The Prius Effect

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by alib, Jul 10, 2011.

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  1. On Freakonomics “Conspicuous Conservation” and the Prius Effect
    The podcast is interesting. They quote the Southpark Smug Alert episode which I recall watching in SF. The Bay Area has a great deal of Conspicuous Conservation, typified not so much by the pious Prius but a vast SUV's with a bike rack and eco stickers.

    It's not just the GORE-TEX wearers of the Bear State. This happens on a large scale as well, Europe's towering wind farms pouring their output into decrepit national grids comes to mind.
  2. My wife has a very nice Honda Logo supermini, 2001 model, 1350cc, seats 5 and does 45mpg.

    Was down the dealer recently and they tried to sell me on the green wonderfulness of the new Honda Jazz Hybrid…

    Blah, blah, seats five, 1350cc engine, does 48mpg, saves polar bears etc…

    As I pointed out to the sales wallhah, I'd have to drive to the moon and back to recover my £17,000 investment if all it was saving me was 3mpg.

    'Green' is nothing but a racket.
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  3. Sorry, I thought it said Priapus effect ............ which to me is interesting
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  4. There's no real difference with hybrids. You can get better mileage out of them, but you have to really work at it. I drove a Prius as a company car for 16 months and did just over 62k. Over the period I got 43mpg. I then moved to a 2l diesel Avensis. 48k miles later, I got 44mpg.

    Driving "economically", ie braking less, driving slower, accelerating more gently etc, I probably could have got better out of the Prius but life's too short for that.
  5. The Toyota Pious is a bad joke.
    It isn't environmentally or economically friendly. It has a probable lifespan of about 10 years at which point the battery pack will need replacing. The battery pack will at that point cost more than the vehicles value.
    That battery pack is packed to the gills with all sorts of nasty materials which are very difficult to recycle or dispose of.
    The Pious burns more fuel than your average small diesel into the bargain.

    Environmentaly friendly my arse. My diesel Discovery with a likely lifespan of 20 years is greener, even if it does burn 30% more fuel.
  6. I read somewhere that going for a 20 year old Toyota without all the crap loaded on it was much more ecologically sound than the Prius gimmick. The whole idea of green driving is deeply suspect but it seems to sell motors to sandle wearing folk.
  7. Aye and I can easily get 45mpg out of my merc 2.2l. It's just a scam and hybrids are very expensive.

  8. Prius battery pack will cost toy £5k when it dies.

    It was found that the most 'green' , if you include whole life costs, car on the roads of the US was IIRC, a Jeep Cherokee as they have a average life of 20+ years.
  9. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    I read that it was a Range Rover. But the same fundamentals apply: drive a sturdy 4x4 on the road and it'll last forever.

    A Canadian consultancy did a study a few years back on what makes a car 'green' to come up with that answer. The 'againsts' in terms of the Prius were quite telling.

    The study looked at everything, from where materials are sourced to build vehicles, to the journeys which the assembly workers make to and from work.

    The nickel in the batteries is only mined on a major scale in a very small number of places in the world, so it has to cross the oceans and back again to be incorporated into the car and then shipped to market. That has to be factored in. The battery powerplant itself only had a rated life of 100,000 miles at the time of the study, whereas a hydrocarbon engine will do several times that. And then there's the recycling issue.

    To keep weight down, the Prius is constructed of lightweight metals which are both energy-hungry to make initially and then expensive/awkward to recycle - unlike the Cherokee/Range Rover.

    The study caused howls of protest but underlined that fuel consumption isn't the only part of the carbon footprint. Hybrids might make better sense in stop-start urban traffic but their fuel performance is unremarkable on motorways by comparison with some modern, conventionally powered vehicles.

    It all makes a mockery of New Labour's stimulus package on car prices being 'green'; they should've just said that it was what it was - an economic kick-starter - and left it at that. There's no way that it's greener to replace (for instance) an old Ford Escort with 180,000 miles on the clock and year of life left with a state-of-the-art VW Polo. You have to factor in the manufacturing, and then you got a few years of catch-up to play with the newer, 'greener' car. Much better to manage people's journeys by, say, encouraging people to work from home or use other modes of transport... including walking.
  10. The biggest problem with hybrid cars is disposal of them when time expired or after a serious accident. They cannot be taken to the nearest recycling centre for scrapping as they are so full of contaminants and pollutants. The nearest centre to me that can recycle one safely is in Niort (Recupyl SAS), over four hundred kilometres away. It is all very well building such a vehicle, but until we have the means of safely recycling the same we should be very wary. So I am told the only people in the UK that can recycle these vehicles safely is European Metal Recycling (Warrington) with branches throughout the country.
  11. 14 year old Toyota Landcruiser - 26 - 29 mpg from a 4.2 TD with 150k on the clock - design life of Landcruiser 500k miles and mine has no rust so should make 400k + .... green motoring at its best and it pisses off the local tree huggers ;-) ,
  12. I'm not sure the saving to the planet is worth looking like an even bigger nob than a Prius driver.
  13. I've got an old Megane diesel that always knocks out well over 70mpg. It may look like a duck's arse, but it's a whole lot better than a Prius when it comes to saving the planet, and while my dick's still working, I don't need a car as a cock substitute.
  14. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Now I'm mining the deepest, darkest recesses of my memory here, but I'm sure I read that one of the big German Green groups awarded in 2008 or 2009 the car that was the least polluting to the environment. And the award didn't go to a hybrid (which is a dead technology anyway). It went to the E Class Merc. Basically cos the design had an absolute minimum of plastic, aluminium alloy and exotic materials,m the rubber was sourced as "ethically" as possible and something like 90% of the steel was sourced less than 200 miles from the facoty (mostly recycled).

    Fact is the manufacturing process of a modern car accounts for around half of the pollution produced in its life. When the car in question requires exotic rare eath permanent magnets for the electric motors, fairly exotic battery packs with all kinds of rare earths and nasty chemicals in, HUGE quantities of alluminium alloys that need an entire power station to smelt AND they have a life span of less that half a conventionally fuelled car then the odds get hugely stacked against...
  15. Well, my old TRiumph is now 43 years old, now THAT'S green for you!
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