Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: San Freakshow
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If a person is really trying to do their part in saving the environment, I think they should look at the WHOLE picture with a hybrid. A hybrid's gas mileage and emissions are not the only thing to take a look at. The extra components in a hybrid also take more manufacturing and have emissions associated with making these extra parts. Example: They have 2 power plants... electric motor and gas engine. But for this, I'll just take one component... the high tech batteries and their manufacture and I'll use the batteries for the Toyota Prius...
Step #1... The nickel is mined in Sudbury, Ontario.
Step #2... The nickel ore is sent to Wales to be refined.
Step #3... The refined nickel is set to China to be made into nickel foam.
Step #4... The nickel foam is sent to Japan to be made into the battery.
Step #5... The batteries are sent to Toyota's assembly plants... some in the U.S.
Thus, the material for the battery has gone 90% around the world before it even gets into a car. Step #3 is what is a really big concern to me... China does not have the best environmental record nor any real pollution laws... So why does Toyota have this step done in China?? Answer... Cost. Without pollution laws, this step can be done cheaper in China than in other countries... at the cost of the global environment. So if Toyota tries to say they are a green company and that by driving their Prius you are helping to save the environment... it's just more auto industry BS they are trying to shove up our asses.
An alternative to the Prius might be the Jetta TDI. Gets quite good millage and is 40%-50% more efficient than gas. No extra heavy components that require extra manufacturing. Environmental impact is very very low when you consider the whole picture... manufacturing and on the road greenness.