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December 05, 2006

Interesting Number

Is this actually true?

This comes just as a survey finds that a Range Rover Sport is 25 per cent greener than a Toyota Prius, if you include the energy involved in manufacturing.

Most amusing if it is.

December 5, 2006 in Environmentalism | Permalink


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Here's a link: independent story.

It makes sense: economies of scale, lifespan of batteries, etc. But it really depends on how much of a car's energy use is in its manufacture:

"The Americans say 80 per cent of the energy a car uses is accounted for by manufacture and 20 per cent in use: Toyota claims the reverse."

Posted by: Gary | Dec 5, 2006 8:43:22 AM

I was going to guess that the batteries would have something to with it. Isn't the nickel smelting deforesting Ontario or something?

Posted by: Mark Holland | Dec 5, 2006 8:51:03 AM

This story went around about six months ago with the H2 instead of the range rover. Some auto engineers I know said that the figures seemed broadly right, but that it was still somewhat misleading because the types of energy used in creating the Prius were generally less polluting. It isn't 25% greener, a meaningless statement. It uses 25% less energy. OTOH, a lot of the environmental cost of the Prius (and apparently a decent chunk of the energy use) arises from the difficulty in disposing of the rare metals et. al. involved in its battery. I'd have thought you'd be the person to turn to to judge those bits for their plausibility.

Tim adds: I don't actually know what is in their batteries. Nickel would be recycled, Don't think anyone is using cadmium any more. Maybe Lithium? That tends to be costly to dispose of, yes.

Posted by: James of England | Dec 5, 2006 8:59:19 AM

"the types of energy used in creating the Prius were generally less polluting": eh? They use only nuclear energy? Where do they build it, then?

Posted by: dearieme | Dec 5, 2006 9:20:01 AM

Presumably in Japan, whose grid is almost entirely nuclear. Smartarse. Also, can you tell the difference between electricity and oil?

Prius batteries are NiMHs. The next step is lithium-ion.

Posted by: Alex | Dec 5, 2006 12:17:38 PM

NiMH batteries don't hold a charge very well when not being used. Does this mean if you don't use your prius for a week your batteries go flat?

Posted by: zorro | Dec 5, 2006 12:45:08 PM