Everyone one in my liberal, environmentally conscious community wants a Prius. The only reason Mr. Bookworm didn’t buy one when his last car gave up the ghost was because it was too small for him to sit comfortably. The first of our neighbors to get the Prius was congratulated by everyone for “doing the right thing” car-wise. Except that maybe he didn’t.
It turns out that building the Prius is extremely damaging to the environment and, with it’s short lifespan (about 100,000 miles), it therefore becomes more environmentally costly to run per mile than a big Chevy SUV, which has a 150,000 to 200,000 mile lifespan. It’s also not as fuel efficient as once thought, although it still does get more miles per gallon than the next car (not much more, but more).
The difference, I guess, is that the Prius’ environmental damage is concentrated in a few discrete areas — where the batteries are built and where they’re thrown away — while the SUV makes pollution (less pollution, but still pollution) everywhere it goes. More than anything, this is an excellent reminder that there are no cheap and easy solutions, and that the greenies would do better to look for true alternatives, rather than just touting expensive shortcuts.
Hat tip: Cheat-Seeking Missiles