Hybrid rant...

Hybrids (as in cars) are being marketed to us as being the solution to everything from environmental problems to the high fuel prices. The reason goes "I'll buy a hybrid car to save money."

Toyota Prius Hybrid costs $37,000 and uses 4.4l/100kms
Toyota Corolla costs $20,990 and uses 7.4l/100kms. But based on the national average of 14,600km/year, and pricing fuel at $1.5ol you'll need to drive the Prius for 25 years to recoup it's cost...*
"Arr" says the skeptic, "but the Prius pollutes less over that time" and you'd be right according to wheels the Prius pumps 1477kg CO2 into the atmosphere/year and the Corolla 2485kg. But this doesn't factor increased amount of energy required to produce the more expensive Prius nor the disposal of the batteries and nasty chemicals at the end of the life of the car.

On the other hand you could buy a $21,490 diesel powered Hyundai i30, that drinks 4.7l/100kms and will pump 1853kg of CO2 into the atmosphere (not that different to the Prius).

My point is this if you want to be green about cars. It's complex, very complex.

*I got these figures from a wheels magazine to which I subscribe.



Jonny said... 6/30/2008 3:58 pm  

The Prius has aluminium bonnet and boot lids, which saves a tiny bit of weight to increase efficiency. I know this because magnetic number plates do not stick to them. Making aluminium is not good for the environment.

A fully electric car would be ok, powered by Tasmanias hydro plants. But the tasmanian hydro system is on the limit as is, and can not power every car.

BSJ-rom said... 7/01/2008 9:39 pm  

The question is, is a coal fired power station powering our cars better than each car having an IC engine?

I read one book, published around the 50s or 60s, and it suggested that centralised pollution was better than the layer of smog that a city full of cars have. Then there's the question of which is more efficient. Again, a question for which I am qualified to try to find an answer, but not qualified yet to give one.

Anyway, bring on the wind farms...

Astrid said... 7/12/2008 5:29 pm  

good post, I'ld go with the corolla although I like to do things that reduce waste I think the green attack has gone overboard I mean there was a discussion on the news about which meat uses less green house gases to produce apparently green peace responsed by saying that being vegetarian is the way to eat to produce the lest green house gases. I won't even go in the proposal of fart tax in nz. Its embarrsing.

by the way jerome apparently wind mills cost and make a lot of green house gases for the energy they actually produce. although they are very cheap once installed

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