Want to be Environmentally Friendly? Skip the Prius, Buy a Hummer!
When Gareth Groves bought his brand new $38,000 Hummer, he did not expect it to be vandalized only 5 days later. The tires were slashed, the windows were smashed, and "FOR THE ENVIRON" was scratched into the paint. Gareth Groves received no sympathy from his liberal leaning neighbors.
Would this scenario have been different if Gareth Groves drove a Prius? Most definitely. But should this scenario have been different if Gareth Groves drove a Prius? Most definitely not.
If we're just talking greenhouse gas emissions, which most environmentalists tend to do, then yes, the Hummer is the clear loser. But what about taking everything into account? When looking at the entire life cycle of the car, from production to disposal, studies have found that the Hummer may actually be more environmentally friendly than the Prius.
CNW Marketing Research, Inc. estimates and reports the approximate energy cost of vehicle models based on all amounts of energy that are required to produce, assemble, sell, operate, maintain and dispose of the vehicle over its entire life cycle. According to the report, a Toyota Prius results in $3.25 of energy costs per mile over its lifetime, while the Hummer H2 results in $3.03.
The difference comes largely in the increased efforts required to dispose of hybrid technology materials (such as hazardous nickel).
While Toyota claims that the CNW study is inaccurate, this still draws into question just how environmentally friendly the Prius actually is. Another article claims
One of the Prius's battery factories causes so much environmental damage that NASA uses the lifeless land nearby to simulate moon landings.
Maybe the environmental vandalizers should have skipped Gareth Groves' driveway and scratched "FOR THE ENVIRON" in their own Priuses.