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is a prius really green?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by bruce56bb, Jun 22, 2007.

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  1. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Give me a break. Have you hugged your Hummer today? Mr. Spinella aka CNW marketing is somewhat of a self-proclaimed expert that cherrypicks what he perceives as facts and collects them to make an argument he calls research. His premises are full of holes and a lot of hot air, pretty much of an anti-environmentalist, the auto equivalent of burning issues. This is just a ploy to gain some attention to his bogus marketing firm.

    The article is just plain silly BS: Most of his gas mileage figures are simply made up. He claims that a Suburban gets 26.9 MPG and a Prius gets 29.6! Dodge Ram Hemi: 27.6! Hello!!! How many of you gas Suburban owners are seeing 27mpg? Same nonsense on the other end for the Chevy Aveo. The Prius will average about 45mpg under crappy conditions and on the road can easily run in the 55 mpg range. He lists the life span of a Prius at 100k. Toyotas are just getting broken in at 100k. Taxis have already shown that the Prius is good for well over 200k miles of hard service.

    There is a digg discussion on this topic too:
    http://www.digg.com/environment/Prius_Does_Not_Outdo_Hummer_in_Environmental_Damage

    Here's Toyota's take (from Japan, slow to open):
    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/k_forum/tenji/pdf/pgr_e.pdf
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  4. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    My neighbor with a Prius has a car lifetime average of 44.7 (based on fuel consumed and miles driven). He tracks fill-ups and mileage on a spreadsheet, but the computer does it for you too.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think that is a reasonable number. Bruce, you're right on, the EPA figures were wildly off and needed a more realistic testing routine for hybrids. However, when Consumer Reports tested many vehicles, they found that some of the worst errors in EPA mileage figures were with non-hybrids.
    http://www.soultek.com/clean_energy/hybrid_cars/New_epa_fuel_mileage_hybrid_cars_and_the_future.htm

    But an **average** mileage of 44.7mpg with any car is awesome. Our Prius's total average is a bit less so far, more like 41 mpg. But compared to our Subaru Legacy at 21mpg under the same average conditions (lots of short local trips with lots of hills) I think near doubling mileage and more than halving emissions is a good thing. This isn't to knock the Subaru, we loved it and it got 28-29mpg on a trip. But for average mileage, which goes down a lot in the winter with short trips, the Prius is doing its thing pretty well.

    FWIW, the Prius mileage seems to be improving, maybe this is breaking in? It's easy to pass 50mpg on a trip now and our short trip average is about 45mpg so far this summer. We couldn't do that when it was new so I have full expectations that the total average on the car will continue to improve.
  7. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Next car purchased will be a Honda diesel. Should be out in 2010.

    The mileage numbers thrown around here regarding the Prius are in Golf/Jetta TDI territory.

    I postulate [in the future] that a diesel hybrid will be the mileage king.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've got my eye on that Honda diesel. If it's a PHEV, it could be real sweet. Europe is also working on several hybrid diesels. Let's hope GM and Ford get with the program.

    If the Jetta was a bit bigger inside, especially rear legroom, we might have ended up getting one. They're more fun to drive.
  9. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Bruce...
    I'll commend you for bringing the subject up. It was definately worthy to spark a discussion. If you told me someone actually made such ludicrous claims as this "CNW research" I would hardly have ever believed there was someone so bold as to believe in the gullability factor of the American public at large...that they would waste the time to produce such propaganda. I stand corrected.
    I doubt anyone would look at this information as "credible"...but I'll probably end up sitting next to someone having a beer next week that will bring it up...
    So at this point...I'll play devils' advocate for a moment. If there was even a slight bit of relevance to "the claims" I would counter to the effect: In trully American Tone...

    ...I don't Care!
    At least someone (Japanese Corporations) has gotten off their ^ss and said "We are going to try something that might make a difference." They don't have the typical American attitude of the drunken high school football star "just hoping to ^ang the homecoming queen." The corporate mentality that pervades the American business comunity turns my stomach. No longer does American business work towards a "Better brighter tommorow". They prefer "business as usual" and hide behind it "hey gotta keep the shareholders happy". Hope the shareholders of GM and Ford are happy when they file for Bankruptcy. All one needs to do is look back over the years of how "cozy big business has been with each other". Big oil gets in bed with the "big three". They raise oil prices to sell lots of small cars. Then they let the bottom drop out and say "Hey look at this...this is what you need..an armchair on wheels...so what if it only gets seven miles to the gallon...you're an American...you deserve LUXURY". They spend booo-kooo bucks advertising, giving away Cadillac Escalades to rap stars and the MTV generation that is too young to remember last week let alone the 1973 oil Embargo...but then again No American, Including you and I would openly advocate for $5/gallon gas...even though we both know that is the only thing that is going to save this country...1.) By protecting develeopment of energy...other than big oil...2) By getting us out the huge debt we have incurred over the years "protecting our oil supply" (What a joke...Who they kidding? Protecting big oils profits)...3) And lastly...though nobody really cares about this one: Bringing home our young men and women, who blindly bought into the so called "fight against terrorism" we, their elders "sold them"...because our fearless leader is trying to "erase daddy's mistakes...while he blunders into his own"...and shipped them off to a part of the world, that, let's face it...if there wasn't oil under their feet...we wouldn't think twice about, no matter how much they slaughtered each other...
    Tell me I'm wrong??? How can you???
    You want to fight terrorism??? Start by letting your elected officials know it's time to declare war...on "big oil". "Either you get rid of big oil...or we are gonna get rid of you...even if we have to vote for bozo the clown to do it." If that is too much of a stretch...just repeat to yourself everytime the "fear mongers" try to sell their "propaganda" to ya "BS...It's all just BS!"
    I'm usually a "moderate"...but when someone goes so far as to claim a Suburban gets over 20MPG???? That "hybrids" aren't all that great for the planet??? What kind of "geniuses" are we dealing with??? Are these the same people that denied "good intel" by saying "Naggh! There is no reason for concern...those middle easterners are legitamate student pilots..." Are they the same ones that "renewed their visas...after 9/11"???
    I guess I'm just fed up! How we went from total complacency to "Hey you can't bring a bottle of Coca-Cola onto this flight..." (***Shaking my head in total amazement****)
    Lotta hot air coming out....but I look at it this way. The beautifull thing about the Idea of a Prius is this: Even if didn't get great gas mileage...It fits into the American way of life in the 21st century...It shuts itself off while you wait in line at Macdonalds. No action on your part required!
    Personally, (as someone who wore the uniform at the time) IMHO "daddy" should have worried less about "world opinion" and done the job the first time around...We might have caught some flak for it...but the buildings would still be standing,3000+ civilians would still be alive...and 3,555 (to date) brave young men and women would still be with us.

    Our fearless leader says "We are a nation addicted to oil"...Seems kinda funny, (back in the 1970's Jimmy Carter had a similiar message)...Well if our own president is telling us this maybe it's time Americans "check into rehab" on the subject....

    The Prius??? Think of it as Methidone....
  10. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    I've had my Prius since Nov. 2003 and now have 74,000 miles on it with no mechanical or electrical problems at all. Lifetime average is 46 mpg - I do an actual calculation every time I buy gas, since the computer is usually off a bit, depending how full I fill it. I have never been happier with a car. I had to put new gutters on the back of my house last weekend, since I finally got the metal shingle roof put on, and I was able to haul 10 ft. gutters and downspouts in it with the hatch closed. Outside of not being able (or willing, I guess) to haul horse manure for my garden in it, it is the most utilitarian car I have owned. The best replacement I could think of might be a small truck, but the mileage would be MUCH lower and the comfort much less. If this guy thinks the Suburban is a more 'green' vehicle, he belongs in some treatment facility.

    When Bush said 'we are addicted to oil', what he was really thinking was 'we are addicted to oil, and my friends and I are loving every minute of it'. This evil man does not have the interest of the country at heart and just speaks what he thinks people will swallow, and so far most Americans have taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker. The only thing any rational person can do is to try to reduce one's personal consumption of oil and gas as much as possible. To look for any kind of legislative action to push this is a waste of time right now. I firmly believe that if anything is going to be done, it will now come from the individual states - the federal government is totally ineffective right now. Some regions of the country are beginning to move in the right direction - New England and the West Coast in my opinion. This applies not only to reducing energy consumption, but also pollution and citizen health care - the major issues at this time. We are in danger of becoming the 'Semi-United Countries of America' if the feds don't get their act together.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    from your comment, not sure you saying Aveo's do well or not... I rented one recently and was working to see how well it REALLLY could do.. I managed 23 mpg with about 70% high way driving. That's awful in my opinion for that car. My Honda Odyssey does that well.
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    And let's hope NY get's it head out of it's arse and allows diesel cars again.
  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    And let's hope Massachusetts does too... but I won't hold my breath...
  14. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    I was looking into the Jetta Diesel as well, what with the new 'clean diesel' (46MPG vs 50 for the Prius, but much cheaper to buy (used)). But I have heard so many stories about VW being 'the mechanics friend' that I decided not to
  15. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Seems like I'm on this soapbox a lot, but my 2000 Golf TDI basically rocks. there were a couple weird sensor things early on - warranty items. but it's been 7 yrs and 107K miles and very little beyond routine maintenance - oil change every 5K (synthetic and a special filter, so about $35 in materials), new brake pads at 100K (rotors were still good) new struts at 70K.

    And the mileage is real - bad tank inthe winter bottoms out around 42mpg, normal is 48-50, record is 66 (wife was highway driving). It's a decidedly proven technology (father in law drives a 1981 diesel rabbit - 40mpg at 250K miles), you only have to worry about one set of drive systems, in real world driving does as well or better than the hybrids, and (barring cellulosic ethanol) biodiesel looks a whole lot more sustainable. Oh, and it carries a lot in the back (hatchback) and cruises happily on the highway at 80mph (getting 50mpg).

    If I could find another one (either new for the 16,500 I paid, or used at a reasonable price) I'd buy it. Problem is, poking around ebay at least, it's hard to find one with less than 100K on it for less than $10K.

    Steve
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Hey another TDI'er!
    I love my 2000 TDI Beetle with 210,000 miles on it.
    It's gotten 50 mpg all its life.
    I've just learned some sad news: looks like 2008 is last year for Beetle, going out with a whimper (cheapened up) and no TDI.
    No Rabbit TDI either, I read for 2008.-just the Jetta.
    Hopefully the Jetta Wagon will be available in 2008-I'd really like a hatch.
    Won't be a cheap ride, I fear.
    I'd get a used late model TDI Beetle, but I don't like the diesel that's been here since 2004 (unit injectors driven off cam shaft via belt).
    The one for 2008 will be common rail with piezo injectors.
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Telsa Turbine

    Combine that with a system like the Chevrolet (yes, the Americans have a cool "hybrid" too) Volt and you'd have a real winner.
  18. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Yea, I'm not a fan of the PD. I wish I'd had my act together to buy a Passat Wagon TDI when they were available a couple yrs ago.

    I'm actually surprised how little the prices have changed, considering the dollar is worth so much less.

    Steve
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  20. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Sandor,

    Maybe amongst conventional cars but a purely electric car costs about 1 cent per mile for the electricity to operate it (at about 11 cents/kw-hr).......a conventional car getting 30 mpg and at $3/gallon for gas costs about 10 cents/mile for the gas......no way diesel comes close to electric.........
  21. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I realize this. But, until a battery powered car can achieve a 400 mile interval between charges, a hybrid is still the answer. Charge times are also an issue. Maybe EEStore's capacitor will solve the problem.

    Things will be changing rather quickly in the future. I will be buying an electric golf cart this year to run around the neighborhood and to friends homes a couple of miles away. I will fit a solar panel on the roof and play around!

    Anybody out there not making preparations for an energy-expensive future is "playing with fire". Hey, this is a hearth site!
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Why 400 miles? For many folks, the bulk of their driving is less than 40 miles a day. As long as it's a plugin hybrid you've got the best of both worlds. Run on electric during the week and run on petrol for the trip to the mountains on the weekend.

    Though actually if it were a pure electric car capable of 100 miles like the RAV4, we could use it for 90% of our driving.
  23. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I agree with you. But what happens when the airlines quit flying and Craig wants to visit his daughter? J/K.

    I envision a two car family. Instead of a Corvette and Tahoe, I see an electric short trip vehicle and a hybrid to get to the beach.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A long extension cord? :) Or we'll all be walking/bicycling and meeting in Kansas. Or maybe...

    Attached Files:

  25. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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