Is The Prius Actually Doing More Harm Than Good?


Strangely, it was fiercely popular, especially in countries where sanitation was a bit of an issue.


In 2013, we have the electric vehicle. Which might just be as pointless as the stupid toilet role hat, but even more popular. Just about every man and his beige vest has one. And to compensate, just about every mainstream manufacturer is making an electric or hybrid car these days, it’s even gotten to the stage where Porsche, Ferrari and even McLaren are building hybrids. The idea is, that by driving around using electricity rather than oil, your saving the planet because you don’t have exhaust pipes belching out great plumes of carbon dioxide and your not depleting the Earths natural resources. Which all sounds fine and dandy in a product brochure, but what about the process of actually building the car?


Porsche 918 Spyder

     The Porsche 918 Spyder will be Porsche’s first hybrid electric car

The problem is, to make the thousands of little batteries that are needed to power an electric vehicle you need to use lots of toxic minerals such as nickel, copper and aluminum. This filthy production process creates all kinds of terrible sounding things like acid rain, airborne particulate matter, ecosystem toxicity as well as fossil fuel depletion. According to Professor Stromman from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology “electric vehicles consistently perform worse or on par with modern internal combustion engine vehicles, despite virtually zero direct emissions during operation” said Stromman with regards to the vehicles total environmental impact over its entire life cycle. And most of this damage is done before the car even roles off the production line!


Then you have to consider how the electricity used to charge the batteries is created. If it’s made from burning fossil fuels – as most of Britain’s electricity is – then the car is no more environmentally friendly than a petrol or diesel powered car burning oil to propel itself.

Fossil Fuels 


Only when the electricity is produced in a sustainable way does the electric car really become more environmentally friendly than one powered by fossil fuels. But taking into account the production processes of both types of cars, the electric car is on average only 10% more polar bear friendly than an average petrol or diesel car. However, buy a super frugal petrol or diesel powered car and you’ll be about on par with the average electric car in terms of green-ness. Professor Stromman believes that “a more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel”.


Basically these electric cars are simply pushing the pollution somewhere else. These crucial details are hidden under a layer of marketing drivel designed to sell you what is, supposedly, a planet saving green machine. But honestly, if you want to save the planet, don’t bother with a Prius that looks like an enormous piece of cheese, instead buy something that’s small, slippery and sips fuel like a Kangaroo Mouse – an animal that doesn’t drink much water, according to Wikipedia. You mightn’t get the green-cred by driving a conventional car, but you will actually be helping the environment, which is what really matters.


But, if you still insist on driving an electric car, then Peugeot has a solution. The technology is still a few years away from production yet, but the idea is this; instead of carrying around a big lump of batteries in the car and destroying the environment making them, you employ an air compressor which, by using witchcraft – probably- spins a turbine and generates electricity. Peugeot is currently testing this system and says it works brilliantly and will appear in all their production cars by the end of 2015.


Now this is truly revolutionary stuff. Peugeot must’ve had their thinking caps on. No stupid toilet roll hat for them, oh no sir.

Do you agree with these views? Will you be driving electric soom? Comment below or Tweet us @CarhootsUK 


*For Similar Articles to this check out the Auto Aftermarket, for all the latest news within the motortrade.*

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