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Hummer Greener Than Prius?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the buy-a-Scion-xB dept.

Power 920

An anonymous reader sends in a story from Central Connecticut State University, claiming that a Prius takes more energy to manufacture than a Hummer — 50% more. In addition, the article claims that the Prius costs $3.25 per mile over its expected lifespan of 100,000 miles compared to $1.95 per mile for the Hummer. The article gets its data from a study by CNW Marketing called Dust to Dust, which is an attempt to account for all the costs of vehicles, from manufacture through operation through repair and disposal. The $3.25/mile cost quoted for the Prius is the 2005 number; for 2006 it is $2.87. This improvement pulled the Prius below the straight industry average — all the other hybrids are still above that average. And the Hummer is not listed at all for 2006. Update: 03/21 00:44 GMT by J : You might want to take those figures with a grain of salt; I don't think anyone's seen the supporting data. Read on for details.

J adds:

The Prius's mediocre cost-per-mile is due mainly to CNW Research assigning the car a short expected lifetime: 109,000 miles. Nobody knows where this number comes from because CNW has not published details about its derivation. If a car will not last very long, then of course its energy cost per mile is high.

Back in July 2006, when CNW's study "Dust to Dust" had just been published (and which remains, unchanged, the original source for today's news), I emailed its president, Art Spinella:


I'm with the tech news and discussion site Slashdot.org. One of our readers submitted a story about your Dust to Dust study.

According to Wikipedia, the Prius comes with a 150,000 mile warranty in California and a few other states; 100,000 elsewhere.

On p. 21 and p. 40 of your report I see that you estimate the average Prius will be "removed from the streets... and sent for disposal" at 109,000 miles. Can you explain how you arrived at this figure?

Thank you.

I did not receive a reply.

My question was about the cost-per-mile denominator; here's another critique questioning the numerator.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Greener and manlier (0, Troll)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419131)

That's why women prefer guys like me (hummer owner).

Re:Greener and manlier (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419221)

What woman wouldn't prefer a guy who already has a hummer, and thus doesn't need any from them?

Re:Greener and manlier (2, Funny)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419235)

(Score:0, Funny)

This score is a combination of (+1, Funny) and (-1, Environment-Destroying-Hummer-Owner). However, no one cares about the complaints of hippie mods, so the +1 Funny takes precedence.

Re:Greener and manlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419419)

Now, I wouldn't expect you to understand this subtlety, seeing as you're a fan of humvees, but I'll try and point it out to you.

The funny mod is death incarnate to your karma. A 'controversially funny' joke like the one nimrod put together up there, well, that joke can get modded funny and overrated all day. Meaning your karma takes a hit for each 'overrated' while staying visible due to the 'funny.'

Read the help, it says that they only want extremely funny jokes posted. Like the first response, which should have gotten quite a few funny points IMHO.

Re:Greener and manlier (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419461)

women prefer guys like me (hummer owner)

It must be painful to admit you're not attractive to women without the truck. Sorry to hear that, shorty.

Re:Greener and manlier (0, Troll)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419511)

Overcompensate much?

Re:Greener and manlier (0, Redundant)

AnotherHiggins (925608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419559)

Women like guys who are trying to compensate for a tiny penis?

Who knew??

wtf? (5, Insightful)

crvtec (921881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419143)

Since when does manufacturing cost/cost over life equal friendly to the environment?

Re:wtf? (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419175)

they must be referring to the GREEN color of money. They need to compare how much gas per mile is burnt.

Re:wtf? (5, Insightful)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419197)

Especially when the comparison assumes up front that the Hummer will last 3x longer than the Prius. Makes the Hummer's per mile figure a lot better than it would be in an honest comparison.

Re:wtf? (1, Insightful)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419369)

What do you mean honest comparison? If the Hummer last three times longer then a Prius then it would take three Prius to equal one Hummer. Thats means the Prius has three times the construction cost, three times the impact on the environment, three times as many in the dump, etc or am I reading that wrong? FYI a Hummer or other large engine diesel is far more likely to be repaired and maintained beyond its 'useful' life, its just easier IMHO.

Re:wtf? (5, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419413)

Its not honest because they pulled these numbers out of their ass. They produced these studies early in the life of the Prius back when there were fears of it only lasting 100K miles. This has been proved wrong as they all have lasted 200K or more and the clock is still going.

Re:wtf? (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419609)

Were do you get your 200k figure? I've always found the smaller cars/motors have a hard time surviving the average Joe. The Honda's we have owned in the past only survived 75k, 120k and 90k with religious 3k oil/filter changes. Add the sophisticated hybrid option with its limited life batteries and the extra electronics and I can't believe they will suddenly push 200k. Just to many expensive things to go wrong.

Remember from a manufacturing stand point it is not much more expensive to built an Excursion then a Fusion ( environmental engineering class CSUN. )

Re:wtf? (0)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419623)

Hummers will run for 200K miles, too. Most any modern vehicle will if maintained reasonably well. If the numbers are wrong, it's not due to the decision to divide by 100K rather than some other number.

Re:wtf? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419377)

Especially if you don't include the cost of fuel.

Re:wtf? (5, Informative)

m_chan (95943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419625)

And especially if the article tells outright lies to make its (dubious) case:

From the article: "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. "

Now compare that to Wikipedia's entry on Greater Sudbury [wikipedia.org] :

"The ore deposits in Sudbury are part of a large geological structure known as the Sudbury Basin, believed to be the remnants of a 1.85-billion year old meteorite impact crater. Sudbury ore contains profitable amounts of many elements, especially transition metals, including platinum. It also contains an unusually high concentration of sulfur. When nickel-copper ore is smelted, this sulfur is released into the environment, where it is toxic to vegetation. Carried aloft, it combines with atmospheric water to form sulfuric acid. This contaminates atmospheric water, resulting in a phenomenon known as acid rain.

As a result, Sudbury was widely, although not entirely accurately, known for many years as a wasteland. In parts of the city, vegetation was devastated, both by acid rain and by logging to provide fuel for early smelting techniques, as well as wood for the reconstruction of Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The resulting erosion exposed bedrock, which was charred in most places to a pitted, dark black appearance. There was not a complete lack of vegetation in the region, however. Paper birch and wild blueberry are notable examples of plants which thrived in the acidic soils, and even during the worst years of the city's environmental damage, not all parts of the city were equally affected.

During the Apollo manned lunar exploration program, NASA astronauts trained in Sudbury, to become familiar with shatter cones, a rare rock formation connected with meteorite impacts. However, the popular misconception that they were visiting Sudbury because it purportedly resembled the lifeless surface of the moon dogged the city for years.

In the late 1970s, private, public, and commercial interests combined to establish an unprecedented "regreening" effort. Lime was spread over the charred soil of the Sudbury region by hand and by aircraft. Seeds of wild grasses and other vegetation were also spread. In twenty years, over three million trees were planted. The ecology of the Sudbury region has recovered dramatically, due both to the regreening program and improved mining practices, and in 1992 the city was given the "Local Government Honours Award" by the United Nations, in honour of its innovative community-based strategies in environmental rehabilitation. More recently, the city has begun to rehabilitate the slag heaps that surround the Copper Cliff smelter area, with the planting of grass and trees."

Re:wtf? (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419211)

If the energy differential in making the two cars is greater than the net energy usage over the life of the car, then it would mean that a Hummer is better for the environment than a Prius.

Re:wtf? (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419391)

Which one has better emissions, though?

Re:wtf? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419393)

Not if the manufacturing process, occuring at a fixed location, used hydro-electric power while the Hummer's energy usage requires burning fossil fuel. I'm not saying that this is the case but it is the source of energy which is important, not just the amount.

Re:wtf? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419299)

Energy, not cost. I think energy used equates pretty well with environmental cost, unless the Prius factory is using some cleaner form of energy.

I don't necessarily think the report is accurate, but it is a fact that current battery technology is not only energy intensive to manufacture, but environmentally burdensome as well.

The Prius was never for real environmentalists anyway. It's for lazy yuppies who want to put out an environmentally conscious image. Real environmentalists live close to work, bike, or take the bus.

Re:wtf? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419359)

Since when does manufacturing cost/cost over life equal friendly to the environment?

Uh, ever since manufacturing took energy to produce? Where does that energy come from? If you live in the world I live in most likely it came from a Non-green source such as a coal fueled power-plant.

Also, maintenence means replacing materials, those materials are made in plants that use said energy.

It's the really big picture we need to accept, that all of these energy uses are related and we can only improve our situation by using less energy per person and using more renewable sources. Having everyone drive a Prius doesn't solve the problem.

Re:wtf? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419441)

Because these costs are overwhelmingly based on energy and materials. And while you can always used recycled materials, oftentimes the energy cost is even more to recycle than to use virgin materials. Thus, if you're buying a Prius because you think it uses less energy than a Hummer, think again.

p.s. Of course, that's no reason to buy a Hummer. But it may be a reason to buy a non-hyrid Corolla instead of a Prius.

Not true (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419149)

Hummers may be more energy efficient, but how are they supposed to make you feel morally superior to others?

Think about it.

Re:Not true (3, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419195)

It was a non-issue for the data, since the genital superiority factor effectively nullifies it.

Re:Not true (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419325)

> but how are they supposed to make you feel morally superior to others?

Exactly. The primary purpose of the current generation of hybrids is to make their smug owners FEEL like they are helping the environment. And since there was apparently a pretty big untapped market selling feel good cars to pompous greens, Toyota has made a killing with the Prius. Looks like good marketing to me.

And who knows, perhaps enough will be learned by the widespread deployment of these current hybrids that future generations of them will actually BE more efficient. If so we should all be sure to thank their local hippie for donating to Big Evil Corporations R&D efforts be field testing their 1st generation products for them.. and paying a big price premium for the privledge.

Re:Not true (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419365)

They stated the Prius last 100K and that the Hummer last 300K miles.
They then take energy cost of production and divide by these numbers to get cost per mile
HAHA BULLSHIT! Reading the study they take very elaborate measure to get an exact accurate cost of each vehicle in terms of energy. Then they pull this shit. The Prius batteries are well known to last 200K miles and more. And only the military Hummers last 300K miles the commercial version doesn't even come close.

Reading the data makes me laugh

Re:Not true (3, Informative)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419501)

I also like the fact that they say "any physicist will tell you it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving".

So, what they're saying is, the majority of the tank of gas I use on a 400 mile trip is getting my car from a stop up to highway speed.

I think I'm going to vomit now.

Sounds very credible... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419155)

They can't even spell joule...

That sucking noise is the vacuum of credibility (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419493)

There is no distinction made based on fuel types or even engines. A TDI is going to have a drastically different cost per mile than a W8 and both are available on the same cars. The same with so many of these models. To lump a V-8 mustang in with it's detuned v6 econo-box version is hardly going to present any type of accurate data.


Why? (-1, Troll)

webword (82711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419167)

Why did they leave out that global warming is a complete lie?

And best of all, (0)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419179)

Best of all: If you eat chocolate before you climb into the Hummer, it'll improve your thinking and you'll be a better driver. A glass or two of red wine (afterwards, please) to celebrate. It's all for your health, and the good of the planet.

Re:And best of all, (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419403)

dont look at the red wine though. red things make you stupid [technologyreview.com] .

Well amount of Energy != Green (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419207)

The question is what type of eneregy is used, and how much is producted from the energy source. Automobiles are a lot more energy effecient then say a human. But they give off polution that is less "green" or more difficult for the environment to handel.

Re:Well amount of Energy != Green (2, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419271)

Automobiles are a lot more energy effecient then say a human. But they give off polution that is less "green" or more difficult for the environment to handel.

Actually, either way it's mostly CO2. However, humans come with free carbon-offsetting credit: since we're ultimately fuelled by carbon from plants, which got it by absorption from the atmosphere, then what we exhale we're simply putting back where we originally found it. Cars on the other hand are putting back into circulation carbon that has been buried since the planet was all dinosaurs and jungles and so forth.

Re:Well amount of Energy != Green (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419405)

since we're ultimately fuelled by carbon from plants,

Not my boss. He's such a tight-ass, he eats coal and shits diamonds.

Re:Well amount of Energy != Green (2, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419553)

Yeah. However the Prius is made, they're not the cars putting a coat of pollution on my tongue whenever I bike downtown or giving children and the elderly respiratory problems.

Now excuse me while I go smash my bike lock into some Hummer's tail-light.

BS (5, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419209)

You don't get 300,000 miles of use out of a hummer.

Correct that down to a more realistic 120,000 and the rest of the article's conclusions crumble.

Re:BS (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419245)

Why do you assume that?

My parents got 350,000km out of their minivan.. and it wasn't falling to pieces when they got rid of it either. Modern cars can last, provided you don't abuse the shit out of them.

Re:BS (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419539)

Converting to miles that brings it to about 220,000 miles. That's about right as far as I know for durability on current vehicle stocks. 300,000 miles converted would be the equivalent of 480,000km. Hummers are just pieces of crap though once you get out of the military versions so I wouldn't expect them to go much past 150-200,000 if they even get that far.

Re:BS (3, Insightful)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419321)

120,000 are you kidding? My Suburban has 220,000 on it now, still passes emissions, and runs like a champ. If properly maintained V-8 engines last a very long time.

Re:BS (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419327)

The Military does. Business vechiles that are subjected to regular maintenance (like police cars, school buses) get several hundred thousand miles out of each one.

The average owner(myself included) doesn't take care of their vehicles to that extant.

Re:BS (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419503)

The hummer is fairly rugged, Sure its toned down a bit for the civilian versions. but 200,000 miles at least. Well taken care of 300,000 miles is easily achieved. I've seen trucks make it over a million miles.

Re:BS (1)

habig (12787) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419525)

Not crumble, per se, but not nearly so astounding. Compare the Prius to the Scion or Aveo rather than the Hummer and go from there.

300,000 isn't a valid life expectancy for most cars, but it is at least possible for a gas engine to last that long. I've known such cars. On the other hand, you're _certainly_ replacing the battery pack in a Prius by 100,000 miles, and the battery pack is the nastiest thing to make.

Now, what this does make a good point for is a pneumatic hybrid [google.com] . Use an air compressor and a pressure tank instead of a generator and a battery. Skip all those nasty batteries. Plus air tanks don't wear out, are lighter, and can more efficiently take the inrush of braking energy than a battery (electric hybrids re-use only 1/3 of the braking enegy since batteries can't absorb charge fast enough).

Re:BS (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419597)

My 1999 Chevy Lumina is at 154k and I treat it like crap. Oil changes every 15,000 and ... um...that's about it.

I suspect that a newer vehicle, properly maintained would easily reach 300k. Cars don't wear out, they are broken.

Re:BS (2, Interesting)

thesameguy (1047504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419601)

Why exactly to you believe the Hummer's lifespan is limited to 120,000 miles? Most truck owners I know have HUGE mileage on their rigs - my '84 Suburban has almost 500,000 on it. Trucks are generally built to last quite a bit longer than cars, and I don't see 300,000 miles as a major obstacle. The Prius, on the other hand, will probably die an abnormally early death due to the high cost of repair once its electronics & electricals start failing.

Although I think the scope of this particular paper is limited and probably biased, I would really love to see some further research on this general topic. The newest car I own is 12 years old now, and living in California I get the very distinct feeling that the PTBs don't want my old POS (a once very-expensive Alfa Romeo) on the road for all the environmental damage it does with its tailpipe.

I would LOVE to see a study that compares the damage the extra stuff coming out of my car does versus the savings a new SULEV or PZEV car offers when you factor all the new pollution that goes into making a brand-new Camry Hybrid. I really question whether even a 50% savings in tailpipe emissions over 10 years makes up for all the manufacturing and shipping involved in a new car. From this article, it sure sounds like it may not.

I'm willing to make sacrifices for the environment, but I never have and still don't see how a 3200lb rolling toxic waste hazard is any improvement over a 2200lb '87 Civic, y'know?

300k mi on a Hummer??? (0, Redundant)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419239)

From TFA: 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.

300,000 miles out of a Hummer? Give me a break! I'll bet the average life is about half that. This more reasonable assumption puts the Hummer's cost per mile at a whopping $3.90.

Re:300k mi on a Hummer??? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419319)

Even if you assume that the Prius has a 300,000 lifespan that puts its energy price per mile at $1.08 - far in excess of the Scion that is mentioned in the article that has a normal gasoline engine.

The point is that the Prius isn't the green car you are looking for.

Re:300k mi on a Hummer??? (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419395)

You need to also subtract the cost of fuel. If the hummer averages 8 miles to the gallon and gas costs $2.50 a gallon

Re:300k mi on a Hummer??? (2, Informative)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419509)

Depends on the Hummer. The article doesn't say which Hummer they are comparing to, but a diesel H1 (which most H1's were) could easily go 300K. This would also explain why the 2006 comparison no longer contained a Hummer, since H1's stopped production in 2005.

Just because you don't see it... (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419569)

I bet that's probably about right. If you exclude the number of them that are destroyed in accidents/fires/floods, etc., most modern cars last a lot longer than many people realize.

You don't see cars at the end of their lifespan in the U.S., generally, because we export them. IIRC, used cars are one of our biggest exports to Mexico and Latin America.

It would be interesting if someone wanted to trace the lifespan of an 'average vehicle' that didn't get offed by a bad driver before its time and was well maintained throughout. I suspect it's something like this:
0 - 100 miles: Test drive at factory, sitting on dealer lot.
100 - 30,000 miles: first owner, maybe on a 2 or 3 year lease.
30,000 - 150,000 miles: Second owner, or maybe multiple owners. Eventually traded in, sold to wholesaler. If still in good condition, exported.
150,000 - 300,000 miles: Mexican taxi. Parts get replaced as they wear out and break.
300,000+ miles: When body finally rusts through, strip for parts. Scrap remainder.

You don't see a ton of quarter-million-mile cars in Suburbia, USA, but in some places they're pretty desirable.

Quick! (0)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419243)

To the Conservapedia! [conservapedia.com]

This article will be of great help in their noble quest to redefine reality to fit their cultural preferences!

Hey wait a second! (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419617)

That web site has nothing to do with conservation! Nothing on low flow toilets, CF bulbs, recycling, nothing. I call shenanigans!

$3.25/mile??? (5, Insightful)

Mendenhall (32321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419247)

OK, this has got to be a seriously flawed study, for any car! $3.25/mile over 100,000 miles means I will have spent $325,000 on car maintenance in the lifetime of my Prius. Does anyone find this number just a bit untenable? Even for a Hummer, this number is untenable.

Re:$3.25/mile??? (1)

Knightfall (558914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419531)

That $3.25 per mile includes all energy and resources that went into the manufacturing of the vehicle as well, not just your cost per mile after purchasing. The energy required by the machinery at the nickel ore mines plus refining of said nickel for instance (when talking about the batteries it uses).

cmon (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419257)

So it costs $325,000 to drive a Prius 100,000 miles? This seems way to high.

Re:cmon (1)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419431)

I'd have to say it's either BS or we are getting a lot of free energy somewhere. I have a hybrid and it has 94k on it, and I sure as shit haven't made enough money in that time to pay for operating it. Unless it's going to cost $100k to dispose of my car... and my car still has a lot of life in it. Crackpots they are!

Old News (5, Insightful)

AnotherHiggins (925608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419261)

A) I first read about this 'study' several months ago

B) I couldn't find any information about "CNW Marketing" other than *suggestions* that they are a oil-funded group (nothing concrete, though).

So who the fuck is CNW Marketing and why should their study be given any credence? Was it published in a peer-reviewed journal? (Not that BS doesn't ever make it into perr-reviewed journals....)

Re:Old News (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419303)

Not to mention the "paper" that this article is in is the same college rag that published the lovely editorial "Rape only hurts if you fight it".

How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419311)

setting down your tar brush, and instead, put on your thinking cap and explain to us why the study fails on it's own merits?

The Governor of California... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419267)

Must be breathing easier in his smoking tent that his Hummer is as green as green can be.

Good to see (3, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419269)

It's good to see some comment on the (carbon) manufacturing costs of new cars. I heard some advice the other day that said if you wanted to help the environment, you should buy a new car, because they're more fuel efficient and produce less nasty chemicals. Great advice, if it wasn't for the facts that:

1: Emissions are created during the manufacture of a car. And
2: What happens to your old car? You're likely to sell it to someone that keeps using it, i.e. that car keeps producing harmful emissions, just for somebody else.

If you wanted to help the environment, you wouldn't buy a new car, you'd keep an old one running as efficiently as you could and remember that there's more to carbon emissions than simply what you're doing right now. No man is an island, after all.

expected lifespan (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419275)

expected lifespan of 100,000 miles
WTF? car with 100,000 miles is still rather new.
Here in Finland, average car age is about 7 years and normal mileage is closer to 250,000 miles when the car is closing the end of lifespan.

Is this still true? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419279)

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.
I thought this was old news & that the situation on the ground had changed since the 1970's and 1980's.

As an aside, the plant produce 130,000 tonnes (is that metric or imperial) annually.
The 1,000 that goes towards Prius batteries is negligible

Why does it matter? (-1, Flamebait)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419281)

No one in their right mind wants to ride in a Hummer...the ride is for crap. And no one in the US can fit in a Prius. THey are made for skinny people, and we Americans are fat.

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419469)

THey are made for skinny people, and we Americans are fat.

You must have missed my previous comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:Why does it matter? (2, Interesting)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419483)

Have you ever actually ridden in a Prius? They're surprisingly roomy.

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419563)

No one in their right mind wants to ride in a Hummer...the ride is for crap. And no one in the US can fit in a Prius. THey are made for skinny people, and we Americans are fat.

Speak for yourself, lardass. My skinny American ass drives a Prius.

nonsense (5, Funny)

rkww (675767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419285)

As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving

But I'm an engineering major, and I can tell you that that's only the case if you ignore air resistance.

Re:nonsense (5, Funny)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419445)

Yes, but what if that object is grasping the husk of a coconut with it's talons? And what if it takes two of those objects grasping the husk of a coconut with their talons?

Re:nonsense (4, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419615)

African or European?

Another advantage of the Hummer . . . (5, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419307)

When gasoline goes to $5.00 a gallon, it makes for a better garden shed than a Prius. Or a better place to sleep, if you bought your house with a interest-only loan.

* * *

So, is the Prius like a power plant in Sim City 2000? The second it hits 100,000 miles it falls apart?

Who made this crap up, the Club For Growth, the American Enterprise Institute, or the Hummer Fans of America?

Re:Another advantage of the Hummer . . . (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419423)

People that pay for Hummers usually don't have to worry about the cost of gas. Same goes for Viper's, Corvettes, etc....

because all energy has the same environmental cost (4, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419323)

While the part about the manufacture of the batteries is interesting, to say that a Hummer uses less energy than a Prius is misleading at best and propaganda at worst. The mistake that is makes is to assume that all energy usage is the same when of course it isn't. When the issue is the environment, there are types of energy that are better for the environment than others. The article is acting as if burning old tires and solar energy were exactly the same when they aren't. Without more details on the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes used in each vehicle, this article is only useful for raising questions and making people who own Hummers feel good about themselves.

heh (0, Redundant)

stim (732091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419329)

let me be the first to say . .. Ha-Ha!

Where Do These Numbers Come From? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419337)

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius.
Where do they get this factor of three from? Yes, nickel plants harm the environment. So do steel plants. But I think that the Inco plant, though terrible for the environment [sprol.com] , provides more nickel than just for the Prius cars. And then I understand that this material is shipped around the world to make the battery. I don't see the math where the author concludes that the amount of materials processed at the Inco plant are three times that of what is processed for the hummer's equivalent parts or the gasoline that may need to be burned in absence of the battery.

But the article doesn't analyze the manufacturing lines of the Hummer nor the rest of the materials of the Prius. If you want to establish facts, do comprehensive research before you publish an article. The author sounds less concerned with establishing facts and holding people accountable than just firing off quotes that cause people to raise their eyebrows. I read this article and he raises some interesting points but doesn't back them up with hard facts & numbers other than what he read in the CNW report.

Cost has nothing to do with Green (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419339)

Cost is a big factor in people adopting something, but has nothing to do with how kind to the environment it is.

What percentage of total environmental impact is the manufacturing process? I'm betting it's next to nothing when you put it on an individual car basis. That is to say, how much energy was used to make this specific car here. That car probably generates/uses as much energy in the first week or two of driving it.

Cheech & Chong's Marijuana Van! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419341)

Nothing is greener, man!

Study Source is Suspicious (1)

Froster (985053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419345)

The information from CNW is enough to discount the whole concept. Just read through their http://www.cnwmr.com/frequentquestions/ [cnwmr.com] company FAQ to see how professional this outfit is.

My personal favourite:

Why don't you do business in Alabama?

We recognize 49 states and the District of Columbia. We do not accept business from Alabama. It'll take more than one beer for any further details.

Dubious lifetime estimates (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419371)

a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

And the Hummer has an expected life of 300,000 miles? Oh, please. Look, my extended family has plenty of experience owning Toyotas and Nissans over the past two decades, and we have come to expect 200,000 miles or more. Come on, people, that's a big part of why so many Americans have abandoned Detroit for Japanese quality. Now, they weren't hybrids -- maybe the battery's lifespan is different. But if that's the case, I suspect Prius owners are laboring under the assumption that they will hold on to their cars for hundreds of thousands of miles.

Dubious Credential (1)

Shambly (1075137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419387)

The website for CNW Research seems very dubious http://www.nvo.com/cnwmr/ [nvo.com] they don't list any real credentials for their research except in a faq which says

Art was named President of CNW Marketing Research, Inc. on January 12, 2001, but he still reports to the all-knowing yet unseen CEO and Managing Director Stephanie Yanez. He spent 20 something years as a newspaper and magazine editor and learned the market research craft from none other than J. D. Power (the person, not the company). His resume is too long and too boring to detail here, but those in the know consider it to be impressive.
Which is hardly professional. I'd take this entire article to be highly irregular at best.

Re:Dubious Credential (1)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419447)

More (slightly biased) info on CNW's dubious credentias can be found here:

http://http//www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/we_c ant_believe.php [http]

Fucking Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419389)

I submitted this months ago and it was rejected. Oh well, I suppose it's better than if mine was accepted, making this a dupe!

Wait until you pay for gas for a hummer in CA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419409)

Gas at $3.25 - Hummer owners has less cash in the pocket after a fill up (twice a week)

not the CNW BS again. (4, Interesting)

CapsaicinBoy (208973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419453)

Oh man, How many times do we need to go over the flawed assumptions and conclusions from the CNW Marketing analysis.

First, it incorrectly assumes that hybrid batteries are not recycled. In reality, Toyota has very successful recycling program, including a $200 bounty on Prius batteries.

Second, it is interesting that TFA mentions the Scion xB. Yet it fails to note that the CNW report data on the xA and xB don't make any sense. They are built on the same assembly line, have the same powertrains, only differ in weight by 50 lbs or so, and have similar efficiency (~35mpg), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to differ by 50 percent. How's that work?

Third, the CNW report makes really bad assumptions about where the bulk of lifecycle energy use occurs (eg manufacturing vs operation).

In short, it's misinformed at best and is more likely an intentional greenwash to assuage SUV owner dissonance in a post 9/11 world.

Disclaimer: I drive a biodiesel powered Jetta TDI, not a hybrid.

The Relevant Info (1)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419455)

I'll highlight all you need to know about this article:

"The article gets its data from a study by CNW Marketing"

Blasphemy!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419471)

Blasphemy!! Eco-sacrilege!! Thou would dare defame the most Holy Prius!! Cardinal Fang, get the comfy futon!

US$329,000 to operate a Prius 100,000 miles? (0)

cnaumann (466328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419507)

Lets see. Cost of the car = $30,000
Gas for 100,000 miles at 33.33mpg figuring $5/gallon = $15,000
That is only $285,000 more to go. Any clue where that money is supposed to go?
That is $28,500 a year over 10 years.

Give me a break.

-Charles B. Naumann

Use the source, Luke! (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419521)

And not some crappy press release.

Link to the company that wrote the report: CNW Marketing [cnwmr.com]
The report is behind the 'Dust zip folder.zip' link. The ZIP contains a 15 MB Word file [1]. There's also an Excel spreadsheet containing only the final numbers (cost/mile).

Looking at their website, and their decision to publish the report as a bloody Word file, does not fill me with confidence that they know what they're talking about. Maclink Plus is currently choking on the Word doc, so can't say anything about the content of that file yet.

not a complete story (4, Insightful)

jonniesmokes (323978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419523)

While some of the numbers might be arguable, the whole article misses the point of any new technology argument.

-- First movers on new technology almost always are paying more and using more energy than their stick in the mud Hummer counterparts; the *hope* of the new technology is that with increased production efficiency it'll eventually become a good move. This is the argument of ethanol, bio-diesel, solar panels, hybrid cars, etc. The fact that they do more near term environmental damage than their conservative counterparts doesn't mean they shouldn't be explored on a low volume basis.

I do agree with the article though that a truly economical car is better for the pocket book and the environment without having to bet on the environmental returns of a new technology. But what Prius owners are doing is spending all this money and subsidizing en masse Toyota's research of building hybrid cars. I applaud them for doing so. That's something the article misses entirely. In this sense, the Hummer is certainly not more environmentally friendly than a Prius (because the Prius is a search for a better solution).

What the article doesn't mention is that mass transit and bicycles are way further down on the cost / mile and environmental damage than any of these cars. But that would be thinking outside the box.

Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18419529)

It's an editorial, consisting of no listed sources whatsoever. While I have no doubts that the the prius is less environmentally friendly than we are led to believe[1], this "story"[2] is pretty biased. Consider that foreign cars tend to stay on the road significantly longer than their domestic counter parts[3], I think that if domestic companies realized how unrealistic their life expectations of their vehicles were[4], we see some real comparisons.

[1] - See how easy it is? It's almost like a fact.
[2] - Don't forget the scare quotes
[3] - Hey! Have some anecdotal evidence!
[4] - Do you see where I am getting at.

Flower Power at 1018 hp - by Koenigsegg (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419555)

From an unexpected horizon, far ahead
http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/03/geneva-pre view-koenigsegg-creates-an-ethanol-powered-superca r/ [autobloggreen.com]

"So, why would we be covering the Koenigsegg CCXR here on AutoblogGreen? Well, I'm glad you asked! This vehicle is just like their standard CCX, except that it has had its standard 800 HP V8 engine converted to run on E85. In the conversion process, the machine picked up a substantial amount of power. How much? How about 1018 hp at 7200 rpm and the torque to 1060 nm at 6100 rpm?"


Let's go vrooom

Stupid article made for headlines, not science (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419557)

If a Prius costs $3.25 per mile and runs 100,000 miles, that's a cost of $325,000. I'm pretty sure even with green tax breaks, a Prius doesn't cost that much. And while I've never shopped for a hummer, I'm pretty sure they don't cost $585,000.

TCO (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419571)

The Total Cost of Ownership argument - now where have I heard that before ...

Doesnt suprise me... (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419577)

While in High School back in 85 when the big "clean up the air" push started, our automotive teacher wanted to point out how dirty old cars were compared to the new ones with catalytic converters and EGR valves and the like... so up first was a brand new Fiero, came out pretty clean, above the standard at the time even... then it was the 65 Chevy Chevelle, 350 CID, roller rockers, 4 Barrel Holley carb, a real hot rod... ran cleaner than the Fiero

Cost is not the point of a Prius (1)

RayDude (798709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419595)

Cost is not the point. Greenhouse gasses is the point. Prius makes far less greenhouse gasses than a Hummer.

And you know what? Its going to cost us more to be Green, it always hurts to do the right thing.


Duh (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419603)

TFA calls an electric motor an "engine".

"Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius" Really? A Toyota beat out in longevity by a pile if shit American product? HA! If by "longer" they mean "sits in the garage many days of the year because the owner is driving his Porsche around or the Lexus he takes to work" then sure.

Insert a bunch of stuff of them bashing the nickel mine here. (Unsupported by facts or references and with no comparison of the mining locations used by the Hummer manufacturer.)

Not to mention the expected lifetime of 100,000 miles for the Toyota and 300,000 for the Hummer. Reaaaally? Looks to me like they got the numbers mixed up.

Oh, and "CNW Marketing Research" has the first item on their FAQ biatching about how they don't pick up the phone if you block caller ID. That sounds like a bunch of pros to me. hehe.

CNW also appears to specialize in helping car dealers figure out how to sell cars to consumers coming up with "preowned certified" and other BS. I am not sure if I really believe their engineering expertise on the actual manufacturing processes of various cars especially when it is their financial self-interest to steer (or help others steer) consumers into the high profit vehicles for American car makers.

Why don't you ask Bill Fucking Gates about Windows Vista while you are at it.

Tell ya what, give me a bunch of charts and shit and I can spin an article full of as much FUD as this one. I won't even charge ya for it, but I get to drink beer while I do it.

Directly proportional? (1)

Dirtbaby (103468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419619)

Just like the rise in global warming, isn't the greeness of the Hummer directly proportional to the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s?

One problem... (1, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18419621)

I certainly agree with his conclusion. It's a very important issue across the board (not just cars) that is far too often ignored.

The one thing I'd question, is the lifetime of the vehicles. The Hummer is rated at a 3X longer life than the Prius. If those number happen to be wrong, or otherwise mismatched, the outcome of the comparison between the Hummer and Prius will be different, and the Prius could come out slightly ahead.

Of course, even in that case, fuel-efficient conventional (non-hybrid) cars still come out way ahead of an over-priced, terribly complex hybrid, by a big margin.
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