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Aggregating Energy Since 2006

Prius v. Hummer

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I continue to hear claims (even from people who should know better) that the Prius is somehow less energy efficient over its lifetime than the Hummer. This is total BS and Slate explained why the Prius is more efficient and why so many people claim otherwise.

Most of this disinformation comes from a loony report that too many serious people took ... well, seriously. It was not. It was a hack job.

The skeptics' basic argument is that the Prius' battery is irredeemably un-green, mostly because of its high nickel content and complex manufacturing process. As a result, "Dust to Dust" contends that a Prius will consume $3.25 worth of energy per mile over its cradle-to-grave lifetime. A Hummer H2, by contrast, will use $3.03 per mile and the Hummer H3 just $1.95.

It seems that the authors just made a bunch of stuff up and got Rush Limbaugh to do their publicity. When I first looked at this report, my BS-meter went off when I saw their claims that most of the energy in a cradle-to-grave analysis of vehicles comes its production.

"Dust to Dust" also posits that the vast majority of a car's cradle-to-grave energy gets expended during production. That assertion runs contrary to virtually every other analysis of vehicular life cycles, including those conducted by MIT (PDF) and Argonne National Laboratory.

Next time you hear someone spreading this disinformation, send them to the Slate piece. And please stop repeating it.