The current edition of "Car and Driver" (magazine) has an interesting
article about the dark side of the hybrids on page 26. The date on the
cover is September 2005.
Many of the so called "greenies" have purchased hybrids because they
really care about the environment. I learned about something from the
article that I had never thought about before. What's going to happen to
those millions of batteries in hybrid vehicles after they wear out? They
will be placed in landfills. Imagine the harm that those batteries may do
to the enviroment after they are laying in a landfill for 50 years.
If you own or are planning to buy a hybrid vehicle, I advise you to read
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Which reads, in part:
5. It's hard to argue with a 97.1 percent recycling rate for battery lead, and
no other battery chemistry can come near that number.
Car batteries are not disposed of. Their materials - mostly lead -- are recycled
indefinitely. The battery industry has been continuously recycling and reusing
lead from old car batteries for more than 50 years. There is virtually no
recycling process for other chemistries, and it's hard to even imagine the cost
of developing a recycling process and infrastructure comparable to what we
already have with lead-acid batteries.
You may be right. I have not done any research on this subject. Brock
Yates--the author of the article--stated the following in his article:
"[Batteries] are hardly biodegradable items like spoiled vegetables. They
are in fact self-contained toxic waste dumps. How and where millions of
these poisonous boxes will be deposited ... has yet to be considered, much
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and reusing lead from old car batteries for more than 50 years.<<
Only problem is: The high-voltage hybrid batteries are not lead-acid, but
vegetables. They are in fact self-contained toxic waste dumps. How and where
millions of these poisonous boxes will be deposited ... has yet to be
considered, much less resolved."<<
For Brock Yates, a reactionary conservative, to even mention recycling is
amazing all by itself...but that sounds to me as if he's making an
assumption. I'd like to hear what Honda and the other makers of hybrids
have to say about it.
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 10:17:32 -0700, email@example.com (Jason) wrote:
Maybe the author of the article should have done a little actual
research. Here is what Toyota has to say about battery replacement
How long does the Prius battery last and what is the replacement cost?
The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been
designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the
battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never
fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty
easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles
with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle.
We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the
second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has
35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well.
Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36%
and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time
replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the
car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for
wear and tear.
Is there a recycling plan in place for nickel-metal hydride batteries?
Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has
been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric
Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the
precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is
recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery
has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers
are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery.
Freelance Science Writer and Editor
All I'm saying is, Toyota is spinning their side of the story very hard.
Don't accept it at face value. You're a fool if you do. They have an
axe to grind, and they'll spin it however they have to in order to make
themselves look as good as possible and sell as many cars as possible.
In other words, never listen to a car salesman. And that's all that PR
Hmmmmmm. I'm not saying to believe or disbelieve; I'm simply pointing
out that, like any good corporate PR machine, Toyota is spinning their
side of the story very hard in order to sell more stuff. By that token,
you shouldn't simply believe it wholesale without investigating it more.
But because I'm saying that, you decide that Toyota's press release must
be 100% correct and truthful?
You lead an interesting life.
By that token, you shouldn't simply believe it wholesale without
investigating it more.<<
Congratulations. You've just won the grand prize for missing the point.
They have data. You don't. You just assume that they're "spinning" because
they're a big, bad company with an axe to grind. YOU made the allegation
that they're "spinning." Where's your proof? Show us your data to prove
their data wrong. We're waiting.
Add to the above cited prize another one for putting words in someone's
mouth. I decided no such thing. I see, so far, no evidence to contradict
the press release, but that doesn't mean the evidence does or does not
exist. You, OTOH, just assume it's a lie.
Still waiting for that proof.
They have an agenda--sell more cars.
I don't. I simply don't like being spoon-fed by people who have an
If you enjoy being spoon-fed by people who have an agenda--and
everything you say points that direction--that's your problem.
Is it, then, your assertion that they are NOT spinning?
Hmmmmmm.....I don't think I ever said that one way or another.
I simply said "beware, and investigate it more". You, on the other
hand, appear to be saying that there's no need to investigate it
more--that everything they say in that PR piece is 100% the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
One wonders why you would say that.
I see, so far, no evidence to support the press release. Toyota said
some things. I say, that's nice--but investigate further. You say, "if
they said it, I assume that it's 100% true and you have to prove
otherwise." That's your problem.
Well, since Toyota has put their side in black and white, it's up to you to
to do the investigating and come up with something concrete. So far the
assertion that they are lying through their teeth (as they must if the claim
they are recycling the batteries is false) is weaker than the "who shot
Kennedy" conspiracy theories. Give us something we can use. Either you can
catch them in a huge lie or you are blowing smoke.
Is it your position that Toyota's press releases are 100% truthful and
You miss my whole point.
Let me put it this way: when President Bush puts something in black and
white like that, do you agree that one should be careful and not
necessarily accept what he says at face value?
That's all I said. Nothing more. I never said they were wrong; I said
they were spinning things, exactly like any politician or corporate
flack spins things.
Whenever a company puts out a press release, they're spinning things.
That's why corporations like that have big PR departments, and that's
why they have corporate policies that any contact with the press be done
only by or in conjunction with someone from their corporate PR
All I said was, it looks good--but remember, they have an axe to grind,
and they spin things just like any other corporate or political entity.
Would it surprise any of us if we found out that they weren't being 100%
truthful? Not at all--because it's their job to obfuscate anything that
would be detrimental to their sole job of making money for their
Back to the issue....
Let me put it this way: all Toyota has to do is enter into a contract with a
company to handle the recycling on a per-unit basis and add the cost of that
and the $200 deposit to the battery. Then they can make the claim in good
conscience. It greatly limits their liabilities and costs them nothing at
all. They would be incomprehensibly stupid not to... so what on earth would
make you think such a thing?
Was the orignal claim about Toyota not recycling their NiMH batteries or
the amount of battery life the batteries would have under ordinary service?
I thought it was the latter.
I do not doubt that Toyota would recycle the batteries.
Their claims on life expectancy,I might doubt.
> > Let me put it this way: when President Bush puts something
> in black and
> > white like that, do you agree that one should be careful and
> > necessarily accept what he says at face value?
> Back to the issue....
> Let me put it this way: all Toyota has to do is enter into a
> contract with a
> company to handle the recycling on a per-unit basis and add
> the cost of that
> and the $200 deposit to the battery. Then they can make the
> claim in good
> conscience. It greatly limits their liabilities and costs them
> nothing at
> all. They would be incomprehensibly stupid not to... so what
> on earth would
> make you think such a thing?
The only problem I have with hybrids is that people dump their "old"
cars to purchase an environmentally friendlier vehicle....
It is my understanding that the processes involved in manufacturing a
new car cause more polution than driving the same car will produce
over its entire lifetime.
So the greenest car is a used one...no matter the gas mileage.
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