Thursday, March 15, 2007

Prius vs. Hummer

I knew it! Here's proof that the Hummer is better for the environment than a Prius!

I told you: I bought mine for the gadgets and because I think it's a nice car. Let the tree-huggers drive around in their big, self-righteous Hummers; I've got the NRA on my side. And the Prius is better looking!


patridiot said...

The article seems flawed to me. I'm not gullible enough to believe the average "life-span" of a Prius is 100k and the Hummer is 300k. The study entirely ignores factors such as the increaed damage larger vehicles have on the roadways, requiring more road construction. It fails to comment on how larger vehicles create lower gas mileage for other vehicles by causing more traffic congestion. Research has found fewer vehicles can pass through stoplight intersections as a result of restricted visibility created by the larger SUVs. While the piece does mix some truths with the mis-truths, really now, aren't we being a little naive to swallow this one? Pity those who rush out to buy a Hummer, thinking they're helping the environment and getting a vehicle to last them 300,000 miles.

wallofcheese said...

The original article is an opinion piece (i.e., no fact-checking) for a college newspaper that publishes wild claims in a pathetic attempt to draw attention to itself. In February, The Recorder published "Rape only hurts if you fight it" and now in March, "Prius outdoes hummer." This newspaper and this article are garbage.

1. Regarding new EPA mileage estimates, Demorro claims the Chevy Aveo's mileage puts it within "spitting distance" of the Prius. The new EPA combined mileage put the Chevy Aveo at 26 mpg, the Toyota Prius at 46 mpg. So I guess 20 miles more per gallon is "spitting distance."

2. The "Dust-to-dust" study is from a marketing firm, not a science journal. It arrives at an artificially high cost for the Prius by assigning it an arbitrary lifespan of 100k miles, and a Hummer 300k miles. There's Prius being used as cabs that have 200k on them now.

And, insofar as a car lasting, what car do you expect to repair less? A Toyota Prius or a GM Hummer? You can check Consumer Reports for the answer to that one. A good analysis of the flaws in dust-to-dust is available at TrueDelta.

3. The Sudbury info is seriously outdated, and the comment about moon buggies (like, when did Nasa test moon buggies — early 1970’s) ought to have given the author a clue. Sudbury was polluted by a century of mining (1870 on). In fact, some of Sudbury’s nickel went into making the Statue of Liberty. Currently, the mine is owned by INCO (not Toyota), and produces 100,000 tons of nickel a year, of which Toyota buys 1% (1000 tons). Blaming Toyota for the pollution at Sudbury is ludicrous. Nickel, by the way, is primarily used to make stainless steel. The Mail on Sunday newspaper, which ran the story the college article is a thin re-write of (visible here ), used a stock photo you can buy online taken in 1994 to illustrate the pollution (visible here ). There were, of course, no Prius in existence or being manufactured in 1994.

Furthermore, Sudbury is no longer this polluted, as INCO and the city have planted over 8 million trees there since 1979. The best history online of the Sudbury devastation/reforestation comes from GM Canada -- that's GM, maker of the Hummer, ahem, writing about how Sudbury was polluted and how it has come back. Really, one should blame Chicago more than Toyota, as Sudbury's trees were all cut down in 1871 to help rebuild Chicago after the fire. GM provides telling photos of some of the reclamation from 1979 to present.

Canadian news recently broadcast a show on Sudbury's regreening. The acid rain problem David Martin of Greenpeace is talking about is the situation pre 1972.

The author of this article, Demorro, is so inaccurate with his facts that in his follow-up piece he recommends people buy a Tesla Roadster for $30,000. The Tesla Roadster actually costs $92,000. The guy can't even get the list price of a car right; I seriously wouldn't trust his opinion on hybrids.

For further info, see Prius Versus HUMMER: Exploding the Myth at The Car Connection

Richard Sprague said...

Thanks for the comments. Obviously, that Hummer article was there to tease people. But the bigger point is that (1) don't just listen to Toyota's marketing department if you want to know how "good" a car is, and (2) focus on what you really need in a vehicle. I like the Prius for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with how much I "care" about the environment. Hummer people can "care" too.