Re: [asa] Hummer vs Prius comparison

From: PvM <>
Date: Sun Mar 18 2007 - 13:03:46 EDT

Again we should be careful to embrace 'scientific sounding' arguments

<quote>The main evidence he references are the now debunked CNW research
article that came out in 2006, that contained plenty of factual errors in
their analysis of the manufacturing costs of the nickel metal hydride
batteries and information about nickel producer Inco. <br /><br />You can
read <a href="">Sebastian's
follow up on the CNW study</a> to get the skinny on that. The information on
Inco is just plain outdated and wrong. Yes, Inco did a lot of probably
irreparable damage to the area around Sudbury, Ontario over the many
decades, and I will not defend them. The 1,247 foot tall Inco superstack
definitely spread acid rain far and wide over eastern Canada for nearly two
decades. However a major pollution control program was put in place in the
late 1980s and since 1994, the stack has emitted almost nothing but water
vapor. Most of the Ontario lakes that were damaged by acid rain in the 1970s
and 1980s have since recovered and are now doing well. </quote>


We have gotten a number of inquiries asking for our take on the CNW study
that claims that hybrid vehicles are a net-environmental loser due to the
additional production and disposal costs. On the face of it, we are
skeptical of their claims, but we are taking a close look at the report's
findings before we make an official reaction.

Our skepticism, is based on several previous studies undertaken by very
well-respected analysts. We thought it would be helpful to point these out
so everyone will understand that the CNW study does not exist in a vacuum.

   - The 2001 MIT study called "On the Road in 2020: An Assessment of the
   Future of Transportation
   (.pdf) used a life cycle analysis that concluded that increasing fuel
   efficiency with hybrid technology, is a net energy and global warming
   pollution winner.
   - Andrew Burnham, Michael Wang, and Paula Moon at the Center for
   Transportation Research of Argonne National
Labs<>recently gave presentation
called "Energy
   and Emission Effects of the Vehicle
   at the 2006 SAE World Congress. One of the key the conclusions is "Total
   energy cycle energy use *decreases* for advanced powertrains &
   lightweight vehicles… Improved fuel economy offsets increase in vehicle
   cycle energy."
   - Heather L. MacLean and Lester B. Lave of Carnegie Mellon University
   published a 1998 life-cycle
concluded that 85 percent of energy use associated with a conventional
   vehicle's life cycle is attributable to operation. Only 15 percent is
   attributable to manufacturing and disposal. Given that, it seems
   implausible that a 50 mpg rated Honda Civic Hybrid could be worse for the
   environment than a 17 mpg rated Hummer H3, even if it took twice as much
   energy to make the hybrid and it is driven half as much before it is

On 3/18/07, Bill Hamilton <> wrote:
> He doesn't even mention the environmental impact of disposing of the
> batteries, and the likely increased maintenance expense due to two
> powertrains that must be coordinated.
> I wouldn't buy an Aveo, but there are plenty of other vehicles that
> approach the Prius' mileage for less money. I ddo wish American automakers
> wouldm get serious about diesel passenger cars.
> Bill Hamilton
> William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
> 248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
> "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: John Burgeson (Burgy) <>
> To:
> Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 11:20:56 AM
> Subject: [asa] Hummer vs Prius comparison
> Interesting article (very skewed IMHO) comparing the Hummer to the
> Prius.
> Burgy
> ------------------------------
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Received on Sun Mar 18 13:03:59 2007

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