QUOTE (Nerb @ Oct 1 2009, 07:25 PM)
I find it odd that our government, while maintaining that it is in the best interest for our environment, markets these cars so much as if they are the best thing since sliced bread, and yet makes them so stupid expensive that no one can afford them, lol. Take the Camary for example, why pay that much extra for an "environmentally unobstrusive" car when I can get the same car that does minimal damage for tons less. I understand, well, perhaps I should say "assume", that they cost a little more to produce, but c'mon...and Brent, I'm sure you know much more about all this stuff than I do, I'm only guessing here. All I know is that those tree huggers must have the best jobs.....
The funny thing is that they really aren't much better for the environment. Take the Prius for example: the batteries in the Prius use massive amounts of nickel. The nickel is mined in Canada. Mining harms the environment of course. The raw materials (ore) are trucked using diesel trucks (which are, as of now, unregulated) to ports where it is loaded onto ships; ships that burn fuel that is one small step above crude oil (or is crude in some cases). The raw materials are then trucked to processing plants in Europe where the sponge nickel is produced. More trucking, and more pollution from the production of sponge iron. The sponge iron is then transported to Japan using a combination of diesel trucks and ships; more wasted energy and more pollution. In Japan, the batteries are completed producing still more pollution.
After the Prius reaches the end of its life (which is significantly shorter than a normal car) the batteries must be carefully recycled using even more energy and producing more pollution. The moral of this story is, if you want a fuel efficient car that is easy on the environment, by a Yaris, not a Prius. The additional energy used and pollution created by the production of a Prius negates most, if not all, of it's benefit.
In SoCal, Prius's are very popular. They are a status symbol. "Oh, I'm saving the environment 'cause I drive a Prius", "I'm progressive and environmentally friendly!" Bullshit. On a regular basis, while I am on the freeway, some douche bag in a Prius goes flyin' past me at 90 or so. I'm sure he is getting awesome gas mileage! Check this video out, it's hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKTOyiKLARk
Here is an interesting read also: http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveener...F%20VERSION.pdf
This report purports that the Hummer H1 is more environmentally friendly than a Prius on a 'dust to dust' basis. They made some questionable assumptions but the point remains the same: the Prius is not all that it cracked up to be from an environmentally friendly standpoint. There was an opposing study that sought to disprove this study but it failed to do so (IMO) for the same reasons they claimed that the original study was invalid.