3.27.2008

How "Green" Is The Prius?

Turns out that green may be more of a brown; brown being the color left behind by environmental damage.

"...it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer."

If that isn't eye-brow raising enough, consider the following:

"...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 the Mail, a British-based newspaper. "

To make matters even more disconcerning:

"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. "

That's quite a trip.

Environmentally friendly? Hardly. Corporate America, in cooperation with Uncle Sam no doubt, has once again fooled the public into thinking they're doing something "good" for the environment. Maybe we shouldn't be bashing those Hummer drivers afterall.

3 comments:

nolocontendere said...

Yikes! I never knew. What a ripoff.

Nina. Or is it Norman? said...

No kidding. The fact that it's lifespan is only 100,000 miles is also a ripoff. With today's "technology" Toyota can't produce a "green" car that goes more than 100,000 miles?

A lot of trusting, well-meaning folks who care about the environment have been seriously mislead. These cars are all over the place in this town.

I keep saying if it has Uncle Sam's (or any government for that matter) or Corporate's stamp of approval, question and question some more. The only group of persons who are really going to care about you and I and the environment is you and I, the private citizen.

Anonymous said...

Misled? It sounds like you are the one who has been misled, no offense. The theory that the Hummer is greener than the Prius has been debunked in many places, including here:

http://www.betterworldclub.com/articles/hummer-not-more-efficient.htm

It is also a complete myth that the Prius has a life of only 100,000 miles. The hybrid components (including battery) have a 100,000 mile extended warranty on them, far more than any other related powertrain component on most comparable cars, but nothing about this says that the battery does not significantly outlast this warranty- consumer reports and other sources show that it is more reliable and durable than the average automobile.

The fact is that the study mentioned has significant flaws which are addressed point by point in the above article. The Prius is MUCH greener than a Hummer according to common sense, the EPA, and myriad other studies (most of which agree that 90% of a car's energy use is in the DRIVING of it, which in the case of the Prius is vastly more efficient and less polluting than a Hummer).

Mark in Wisconsin