I was talking to somebody about electric and hybrid cars recently. They told me that, over the life cycle of the car, hybrid cars (e.g. Toyota Prius)are actually worse for the environment than regular petrol/diesel cars!
Independent tests suggest that hybrid cars can pump out up to 56 per cent more carbon dioxide than the manufacturers claim, and that their fuel economy is (in some cases) comparable to a standard diesel car.[The Times]
I also heard that the batteries used in electric and hybrid cars are damaging to the environment.
Does anyone know if this is true? And what are the alternatives? How does Biofuel compare? And whatever happened to Ethanol cars? (I remember that Ford used to sell an ethanol-powered car in Brazil, because ethanol could be cheaply produced from the crops over there)
And has anyone actually tried running their car off chip fat?
i believe that a Prius is good for the environment, and all hybrid cars are a step in the right direction. Smog standards don’t change and the batteries can be recycled. So obviously hybrid cars are not worse on the environment.
who ever is saying all of those things are just trying to destroy hybrid cars popularity nowadays. what can be more destructable than the smokes being emitted all over the world by cars, busses, trucks that uses both gas and diesolines?
It is not good for the environment in countries where the batteries are made. It is beneficial for pollution where these cars are driven, and it is an effort, but batteries made for electric & hybrid cars cause so much pollution where they are made that in terms of one’s overall environmental impact, it would be worse to buy a hybrid or Prius over a secondhand car with good gas mileage, because of the overall battery life.
If we could manufacture a battery with a longer life, then the pollution may be offset, but because it does not have a long battery life currently, you could not offset the pollution caused by the battery/batteries in your lifetime.
But even if we were able to manufacture a battery with a longer life, we would still be transferring our pollution onto poorer people.
Please do not buy into the green washing. So many companies try to brand things as eco when they may in fact be harmful. Just like companies who put the pink logo for breast cancer on their products but do not donate to breast cancer research.
Do your own research if you are interested in your impact.
It’s also important to note that there are no perfect options, especially in this area, at this time. There are only less damaging ones.
Do your best, and if you already own a Prius, please do not feel guilty. You made the best choice you could given the information you had at the time.
My wife has a Nissan Leaf and in my humble opinion fully electric cars are much cleaner in every way than ignition engine cars.
With electric we don’t change the engine oil and filters every year, because there are none.
We don’t have to change the breaking pads as often because most of the time regenerative braking is used.
Soon we are going to install solar batteries on our rooftops so it will get even more greener.
Regarding the battery production and longevity - the new “Lizard” batteries do not degrade because of heat so the longevity is quite good.
There is another important factor the electric car does not vibrate when it is powered on but does not drive - so from a mechanical standpoint this is an enormous advantage for the longevity of the car as a whole.
Sorry for the belated post, but the findings are inconclusive. Some studies claim that the Prius is a good, healthy choice, whereas other studies suggest that the Prius is downright harmful. As of now, one can find studies to justify either position.
Hey rainman without actually referencing the studies it’s difficult to discuss the merits of each study.
If you can post a list of positive and a list of negative studies we can continue the discussion.
You know, I just logged in again, and I seem to find very few reports of the Prius being bad for the environment. A few years back, critics argued that the production of hybrids was extremely harmful to environment on account of the extent of CO2 emissions. Studies now seem to conclude that manufacturing a hybrid is less harmful than imagined. I’m looking for data that compares the manufacturing processes of hybrids and fuel-based cars. Do you have any studies about this? I am looking JSTOR, if that helps.