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Hummer Greener Than Prius? 920

Posted by kdawson
from the buy-a-Scion-xB dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a story from Central Connecticut State University, claiming that a Prius takes more energy to manufacture than a Hummer — 50% more. In addition, the article claims that the Prius costs $3.25 per mile over its expected lifespan of 100,000 miles compared to $1.95 per mile for the Hummer. The article gets its data from a study by CNW Marketing called Dust to Dust, which is an attempt to account for all the costs of vehicles, from manufacture through operation through repair and disposal. The $3.25/mile cost quoted for the Prius is the 2005 number; for 2006 it is $2.87. This improvement pulled the Prius below the straight industry average — all the other hybrids are still above that average. And the Hummer is not listed at all for 2006. Update: 03/21 00:44 GMT by J : You might want to take those figures with a grain of salt; I don't think anyone's seen the supporting data. Read on for details.

J adds:

The Prius's mediocre cost-per-mile is due mainly to CNW Research assigning the car a short expected lifetime: 109,000 miles. Nobody knows where this number comes from because CNW has not published details about its derivation. If a car will not last very long, then of course its energy cost per mile is high.

Back in July 2006, when CNW's study "Dust to Dust" had just been published (and which remains, unchanged, the original source for today's news), I emailed its president, Art Spinella:

Hello,

I'm with the tech news and discussion site Slashdot.org. One of our readers submitted a story about your Dust to Dust study.

According to Wikipedia, the Prius comes with a 150,000 mile warranty in California and a few other states; 100,000 elsewhere.

On p. 21 and p. 40 of your report I see that you estimate the average Prius will be "removed from the streets... and sent for disposal" at 109,000 miles. Can you explain how you arrived at this figure?

Thank you.

I did not receive a reply.

My question was about the cost-per-mile denominator; here's another critique questioning the numerator.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hummer Greener Than Prius?

Comments Filter:
  • wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crvtec (921881) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:23PM (#18419143)
    Since when does manufacturing cost/cost over life equal friendly to the environment?
    • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OwnedByTwoCats (124103) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:26PM (#18419197)
      Especially when the comparison assumes up front that the Hummer will last 3x longer than the Prius. Makes the Hummer's per mile figure a lot better than it would be in an honest comparison.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spun (1352)
      Energy, not cost. I think energy used equates pretty well with environmental cost, unless the Prius factory is using some cleaner form of energy.

      I don't necessarily think the report is accurate, but it is a fact that current battery technology is not only energy intensive to manufacture, but environmentally burdensome as well.

      The Prius was never for real environmentalists anyway. It's for lazy yuppies who want to put out an environmentally conscious image. Real environmentalists live close to work, bike, or
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UbuntuDupe (970646) *
        Not that I disagree with living close to work and all, but have you every noticed how every time an environmentalist idea is debunked, someone points out that real environmentalists don't support that?

        "If env's want to cut down on CO2 emissions, why don't they support nuclear?"
        "Oh well, real env's are all about nuclear."

        "Solar panels are often worse for the environment once you consider manufacturing and design life."
        "Oh well, real env's can see through all the solar propaganda."

        "Priuses are actually worse
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spun (1352)
          Where are you getting those ideas about environmentalists from? Who is saying those things?

          Having been an environmental, labor, and political activist for many years, I can tell you the things that I have heard from people who put their money where their mouth is, environmentally speaking:

          Nuclear power is less polluting, if the storage and safety issues can be worked out. You'll find the people who really oppose nuclear power are suburban NIMBYists who just don't want a nuke plant in THEIR backyard.

          Solar pa
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            Your CFL argument makes no sense, maybe you could explain it better? Because it sounds like you are saying that no one should ever try to reduce energy usage, as it will always be futile. Is that what you are saying?

            What he's saying, which is absolutely true, is that it makes more sense to simply charge everyone for their emissions. If you are one of the ones buying alternative energy credits, then you don't have to pay them. Or at least, you pay less (building and maintaining the alternative energy source

            • Re:wtf? (Score:4, Informative)

              by syphax (189065) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:53PM (#18420889) Journal

              It's becoming an old saw that anything that is energy efficient must take more energy to manufacture than it saves over its lifetime.

              This is rarely accompanied by numbers.

              Take CFLs: A good CFL lasts many times longer than an incandescent, but let's be conservative and say 3k hours for the CFL, 750 for the incandescent. That is conservative. Over that 3k hours, a 15W CFL will save 135 kWh compared to the incandescent. That's $13 at retail electricity rates, $6.50 at industrial rates. CFLs generally cost less than this to *buy*, so you can be damn sure the energy input is less than 135kWh. And that's not even considering the inputs to make, transport, etc. 4 incandescents.

              There's no way the upfront energy costs of a CFL offset its savings. BTW same for PV; energy payback is ~2 years for something with a 20-50 lifetime. And that's with standard silicon; go thin-film or CIGS and its better. Wind turbines have a faster energy payback. And so on.

        • Re:wtf? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ClassMyAss (976281) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:53PM (#18420891) Homepage
          I take your point - many of the commonly accepted green ideas are currently not at the point of viability, especially once you consider the costs, both environmental and economic, that go into creating these "solutions." However, they tend to lie very close to the point where the costs are cancelled out by the benefits, and are extremely young technologies which by their nature are far less efficient and far more costly than they would be if they left the single digit percentages of adoption. Conventional means of energy production are extremely mature, and hence optimized to the point where further gains are almost impossible to envision.
      • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jimmyfergus (726978) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:12PM (#18420095)

        The Prius was never for real environmentalists anyway. It's for lazy yuppies who want to put out an environmentally conscious image.

        I came to that conclusion when I did a calculation of the energy saved by turning off my computer when I wasn't at work. It's amazing how many people leave them on all night to save minor hassle (I know sometimes there good reasons, but not for most cases where I see it).

        I worked out turning my one work computer off as I leave the office keeps about 1 ton of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere (workings below), plus an amount of mercury and other pollution, assuming the electricity here comes from coal. It takes 100 gallons of gasoline to produce 1 ton of CO2. Please correct me if I'm wrong

        • My machine: a twin Xeon, draws 140W at idle. More efficient machines may draw little more than half of that. Laptops, significantly less again.
        • If it's off 15 hours at night and all weekend: 123 hours
        • Coal generation produces about 2.3lb CO2 per KW/h (reference [ornl.gov])

        0.140 * 123 * 52 * 2.3 = 2059lb

        • CO2 per gallon of gasoline: ~19.4lb (reference [epa.gov])

        therefore 2059 lb is produced by around 106 gallons of gasoline.

        That's about how much I'd save if I had a Prius (I do ~8000 miles/year). Sure, many people do more, and have more efficient computers, but it puts it in perspective.

  • Not true (Score:5, Funny)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:23PM (#18419149) Journal
    Hummers may be more energy efficient, but how are they supposed to make you feel morally superior to others?

    Think about it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mdm-adph (1030332)
      It was a non-issue for the data, since the genital superiority factor effectively nullifies it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *
      > but how are they supposed to make you feel morally superior to others?

      Exactly. The primary purpose of the current generation of hybrids is to make their smug owners FEEL like they are helping the environment. And since there was apparently a pretty big untapped market selling feel good cars to pompous greens, Toyota has made a killing with the Prius. Looks like good marketing to me.

      And who knows, perhaps enough will be learned by the widespread deployment of these current hybrids that future generat
      • I think it will (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:57PM (#18419811)
        And I'm a supporter of hybrids of that reason. I don't own one (my old car works fine) but I do think they are a technology that will be good for efficiency increases eventually. I mean we have to consider that this is essentially generation one technology. It will take time to get better. Look at the internal combustion engine to see the massive amount of progress there's been. While hybrids might not see as much, I think they will see large increases as the tech is refined.

        Also there's other factors that may end up being useful. Electric motors produce nearly 100% torque from the word go, whereas ICEs need to operate at a higher speed for maximum torque. So if we changed up the way a car worked and had electric motors directly drive the wheels and the engine drive a generator, you'd have a car (or truck) with tons of low end torque. Also that allows for the use of a smaller, single speed engine. You can make a much more optimised engine if it only need to run at a single RPM rather than being variable. Of course there's losses from the mechanical-electrical-mechanical conversion, so that's something that has to be overcome.

        That's actually how modern diesel trains work. Their power-plant doesn't drive the wheels, it drives a generator that powers electric motors. Hybrid locomotives seem to be quite a winner since there's already the conversion cycle, and adding 2000 pounds of batteries isn't really significant in the scope of a train weighing 5 million pounds or more.

        So I'm happy that this technology is being developed, but you are right that people need to have a big glass of perspective and soda. They are NOT more efficient over all. They aren't even cheaper to you. Get a Toyota Corolla 5-speed manual if you want efficiency. Even if gas were $4/gallon, it'd still be cheaper over the life of the car than a Prius. Or hell, if you can swing the smaller size, get a Smart Fortwo.

        If you want a hybrid that's great, I'm glad you are helping to support the research, but do be realistic about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        Exactly. The primary purpose of the current generation of hybrids is to make their smug owners FEEL like they are helping the environment. And since there was apparently a pretty big untapped market selling feel good cars to pompous greens, Toyota has made a killing with the Prius. Looks like good marketing to me.

        Well of course it's mostly about image and Toyota's bank roll. Yet I think it's hard to argue that the Prius isn't more environmentally friendly. This study does it by assuming a Prius will only
    • Re:Not true (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MindStalker (22827) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reklatsdnim.> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:34PM (#18419365) Journal
      They stated the Prius last 100K and that the Hummer last 300K miles.
      They then take energy cost of production and divide by these numbers to get cost per mile
      HAHA BULLSHIT! Reading the study they take very elaborate measure to get an exact accurate cost of each vehicle in terms of energy. Then they pull this shit. The Prius batteries are well known to last 200K miles and more. And only the military Hummers last 300K miles the commercial version doesn't even come close.

      Reading the data makes me laugh
      • Re:Not true (Score:4, Informative)

        by ThosLives (686517) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:40PM (#18419501) Journal

        I also like the fact that they say "any physicist will tell you it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving".

        So, what they're saying is, the majority of the tank of gas I use on a 400 mile trip is getting my car from a stop up to highway speed.

        I think I'm going to vomit now.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:26PM (#18419207)
    The question is what type of eneregy is used, and how much is producted from the energy source. Automobiles are a lot more energy effecient then say a human. But they give off polution that is less "green" or more difficult for the environment to handel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      Automobiles are a lot more energy effecient then say a human. But they give off polution that is less "green" or more difficult for the environment to handel.

      Actually, either way it's mostly CO2. However, humans come with free carbon-offsetting credit: since we're ultimately fuelled by carbon from plants, which got it by absorption from the atmosphere, then what we exhale we're simply putting back where we originally found it. Cars on the other hand are putting back into circulation carbon that has been b

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah. However the Prius is made, they're not the cars putting a coat of pollution on my tongue whenever I bike downtown or giving children and the elderly respiratory problems.

      Now excuse me while I go smash my bike lock into some Hummer's tail-light.
  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fred fleenblat (463628) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:26PM (#18419209) Homepage
    You don't get 300,000 miles of use out of a hummer.

    Correct that down to a more realistic 120,000 and the rest of the article's conclusions crumble.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pete.com (741064)
      120,000 are you kidding? My Suburban has 220,000 on it now, still passes emissions, and runs like a champ. If properly maintained V-8 engines last a very long time.
      • by FatSean (18753)
        Remember, light trucks get a pass on pollution from the Auto-Industry-Friendly US government. Their emissions standards are much more lax than a passaenger car.

        What year is your truck?

      • Re:BS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 2short (466733) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:06PM (#18420007)
        What does being a V8 have to do with anything? My flat 4 has over 500K on it.

        In any case, the article assumes the Hummer will go 300K and the Prius 100K. Assuming the drivers have similar maintenance habits, etc. one of these assumptions is stupid. Given this basic level of rigging in their comparison, am I expected to beleive the many other numbers they throw about?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e2d2 (115622)
      You don't get 300,000 miles of use out of a hummer.

      Tell that to the US Army. I was driving hummers in 92 in the Army and I'm pretty sure that although some are new, a lot are not. The Army won't throw away a lollipop stick if they think they can get just one more lick!

      During the trials of the hummer it was driven by the DoD over 600k miles. With proper maintanence the hummer can last to 300k. But most people treat their vehicles like shit, hence they won't get the same lifetime mileage.

      Hummer never impresse
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        They are not the same hummers.

        THe new ones today are just junky old cheverolet trucks with a hummer frame bolted on it. Got to love the beancounters who thought of this?

  • $3.25/mile??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mendenhall (32321) * on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:29PM (#18419247)
    OK, this has got to be a seriously flawed study, for any car! $3.25/mile over 100,000 miles means I will have spent $325,000 on car maintenance in the lifetime of my Prius. Does anyone find this number just a bit untenable? Even for a Hummer, this number is untenable.

  • Old News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnotherHiggins (925608) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:29PM (#18419261)
    A) I first read about this 'study' several months ago

    B) I couldn't find any information about "CNW Marketing" other than *suggestions* that they are a oil-funded group (nothing concrete, though).

    So who the fuck is CNW Marketing and why should their study be given any credence? Was it published in a peer-reviewed journal? (Not that BS doesn't ever make it into perr-reviewed journals....)

  • Good to see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by solevita (967690) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:30PM (#18419269)
    It's good to see some comment on the (carbon) manufacturing costs of new cars. I heard some advice the other day that said if you wanted to help the environment, you should buy a new car, because they're more fuel efficient and produce less nasty chemicals. Great advice, if it wasn't for the facts that:

    1: Emissions are created during the manufacture of a car. And
    2: What happens to your old car? You're likely to sell it to someone that keeps using it, i.e. that car keeps producing harmful emissions, just for somebody else.

    If you wanted to help the environment, you wouldn't buy a new car, you'd keep an old one running as efficiently as you could and remember that there's more to carbon emissions than simply what you're doing right now. No man is an island, after all.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:31PM (#18419279) Journal

    As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the 'dead zone' around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

    The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius' battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist's nightmare.

    "The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside," said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.
    I thought this was old news & that the situation on the ground had changed since the 1970's and 1980's.

    As an aside, the plant produce 130,000 tonnes (is that metric or imperial) annually.
    The 1,000 that goes towards Prius batteries is negligible
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, I'm from Sudbury (hello from the land of good beer and snow, eh?) and Inco has instituted massive re-greening projects since back in the 70's. Also, a large amount of the damage done to the area has less to do with modern smelting, being the result of the old HUGE open-pit smelting (aka heap roasting) heated by many thousands or maybe even millions of trees cut from the local forest. As far as i know, that type of practice went out in the 20's. The sulfur-dioxide would then just float away as a cl
    • As the AC said, INCO has done a heck of a clean-up job in the past 3 decades. The comment about moon rovers was true - in 1969. NASA hasn't built a moon rover in decades anyway, which shows just how old this info is.

      I last drove through Sudbury in the mid 90s. The trees do get noticably shorter the closer you get to the smelter, but the 'dead zone' is history.

      I actually took this story half-seriously until reading your comment. With disinformation like that, I think we can all dismiss this as .. well, stupi
  • nonsense (Score:5, Funny)

    by rkww (675767) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:31PM (#18419285)

    As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving

    But I'm an engineering major, and I can tell you that that's only the case if you ignore air resistance.

  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:32PM (#18419307) Homepage Journal
    When gasoline goes to $5.00 a gallon, it makes for a better garden shed than a Prius. Or a better place to sleep, if you bought your house with a interest-only loan.

    * * *

    So, is the Prius like a power plant in Sim City 2000? The second it hits 100,000 miles it falls apart?

    Who made this crap up, the Club For Growth, the American Enterprise Institute, or the Hummer Fans of America?
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:33PM (#18419323) Homepage
    While the part about the manufacture of the batteries is interesting, to say that a Hummer uses less energy than a Prius is misleading at best and propaganda at worst. The mistake that is makes is to assume that all energy usage is the same when of course it isn't. When the issue is the environment, there are types of energy that are better for the environment than others. The article is acting as if burning old tires and solar energy were exactly the same when they aren't. Without more details on the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes used in each vehicle, this article is only useful for raising questions and making people who own Hummers feel good about themselves.
  • by CapsaicinBoy (208973) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:38PM (#18419453)
    Oh man, How many times do we need to go over the flawed assumptions and conclusions from the CNW Marketing analysis.

    First, it incorrectly assumes that hybrid batteries are not recycled. In reality, Toyota has very successful recycling program, including a $200 bounty on Prius batteries.

    Second, it is interesting that TFA mentions the Scion xB. Yet it fails to note that the CNW report data on the xA and xB don't make any sense. They are built on the same assembly line, have the same powertrains, only differ in weight by 50 lbs or so, and have similar efficiency (~35mpg), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to differ by 50 percent. How's that work?

    Third, the CNW report makes really bad assumptions about where the bulk of lifecycle energy use occurs (eg manufacturing vs operation).

    In short, it's misinformed at best and is more likely an intentional greenwash to assuage SUV owner dissonance in a post 9/11 world.

    Disclaimer: I drive a biodiesel powered Jetta TDI, not a hybrid.
  • by jonniesmokes (323978) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:40PM (#18419523)
    While some of the numbers might be arguable, the whole article misses the point of any new technology argument.

    -- First movers on new technology almost always are paying more and using more energy than their stick in the mud Hummer counterparts; the *hope* of the new technology is that with increased production efficiency it'll eventually become a good move. This is the argument of ethanol, bio-diesel, solar panels, hybrid cars, etc. The fact that they do more near term environmental damage than their conservative counterparts doesn't mean they shouldn't be explored on a low volume basis.

    I do agree with the article though that a truly economical car is better for the pocket book and the environment without having to bet on the environmental returns of a new technology. But what Prius owners are doing is spending all this money and subsidizing en masse Toyota's research of building hybrid cars. I applaud them for doing so. That's something the article misses entirely. In this sense, the Hummer is certainly not more environmentally friendly than a Prius (because the Prius is a search for a better solution).

    What the article doesn't mention is that mass transit and bicycles are way further down on the cost / mile and environmental damage than any of these cars. But that would be thinking outside the box.
  • Impossible Numbers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by diakka (2281) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:49PM (#18419669)
    TFA claims that the prius costs $3.25 per mile over the course of 100,000 miles. The car must therefore cost $325,000 to own over the lifetime of the car. That sounds pretty impossible to me. I think somebody miscounted a zero when they were doing the math.
  • or any general motors product for that matter.

    the article might have been interesting if the author wasn't pounding a drum and actually did an apples to apples comparison, i.e. prius to corolla or camry hybrid to camry regular...
  • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:00PM (#18419901) Homepage Journal

    Dozens of environmentalist blogs have picked apart this "study" and have found it to be lacking. Two [treehugger.com] responses [autobloggreen.com]. The gist of it is that they underestimated the Prius' lifespan and overestimated the amount of energy it takes.

    And a big red flag for every Slashdot reader is that CNW is a "market research" institute. Do you trust marketdroids to make engineering assessments?

  • by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:03PM (#18419969)
    I was figuring this out a while back. If you keep your Prius for 100,000 miles at about 50mpg that is 2,000 gallons of gas. At $3.00/gal that's $6,000 in fuel. If a none Hybrid gets even 25 mpg (mine gets 30+) that's 4,000 gallons of gas or $12,000. So the Prius saves you $6,000 in gas and costs about $10,000 more than a comparable non-hybrid. I think I'll pass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spoke (6112)
      What makes you think that a car comparable to the Prius is $10k less? Perhaps if you compare the Prius to the Yaris, but they aren't even in the same class of vehicle.

      If you directly compare something like a Civic to a Civic hybrid, you will find that the price difference is much lower.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zzyzx (15139)
      You forgot to subtract the $3150 tax refund they were giving last year.

      I didn't buy the car to save money though, I bought it to use less of a declining resource.
  • Used car (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hlimethe3rd (879459) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:17PM (#18420165)
    Just buy a used car. It's been known for a while that a Prius is a lot worse cost-wise and environment-wise at the manufacturing stage. If it's worse over it's whole lifetime than a different new car depends on the assumptions made. Those in this article seem pretty poor, but better assumptions don't always make the Prius come out ahead. Buying a used car avoids all that, and is by far the best choice for the environment. Which is better: spending $25k to bring yet another Prius into the world, or $5k on a 10-year old Civic that gets 70% the mpg. $20k buys a lot of carbon offsets.
  • by SheldonLinker (231134) <sol@linker.com> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:23PM (#18420293) Homepage
    I have a Prius with 46,000 miles it. I average 52MPG. Gas costs $3.13 today. Here are my total costs:

    Purchase: $26,000 or so. That's 56.5 per mile.
    Gas: 6 per mile.
    Oil: 0.5 per mile.
    Tires: 1 per mile.

    TOTAL: 64 per mile, so far.

    If I threw the thing away today, and bought a new one (which I'm not likely to do, so don't check my dumpster), that would still be 64 per mile. Assuming it will last 250,000 miles, like the rest of my Toyotas, the cost will be WAY lower.
  • by mvea (158406) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:42PM (#18420687) Homepage
    Any real 4x4 like a Jeep Wrangler or the Hummer H1 are greener than everything else on the road for one very obvious reason: neither vehicle requires the world be covered in asphalt. A Prius or any other eco-friendly, high MPG vehicle on the other hand isn't going to get very far without chopping down forests, blasting through mountain ranges and otherwise laying waste to the environment for a "road".

    http://www.omninerd.com/ [omninerd.com]
  • Re Dust to Dust (Score:4, Insightful)

    by howard2004 (767448) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @04:56PM (#18420923)
    I am disappointed by the comments about this report - if you take time and read the original report "dust to dust" I believe it raises some very pertinent points. It does not say "Hummer good Prius bad", to quote Animal Farm, but rather it points out that the simple MPG figures are not the only environmental costs that we should consider. There is an environmental impact in manufacturing, maintaining and scrapping any vehicle that is also real and needs to be accounted for. The figures in the report may be wrong, but the logic is correct - it is feasible that a simple and easily repaired long life vehicle could have a lower environmental impact than a very high technology vehicle with a much shorter life span. On the subject of vehicles like the Prius, if I recall the document correctly, it highlights that it is an early example of hybrid technology which is still being developed. As a result currently they are not as environmentally friendly as the headlines would have us believe, but in future this will most certainly change. The report indicates that by their measurements the most environmentally friendly vehicles available today is a small Toyota car.
  • by doctor_no (214917) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @06:09PM (#18422033)
    This is actually an incredibly old study from a CNW market research which is shady for-hire "market research" group that promotes the views of the client (Think about all those Microsoft-funded studies depicted Linux being incredibly expensive).

    http://www.cnwmr.com/ [cnwmr.com]

    http://www.cnwmarketingresearch.com/ [cnwmarketingresearch.com]

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