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Could it really be so - that GM's Hummer is more than 40% greener than Toyota's Prius

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Could it really be so - that GM's Hummer is more than 40% greener than Toyota's Prius

Old 07-27-2007, 02:50 PM
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Default Could it really be so - that GM's Hummer is more than 40% greener than Toyota's Prius

Thanks to purnrg for this bit of news.



OTTAWA Could it really be so - that GM's Hummer is more than 40 per cent greener than Toyota's Prius? That Ford's F-Series pickup is greener? That GM's Silverado pickup is greener? That Dodge's Ram pickup is greener? That Cadillac's DTS, a full-sized luxury sedan with a V8 engine, is greener? Could it be, in fact, that seven different luxury-class automobiles are all greener - and that three of them are Cadillac models?

Well, indeed, it really could be. And, if so, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's new-car incentive program is a huge environmental mistake.

Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research Inc. has conducted the world's most comprehensive analysis of the "life cycle" energy requirements of more than 100 makes and models of cars and trucks. Given the thousands of parts and processes in the manufacturing and operation of cars, it was a complex task and took the company two years to complete. Volvo once tried to do it - and gave up in frustration (though it does publish "life cycle" analysis for its own makes).

CNW identified 4,000 "data points" for each car, ranging from the energy consumed in research and development to energy consumed in junkyard disposal. It calculated the electrical energy needed to produce each pound of parts. It calculated greenhouse gas emissions. It calculated mileage, too - adjusting for the differences between rush-hour Tokyo and rural America.

The company describes this exercise as "dust to dust" analysis. CNW has now published its second annual report, a 400-page production.

To keep it relatively free of technical jargon, the company expresses energy requirement as the dollar cost of energy for every mile across a vehicle's anticipated years of use - "U.S. dollars per lifetime mile." Thus it reports the lifetime energy requirement of a Hummer as $1.90 a mile; the lifetime energy requirement of a Prius as $2.86 a mile.

It reports by model name and by category. For 22 models of economy cars, the average lifetime energy cost is $0.85. For six models of pickup trucks, it's $2.58. For 14 models of smaller-sized sports utility vehicles, it's $2.07; for nine models of larger-sized SUVs, it's $3.98. For 10 models of gas-electric hybrids, it's $3.65.

Compare the SUVs against the hybrids and you get a sweep in favour of conventional technology. The best-rated smaller SUVs are more than twice as eco-friendly as the hybrids: Dodge's Durango, $1.57; Ford's Explorer, $1.61; Chevrolet's TrailBlazer, $1.61; Jeep's Grand Cherokee, $1.80.

More remarkably, one of the larger SUVs, Ford's Expedition, beats the hybrids with an eco-cost of $3.54.

CNW found wide differences, however, within classes of vehicles. For 18 models of luxury cars, the average energy cost is $4.45. Yet the best of these luxury cars are superior, in lifetime energy use, to hybrids.

The luxury cars that rival hybrids: Lincoln's Town Car, $2.66; Acura's RL, $2.80; Cadillac's CTS, $3.19; BMW's 5 Series, $3.19; Mercedes-Benz's E-Class, $3.48; Toyota Land Cruiser 80 series, $3.49; Cadillac's STS (Seville), $3.56; Cadillac's DTS (DeVille), $3.65.

CNW's assessment of the hybrids has irritated some of the car companies.

Toyota says that CNW credited Prius with only half its 200,000 lifetime miles. CNW says that Prius owners drive less than 7,500 miles a year - meaning that these cars will be scrapped long before they use their expected lifetime mileage (in 26 years). CNW says that hybrids fare poorly because of increased complexity. Honda's conventional Accord gets rated at $2.18; its Accord Hybrid gets rated at $3.29 - an environmental cost 50 per cent higher.

Take the batteries, for example. Toyota buys 1,000 tonnes of nickel a year from Ontario (mined and smelted in Sudbury). This nickel gets shipped to Wales for refining, then to China, for further processing, and then to Toyota's battery plant in Tokyo - a 10,000-mile trip, mostly by pe
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Could it really be so - that GM's Hummer is more than 40% greener than Toyota's Prius

Very revealing article. I enjoy telling Prius owners that I'm the one who is "saving the environment" by refusing to drive one of those disgusting hybrids. Any info on the hybrid versions of SUVs on how much they are costing in comparison to their conventional models?
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