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Author Topic: Prius outdoes Hummer in environmental damage
Steppenwolf Allende
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posted 19 April 2007 11:04 PM      Profile for Steppenwolf Allende     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
well, if anybody out there still believes that eco-capitalism is an honest effort to clean up the environment, check out what this article is claiming:

The Recorder (Central Connecticut State University) March 7, 2007

Source here

Prius outdoes Hummer in environmental damage

By Chris Demorro

The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate 'green car' is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Before we delve into the seedy underworld of hybrids, you must first understand how a hybrid works. For this, we will use the most popular hybrid on the market, the Toyota Prius.

The Prius is powered by not one, but two engines: a standard 76 horsepower, 1.5-liter gas engine found in most cars today and a battery-powered engine that deals out 67 horsepower and a whooping 295ft/lbs of torque, below 2000 revolutions per minute. Essentially, the Toyota Synergy Drive system, as it is so called, propels the car from a dead stop to up to 30mph. This is where the largest percent of gas is consumed. As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving. The battery is recharged through the braking system, as well as when the gasoline engine takes over anywhere north of 30mph. It seems like a great energy efficient and environmentally sound car, right?

You would be right if you went by the old government EPA estimates, which netted the Prius an incredible 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately for Toyota, the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second. This has dropped the Prius's EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.

However, if that was the only issue with the Prius, I wouldn't be writing this article. It gets much worse.

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. 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.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn't end there. 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. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

Wait, I haven't even got to the best part yet.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius's arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called "Dust to Dust," the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. 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 less combined energy doing it.

So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot. One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybrid car because of lower gas expenses.


From: goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 20 April 2007 03:34 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First off, the counter arguement.

Sure, the cost may be higher, but the ongoing emissions aren't addressed here, just the cost, which is not the point. There's no mention of how many tonnes of GHG's the prius saves over the long run.

Sudbury has come a LONG way with their environmental clean up, and reduction of pollutants. If you notice carefully all of the comments about Sudbury include a 'did' or 'were' not a 'does' and 'are'. In addition

quote:
The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.
- I guess that means Unionised workers don't count as a lifeform to this guy.

On the pro-side of this.

No matter how you look at it, the amount of resource and energy we put into single person occupancy vehicles is massive, and no car, hybrid, bio-fuel, or electric is worth the environmental cost involved with getting people from their suburban houses to the corner store...three blocks away.


From: In Dig Nation | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Wizard of Socialism
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posted 20 April 2007 04:13 AM      Profile for The Wizard of Socialism   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Plus, you get to feel all self-righteous down at the coffee house. And you can't put a price on that!
From: A Proud Canadian! | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 20 April 2007 04:17 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sudbury still ain't pretty, but it's hardly devoid of life. The soil has been stripped from much of the rock, but it's green now, though the trees are still somewhat stunted by the past years of intensely acidic fallout.
From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 April 2007 04:37 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I lived halfway between Sudbury and North Bay in the 1980s, I spent a lot of time in Sudbury as my gf lived there. At that time Sudbury was beginning its green recovery. It looks quite nice today - CBC TV did an article on the 'greening of Sudbury' not long ago. BTW, has anyone looked at the mileage figures for Hummers recently? Hummers are severely overweight, not to mention ugly - they look like a brick on wheels.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Québécois in the North
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posted 20 April 2007 07:38 AM      Profile for Québécois in the North     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks Booboom

I have been advocating for years against so called "green car" -- by all means , an oxymoron -- on the ground that it has been demonstrated that the construction of the vehicle generates more atmospheric pollutiion than the actual driving. And also because low-GHG emmiting cars doesn't solve the main car induced problem (indeed worsen it )-- I'm talking about the car culture.

It was my belief that the construction of these hybrid car, beause of their more sophisticated technologies, would probably generate more pollution than conventional"cars. I'm glad somebody actually dared to research that question and further that Booboom posted the results on Babble. Thanks!

Fuck "clean burning" fuels and lets unpave the world!


From: Yellowknife | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 April 2007 08:00 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Québécois in the North:

I'm glad somebody actually dared to research that question and further that Booboom posted the results on Babble. Thanks!


Wasn't me - it was Steppenwolf.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 20 April 2007 08:06 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jebus. I had no idea.

I wonder what smart cars are like in this regard?

I'm going to send this to my mom. I'm sure she'll be happy to not feel guilty about getting a small conventional car instead of a Prius!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 20 April 2007 08:20 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hang on a minute

quote:
This has dropped the Prius's EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.

I went and looked at the Aveo, it gets 27 mpg in the new tests. According to the article almost a factor of 2 is spitting distance.

Yes, life cycle energy costs need to be considered, and yes, car culture is not good for the environment in lots of ways. However, being dishonest when making the argument is counter productive.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 April 2007 09:56 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For the record, I'll take a Prius over any Hummer any day of the week. Did not want anyone to get the wrong impression! I think Hummers should be scrapped and recycled and made into Prius's.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Trevormkidd
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posted 20 April 2007 11:18 AM      Profile for Trevormkidd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you really want to stick it to the eco-capitalists you should mention that when Prius owners in the state of Georgia bring their cars in for their emissions check at 3 years, the car fails. That is a fact and to top it off the emissions standards a pretty lax in that state and most other vehicles have no problem passing, but the Prius fails. Eco-car my ass. But more on that later, time for the article.

How to make a Hummer look more environmentally friendly than a Prius. First say that a Hummer’s lifetime is more than three times as long as a Prius (the actual study gives 379,000 vs 109,000 miles). That makes the environmental production costs of the Prius more than three times as high (so essentially the study is saying that 3.5 Prius going 109,000 miles each have more of an environmental impact than 1 Hummer going 379,000 miles. One Prius going 379,000 miles would blow away a hummer going the same distance. So owning 3.5 Prius would be worse for the environment than owning one. Glad CNW cleared that up). It doesn’t matter where those mileage numbers come from or that I can’t find anything to back them up (I will give CNW Marketing’s poor reasoning below). I have been in two different taxi’s which have already far exceeded that mileage (one by more than double, the other by close to 50%. The owner of the one told me that the only thing that had been done to his car was changing the brakes after the car had more than 200,000 kilometers, the driver of the other taxi wasn’t the owner, so couldn’t answer my questions). Consumer reports places the Hummer as one of the most unreliable vehicles on the road, the Prius one of the most reliable vehicles. Yet the unreliable one lasts three times as long as the reliable one?

The reason for the 1/3 mileage given by CNW? The Prius is so well manufactured and designed that almost all future hybrids will be designed using their technology. Improvements in that technology will make future hybrids more light and efficient, thereby decreasing the value of the current hybrids. So apparently the CNW is basing mileage not on the ability of the car, which they admit is designed to last as long as the best designed vehicles, but on value. So the Prius is a victim of its own success. To me that sounds like ridiculous unfounded speculation.


Also be sure not to publish your methodology. Two other studies have been peer reviewed which apparently say the exact opposite. I haven’t seen either (one by MIT and one by Argonne National Laboratory), but people involved with both of those studies have asked for the one by CNW to be published for peer review so each of the studies is on equal footing. So far CNW has refused to open their methodology for criticism.

The study was sure to mention that nickel is shipped from Canada to Europe to Japan to the US. But I don’t see where it mentions that a Hummer requires far more fuel to be shipped and that fuel takes up far more cargo space over the lifetime of the Hummer than space required for the products to make the batteries.

When comparing mileage use the upcoming EPA standards for the Prius and the old EPA for the Aveo in order to show that they are within “spitting distance.” Using the same standards for both would show that the Prius has about 70% better mileage, which requires a much longer “spitting distance.”

quote:
You would be right if you went by the old government EPA estimates, which netted the Prius an incredible 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately for Toyota, the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second. This has dropped the Prius's EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.

I guess that is why I get mileage in the range of the original EPA. I don’t drive like a friggin idiot. I drive the speed limit on the highway whether it is 80, 90 or 100 k/h, not the new EPA standard of 130 k/h. Nor do I see the need to accelerate to 60 mph in 7.5 sec as seems to be the EPA change.

Now back to failing the emissions tests. Eco-capitalists, in their typical denial of the truth, will give you a bunch of excuses. Like the reason the car fails is because it is an idle test and the Prius doesn’t idle it just turns off instead. They will say that the outdated equipment used for the tests doesn’t recognize this and instead fails the car for refusing to do the tests. So they will say that the reason the Prius fails the emissions test is because the car produces zero emissions while being stationary. Don’t listen to them.


From: SL | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 20 April 2007 11:55 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now back to failing the emissions tests. Eco-capitalists, in their typical denial of the truth, will give you a bunch of excuses. Like the reason the car fails is because it is an idle test and the Prius doesn’t idle it just turns off instead. They will say that the outdated equipment used for the tests doesn’t recognize this and instead fails the car for refusing to do the tests. So they will say that the reason the Prius fails the emissions test is because the car produces zero emissions while being stationary. Don’t listen to them.

Why not? If that's not the reason the tests fail what is? If Georgia has lax standards why are you reporting Prius's failing there and not in other states? I could certainly believe that Prius's produce more smog emissions per minute of engine running time, but a) I suspect that is fixable, albeit at some cost to total fuel effiency, b) the total emissions may well be lower because the engine does not run as much. More details pleas.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
FraserValleyMan
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posted 20 April 2007 12:26 PM      Profile for FraserValleyMan        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Wizard of Socialism:
Plus, you get to feel all self-righteous down at the coffee house. And you can't put a price on that!


Bingo!


From: Port Coquitlam, BC | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 20 April 2007 12:30 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ezra Levant has a Hummer. Do you want really want anyone to mistake you for Ezra Levant?
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 20 April 2007 12:35 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
Ezra Levant has a Hummer. Do you want really want anyone to mistake you for Ezra Levant?

I hear this guy has that problem all the time.

Newman!!!


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Québécois in the North
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posted 20 April 2007 01:28 PM      Profile for Québécois in the North     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think we are assessing the question in the wrong way when we take it as a "Prius Vs Hummer" thing.

There's no way a Hummer can be a "green" vehicle. There's no reason to debate that. We can keep hating them Hummers. It's ok.

The real question is: are the hybrids "green"? IMO, the answer is no. Why? Because they are new cars and we know for a fact that building a new motor vehicle (any motor vehicle) generates a hell lot of atmospheric pollution. Now, If these new cars also happen to have a shorter useful life and if their construction necessit more heavy metals and more energy waste, well, there's no way they are "green" then

Writing this will not help me earn a Toyota Grant for Sustainable Development, but I'll write it anyways: it is not by always making new cars that we will solve our car problem!

* * * * *
This german study on the environmental impact of the car is getting old but is still relevant.


From: Yellowknife | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Trevormkidd
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posted 20 April 2007 01:29 PM      Profile for Trevormkidd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrootham:

Why not? If that's not the reason the tests fail what is? If Georgia has lax standards why are you reporting Prius's failing there and not in other states? I could certainly believe that Prius's produce more smog emissions per minute of engine running time, but a) I suspect that is fixable, albeit at some cost to total fuel effiency, b) the total emissions may well be lower because the engine does not run as much. More details pleas.


I was writing in jest as the original purpose of this thread seems to be about bashing the Prius. Seeing as the original article seems to do everything it can to show the Prius in a bad light, with no concern for accuracy, then why not add that Prius fails an emissions test, even if the reason why it fails is because it does too well.

It was reported on CNN that the Prius was failing the test in Georgia (but no where else) because at the required 2500 RPM idle speed the car does what it is designed to do and uses the electric engine while refusing to run its gasoline engine and in doing so produces zero emissions. The testing equipment can't figure out what is going on so it fails the car for an incomplete test. The state of Georgia instead of admitting the problem, fines the owners for basically getting a perfect score.

As for smog emissions the Prius, starting in 2004, already made changes which lowers its fuel efficiency some in order to greatly reduce smog forming emissions.


From: SL | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Policywonk
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posted 20 April 2007 02:08 PM      Profile for Policywonk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The real question is: are the hybrids "green"? IMO, the answer is no. Why? Because they are new cars and we know for a fact that building a new motor vehicle (any motor vehicle) generates a hell lot of atmospheric pollution. Now, If these new cars also happen to have a shorter useful life and if their construction necessit more heavy metals and more energy waste, well, there's no way they are "green" then

It also depends on whether the car is built out of raw or recycled materials, as well as the size of the vehicles (hence a Smart Car is probably "greener" than a Prius, if not an Insight (which apparently Honda no longer makes, but they are available used)). Heavy metals, including the nickel in nickel hydride batteries, can be recycled.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 April 2007 02:51 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Québécois in the North:

Writing this will not help me earn a Toyota Grant for Sustainable Development, but I'll write it anyways: it is not by always making new cars that we will solve our car problem!


People are going to drive, regardless, and I'd much rather that they drive a fuel-efficient vehicle rather than a gas-guggling monster.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 20 April 2007 06:51 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If one wants to make a more realistic comparison between a hummer and a prius, one would have to consider the capabilities if the vehicles. Such as carrying ,towing capacity, how many people it can convey, road requirements, etc. Only after determining what you want to use the vehicle for can one determine what is more eco friendly. If vehicles are loaded to capacity, the bigger ones tend to be more efficient.
From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 April 2007 07:05 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't believe there are many in Canada who could justify a Hummer. If one really needs an SUV, there are better, more fuel-efficient choices available. The Hummer is nothing but something to show off one's wealth and bad taste.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 20 April 2007 07:44 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Poor is the one that shows of his/her wealth.

He, I am not trying to talk you into a hummer, I drive a little Echo these days, With an old minivan as farm vehicle. Just saying that a Prius transporting one person down a smooth tartop going from Vancouver to Wistler can be ecologically inefficient when compared to a loaded Hummer going down the ice-road from Tuk to Inuvik.

[ 20 April 2007: Message edited by: Bubbles ]


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 20 April 2007 08:43 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the article:

quote:
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 less combined energy doing it.

So I guess the solutuion is to force all Hummer cowboys to keep their Hummers until they reach 300,000 miles (480,000 kms). Just imagine how cool their toys will look in 20 years time?

Obviously the eco-capitalist movement needs challenging; right wing straw men are the last ones who should do it considering their hatred of the environment.

Hopefully those Hummer cowboys will have 20 years of this when they're driving to their suburban wastelands:

F U and your H2

[ 20 April 2007: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Steppenwolf Allende
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posted 21 April 2007 12:05 AM      Profile for Steppenwolf Allende     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An interesting couple of studies out there show heavier SUVs, light trucks and similar 4 X 4 vehicles were used mainly in rural and resource communities and people living in more remote areas, as well as for work reasons and by off-road buffs—until about 10 years ago.

In fact, the only people who used them in urban areas were people who, mostly because of their work, had to haul things--in other words a practical use (that’s not much of a surprise to me, being both an ex-off-roader and someone who’s needed a light truck for work reasons).

Now, more than 50 per cent of 4 X 4 vehicles are being driven by people who don't really need them for any practical purpose. Rather, "comfort" is the main reason to purchase them.

In addition, comparative studies between the H2 and its predecessor the H1 show a tremendous decline in practicality and an actual greater overall fuel-use per kilometer on average on the part of the latter.

The H1 was originally designed as a military vehicle to access remote and rough terrain, and, besides some complaints, generally does that well enough. The H2, however, has many limitations on use for rough terrain and off road, since its center of gravity is too high and its wheel balance ratio is too short.

In other words, where at least the H1 has some practical purpose for its existence, the H2 is little more than a gas guzzling show horse good for practically nothing except, as some others here have pointed out, showing off.

And that appears to be a problem with many SUV type models. With the exception of makes like the Chevy Suburban, which uses a traditional light truck chassis, most SUVs have a center of gravity and wheel span ratio that restricts their use in many off-road situations, since practicality for those purposes has given way to fashion and appearance.

But in terms of all the hype around eco-friendly fuel-efficient type vehicles, it appears most models that are marketed on that basis are under-performing what the sellers claim.

So much for truth in advertising.

[ 21 April 2007: Message edited by: Steppenwolf Allende ]


From: goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sineed
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posted 21 April 2007 02:17 AM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
People are going to drive, regardless, and I'd much rather that they drive a fuel-efficient vehicle rather than a gas-guggling monster.
I'm with you on that Boom Boom. Though enviros have been concerned for years about the batteries in hybrids. If they don't make a cleaner battery, hybrids will be used to justify Hummer purchases (!)

I rented a Prius a few years ago. When gas was $1.10/litre, it cost $10 to go from Toronto to Niagara Falls and back. But it was clunky and had poor visibility out the back windshield. Surely they can make clean cars sexier.


From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 21 April 2007 04:17 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A few years back I went on holiday to visit friends in New Mexico and Arizona, and I was picked up at the Albuquerque airport in an older blue Ford Explorer, I guess it's a mid-size SUV, I had never been in one before, it was very comfortable with lots of room inside. The owner lived on a hilly dirt road that gets a lot of snow in Ruidoso, NM. I didn't know before that trip that any part of New Mexico got snow! Anyway, she drove me to the top of the mountain, unaccessible, really to anything but a four wheel drive, and the Explorer was perfect for that task. The only other vehicles we encountered were Jeeps and other Explorers. No Hummers! Folks there know that all Hummers are useless on mountain roads - too high and too tippy. Some of the mountain roads were very narrow and snow covered, but the Explorer never had a problem. Later, I drove the beast across the desert, with the a/c on, and I loved it. The Explorer can carry I think six people total, and does its work so effectively, and didn't use a lot more gas than my Mazda light truck - I guess the Explorer is based on a light truck, itself. To summarize, the Explorer is an SUV, but I could live with an used earlier version if I needed a four wheel drive vehicle (it looks to me that the newer Explorers are, unfortunately, much larger than the early ones).
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 21 April 2007 08:06 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Futuristic Prius is losing ground to subtle hybrids

Camry, Accord, Civic proving more popular among green buyers

Rather than quote selectively, better to encourage a reading of the whole article.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 21 April 2007 09:18 AM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read about a mechanical energy recovery system that does away with the battery. It is rated at 70% efficient, compared to 30% for Prius' system.

I've had no success trying to find the article..I believe I read it last week. Help, anyone?


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Greeny
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posted 21 April 2007 10:46 AM      Profile for West Coast Greeny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steppenwolf Allende:
An interesting couple of studies out there show heavier SUVs, light trucks and similar 4 X 4 vehicles were used mainly in rural and resource communities and people living in more remote areas, as well as for work reasons and by off-road buffs—until about 10 years ago.

In fact, the only people who used them in urban areas were people who, mostly because of their work, had to haul things--in other words a practical use (that’s not much of a surprise to me, being both an ex-off-roader and someone who’s needed a light truck for work reasons).

Now, more than 50 per cent of 4 X 4 vehicles are being driven by people who don't really need them for any practical purpose. Rather, "comfort" is the main reason to purchase them.

In addition, comparative studies between the H2 and its predecessor the H1 show a tremendous decline in practicality and an actual greater overall fuel-use per kilometer on average on the part of the latter.

The H1 was originally designed as a military vehicle to access remote and rough terrain, and, besides some complaints, generally does that well enough. The H2, however, has many limitations on use for rough terrain and off road, since its center of gravity is too high and its wheel balance ratio is too short.

In other words, where at least the H1 has some practical purpose for its existence, the H2 is little more than a gas guzzling show horse good for practically nothing except, as some others here have pointed out, showing off.

And that appears to be a problem with many SUV type models. With the exception of makes like the Chevy Suburban, which uses a traditional light truck chassis, most SUVs have a center of gravity and wheel span ratio that restricts their use in many off-road situations, since practicality for those purposes has given way to fashion and appearance.


Not surprising I guess. Purchasing cars have really become more about making a statement. Even Priuses.

quote:
But in terms of all the hype around eco-friendly fuel-efficient type vehicles, it appears most models that are marketed on that basis are under-performing what the sellers claim.

So much for truth in advertising.


I think the EPA acted on that memo a year back, if you look at the first article.

quote:
Original Article:

....the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second....

[ 21 April 2007: Message edited by: West Coast Greeny ]


From: Ewe of eh. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Québécois in the North
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posted 23 April 2007 09:14 AM      Profile for Québécois in the North     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sineed:
Though enviros have been concerned for years about the batteries in hybrids. If they don't make a cleaner battery, hybrids will be used to justify Hummer purchases (!)

I'm afraid that's the wrong attitude.

We just realised we've invented a machine that happens to be destroying the only planet Earth we have, and our reaction is 'Oh crap, now we'll have to make the machines a little less destructive than the pervious models so we can use them without feeling too bad about it'.

'Geez, I have a lung cancer. Maybe I should switch to light smokes'

'shit, I'm getting so obese it's dangerous for my life. For now on I'm drinking nothing but Diet Coke'

'Oh what a moron, I'm heading at 100 MpH right into a brick wall. I'm so downshifting to 90 MpH'

Ok, enough sarcasm... I'll just quote Jared Diamonds and leave it there:

" New technologies, whether or not they succeed in solving the problems that they were designed to solve, regularly create unanticipated new problems. [...] All of our current problems are unintended consequences of our existing technologies. What makes you think that, as of january 1st 2006, new technology will miraculously stop generating new problems while it just solves those it previously produced?"


From: Yellowknife | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 09 May 2007 06:57 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What the heck is a "crossover" SUV, anyone know? I'm seeing these ugly things advertised everywhere.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 14 December 2007 04:40 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This thread has been quiet for a while, so thought I'd revive it, just for the hell of it: biofuel Hummer in the works?

excerpt:

That Hummer plans to continue to downsize and create a Jeep Wrangler–sized H4 has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry. Each new Hummer entry has been smaller than the one before it.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
bliter
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posted 14 December 2007 08:07 PM      Profile for bliter   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To me, the idea is so ridiculous that I'm surprised that the thread took off at all. The intent was to smear the hybrid in comparing it to an anti-social, vehicular obscenity.

Cab drivers, I suspect, are much into the bottom line and for many, the Prius is their vehicle of choice.

I would never buy one, preferring to wait for a plug-in vehicle.


From: delta | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 14 December 2007 09:11 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a dumb thread, but fun.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 14 December 2007 10:06 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Certainly the majority of cabs here in Vancouver are now hybrids of one kind or another. One cabbie told me it saves him $1400/month in fuel costs.
From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged

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