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Why Hybrids Are Bad

No Prius!The Prius needs to go.  The Tesla is bad for us.  The Volt? Worst.  Idea.  Ever.  OK, maybe that’s a little harsh, however, pretty true actually.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’m all for better fuel efficiency.  Anything that can lower my monthly gas bill is a plus.  Anything that can save the Earth for future generations (since whatever we do in the next hundred years probably isn’t going to show much until afterward), is good too.  However, hybrids and all electric vehicles don’t actually follow that second part.  And maybe not the first either.

As for saving the environment, here’s the issue.  On your end, the consumer, you’re using less gas, and that causes less greenhouse emissions.  But, that battery back you carry along, is horrible for the environment.  First, the manufacturing process, and even down to the mining of the minerals that go into them, is highly toxic, and destroys the local ecology faster than almost any other form of mining / manufacturing.  Second, after maybe 100,000 miles, the batery starts to loose its ability to charge.  Tesla Motors performance figures even state that after 50,000 miles, the batteries will only perform at about 70% their optimal, factory level.  So what happens at this point?  Unlike regular cars, where you just keep on pumping gas, these cars require a huge investment into a new battery.  How much?  Try $8,000.  And if that’s not bad enough, there’s number 3: Lithium, what every kid on the block is using for it’s better than most and cheaper than the rest ability to both store and discharge energy rather well, is pretty rare in large quantities.  With projected increases in the use of Lithium, the known mines would run out about the same time as oil.

But enough about the environment.  What about cost?  Well, I already mentioned that actually.  Yeah yeah, whatever.  Anyway, as I was saying, replacing batteries.  It’s expensive!  and $8,000 is the cheapest that industry experts have said for any of these cars.  The Volt’s battery pack? $15,000.  So, let’s make a comparison.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Look at the below table.  One note: I rounded up in a few places, for ease.

Hybrid Cost

Car MPG (HW) Hybrid? Base Cost Gas Usage Gas Cost Total
Prius 51 Yes $22,000 2,000 G $5,500 $27,000
Fusion 34 No $19,300 2950 G $8,115 $27,415

price for gasoline is estimated at $2.75 per gallon

And, you’ll notice, that doesn’t even count getting a new, bad for the environment, expensive battery.  What’s also bad, is that even if the first, or second owner of the car doesn’t get passed this cost, someone some day will, because a lot of cars last beyond 100,000 miles (sorry, no specific data, but look around you when you drive to work tomorrow).

So, what do I want to see?  Why, more fuel efficient standard cars, like turbo diesels, or even just regular turbo’d gas cars.  And more research.  There has to be a better way to store energy, it just takes a little bit more thought by all those brainiacs.  Just think:  a kid in England invented a $23 solar panel (being super cheap).

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