Hidden cost of driving a Prius
Totaling all the energy expended, from design to junkyard, a Hummer
http://doiop.com/Hummer may be a better bargain.
Toyota's Prius http://doiop.com/Toyota-Prius [is] a compact hybrid
that's beloved by ardent environmentalists and that fetches premium
prices because it gets nearly 50 miles-per-gallon in combined
Yet, new data have emerged that show the Prius may not be quite as eco-
friendly as first assumed - if you pencil in the environmental
negatives of producing it in the first place...
The article makes some valid points, although I do question the Prius'
expected life of 100,000 miles vs. 300,000 for the Hummer. The hoopla
surrounding the Prius and other hybrids, which IMHO trade/transfer
gasoline consumption for resources used to make and eventually dispose
of the batteries (and not very well at that) is made mostly by the
uninformed who do not understand the big picture. I would much rather
see the manufacturers put their energies into higher efficiency diesel
and/or gasoline engines, and see measures to discourage the public
from requiring 4,000 pound cars.
On Jun 4, 11:03 am, R.Hemmu <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-
I don't know how long the batteries are supposed to last, but I doubt
a Prius would be wore out at 100k.. Batteries maybe, but not most
of the rest of the car..
Hummer 300k?? maybe, but it will be guzzling quite a bit of gas in
that 300k.. Actually, I think a hummer would be lucky to do 200k
without needing some major upkeep.. They are generally offroad
vehicles after all. Tires cost a lot more too..
But I was paronoid to go hybrid.. I could have bought a civic hybrid
for about 1k more than I paid for the corolla.. But I was scared of
future problems with batteries, etc.. Parts like those generally cost
big bucks from a dealer. If they are a proprietary design.. Big $$$$$
On the other hand, the corolla is pretty simple overall, I can work on
it without having to do a crash course in hybrid technology, and I
don't have to worry about weird parts flaking out on me that cost
big $$$$.. It's cheaper too...
I really have trouble seeing the prius as much more *green* than the
simple corolla in the long run when you consider the cost of the car,
and past/present/future problems with batteries or whatever.
I assume the scion xb they talk about is even cheaper to run than
And the corolla is certainly capable of clocking 200k-300k if taken
care of. Ditto for a civic..
This is a bunch of clap trap. They are basing the numbers on the Prius
only lasting 100,000 miles while the SUV was supposed to last almost
300,000 miles. Find me a fair analysis and I'll pay attention. From
"The Prius registered an energy-cost average of $3.25 per mile driven
over its expected life span of 100,000 miles. Ironically, a Hummer,
the brooding giant that has become the bκte noir of the green
movement, did much better, with an energy-cost average of $1.95 over
its expected life span of 300,000 miles. And its crash protection
makes it far safer than the tiny Prius."
I don't think any of us know who is right in this case, but I think
that it is actually a valid point - the Prius is new technology, while
the Hummer is old, proven tech. Until hard numbers are available, I
would assume that it would be a true statement that a Hummer will last
longer in normal service than a Prius.
Of course, what everyone is forgetting is that the greenest car of all
is the one you already have because you don't need to expend any
energy at all to produce it, just to maintain it.
I disagree; the Hummer is an evolution of a design that was pretty
well worked out around the time of WW2. The Prius uses technology
that wasn't used on a wide scale in an automotive application until
the introduction of the Prius, and wasn't even introduced by a major
manufacturer prior to GM's EV-1.
For my money, were I buying a new car with environmental consciousness
in mind (and, as I stated before, I couldn't justify buying a new car
on environmental grounds unless my current ride was well and truly
completely worn out) I would be looking at something like a Volkswagen
TDI. VW has been building Diesels far longer than hybrids have been
around, and VW has a known track record for longevity.
It's certainly been around a lot longer than hybrid automobiles - 1955
(Mercedes-Benz/Bosch) or 1957 (Chevrolet/Rochester) depending on what
side of the pond you're on. And that's not even counting race-only
setups like Hilborn.
Sure there have been hybrid Diesel/electric locomotives for about that
long, but the real challenge is scaling that technology down to work
in a midsized-car application, and we still haven't been 100%
succesful. I say that because the Prius is still heavier and slower
than a comparable conventional vehicle.
Has there ever been a production car in the past 50 years that was new-
There are tech articles about the Prius at www.techonline.com and
www.automotivedesignline.com (article #199200607), including a video
of one being taken apart. The emphasis is mostly on the electronics,
and the CPUs are dated 1995.
When we're talking about a machine that I'm strapped into, traveling
down the highway at (mumble) MPH, I'd prefer that the electronics be
old-tech, thankyewverymuch. Just like the CPUs used in fire alarm
systems tend to be stuff that was obsolete in the PC world a decade
ago. We use 'em because they're proven, and don't adopt new
technology until that too is proven. When your PC crashes, that's a
figure of speech. When your car crashes...
The Peugeot diesels are the best I know of, although of course not available to
I drove a compact Peugeot turbo diesel 1.9 litre back in '88 and it was
brisk ! The sales rep was moderately impressed too. I actually couldn't tell it
wasn't a gasoline engine other than the 4500 ? max rpm.
I'll have to take your word for it; the track record of French
automakers in the US has been uniformly abysmal (and FIAT as well, for
that matter.) Really the only European imports we get in any quantity
are the German ones, and in fact I'm pretty sure that those are the
only ones that have an official presence here save for Rolls-Royce and
Which year's model was your original GTi ? Was it a Mk1 or 2 ?
That Skoda 2 litre diesel produces 170 bhp btw !
I wouldn't be surprised if the 1.4 litre 80 bhp gasoline powered Octavia was
quite fun to drive
What's the smallest engine any US auto maker fits ?
Depends on what you consider US Maker. GM has a 1.0 liter.
The problem is that many of those small engines come in TINY cars. I for
one hate being stuffed in a tin foil sardine can. Of course I have also
no real use for any car built anywhere. For our usage and driving the
wife and I need a 4X4 with ground clearance and the ability to tow a
load as needed. Do I need that ability all the time? NO. However we
don't want to have a car lot either.
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