Posts Tagged hybrid cars


Posted by on Monday, 2 May, 2011


My Dear Mister Scienceaintsobad: I’m a pacifist and a vegetarian. I’m also an environmentalist and I hate, hate, hate the big gas guzzling monsters that you typical Americans drive . (Well, not YOU, MR SASB, since I’m sure YOU have a refined social conscience.) I’m trying to decided between a Toyota Prius hybrid which gets 51 mpg and a Ford Fusion which only gets 36 mpg. The problem is that I so want to “buy American” and yet, I want to get the most green, green, green car I can. Do you have any suggestions, kind sir? -Goody2shoes.

You already HAVE a life, right?

OK.Then let’s talk about hybrid cars. They’re great. No question about that. You get TWO engines for the price of one (and a half, actually).

And what is environmentalism, really,  if it can’t give you that “I’m so in love with  myself” moment?

But if you’re SERIOUSLY trying to figure out how to reduce the carbon footprint of your transportation, skip the hybrid  says the  Dust to Dust Energy Report – Automotive (CNW).

Why? Because we stupes who thought we were gonna save energy fergot to take into account the “lifecycle” cost of a vehicle. It takes ENERGY to MANUFACTURE a car and its parts. And, when you total up all that ENERGY, you haven’t SAVED anything.

CNW says.

In FACT, with a hybrid, you’re in the hole so bad (energywise)  that a hummer –  a big ol galumphing HUMMER –  is more efficient than a Prius.  Aren’t you glad you checked?

Except CNW’s pants are on fire. Its argument is flamed by Bengt Halvorson ( .

Bengt says there’s nothing new here. Lifecycle analysis is old stuff. Been around a long time.  Besides.  CNW’s “facts” don’t match up with other studies.  It should explain its methodology since most research goes the other way, affirming the benefit of hybrids.  One thing that’s kinda obvious about the CNW study is that it seems to jigger the lifetime of the some hybrids. For example, it gives the Prius only 109,000 miles while the Hummer H1 keeps humming for 379,000 miles. Is THAT fair??? And it “writes off” R&D for hybrid development over about 11 seconds.


MISTER SCIENCEAINTSOBAD can’t advise you about buying American, Goody. That’s not my department.

But you’re good to go with hybrids.

Thanks to fotopedia for the image Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.