PRIUS OUTDOES HUMMER IN ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

March 14, 2007

The Toyota Prius, the flagship car for the environmentally conscious, is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America, and takes more combined energy to produce than a Hummer, says the Recorder.

Consider:

  • The nickel contained in the Prius' battery is mined and smelted at a plant in Ontario that has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the 'dead zone' around the plant to test moon rovers.
  • Dubbed the Superstack, the factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist's nightmare.
  • Acid rain around the area was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside, according to Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin.
  • After leaving the plant, the nickel travels to Europe, China, Japan and United States, a hardly environmentally sound round the world trip for a single battery.

But that isn't even the worst part, says the Record. According to a study by CNW Marketing, the total combined energy to produce a Prius (consisting of electrical, fuel, transportation, materials and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime), is greater than what it takes to produce a Hummer:

  • 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.
  • That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use almost 50 percent less combined energy doing it.

Source: Chris Demorro, "Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage," The Recorder, March 7, 2007.

 

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