were based on 55mph freeway driving and acceleration of 3.3 mph per second. The new ratings, which go into effect for all 2008 models, is based on 80 mph freeway driving and acceleration of 8 mph per second, which puts the Prius “within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs”.
- “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 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”.
- “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”.
Thus, the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it. Unexpected, huh? Want to be a true environmentalist? Buy a Toyota Scion xB, which “only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road”. Of course, you’ve got to take numbers like these with some skepticism, but it’s definitely something interesting to think about. And you call yourself an environmentalist.