I read the Recorder article, and it bothered me that Toyota might be greenwashing us on the Prius, so I decided to ask them myself. I submitted this via Toyota's Contact page:Originally Posted by tkahike
Here is the body of their reply:Dear Toyota: I am a great admirer of the Prius and its importance in proving the viability of environmentally sound technology. I was worried to learn that the nickel for the hybrid batteries comes from a factory in Canada that has destroyed the local environment. Is this true? If so, does Toyota plan to switch to an environmentally sustainable supplier for the nickel? Thank you for your time.
You can see the age of the Sudbury mine at the current owner's site: http://archive.xstrata.com/falconbri...ns/sudbury.htmNickel has been mined in Sudbury since the late 1800s. The large majority of the environmental damage from nickel mining in and around Sudbury was caused by mining practices that were abandoned decades ago.
Please note: Toyota is strongly committed to reducing the impact of its products on the environment and on global climate change. In the U.S. alone, we’ve sold more than 250,000 hybrids that, combined, have saved more than 100 million gallons of gas. In addition to saving fuel, those vehicles are also among the top performers in their classes in terms of smog-forming emissions.
To find out more, please explore the following URL's.
Title: Toyota Environment
Title: Hybrid Synergy Drive Mini-site
...and it's loony to say that the Hummer costs less to drive per mile than the Prius (without the mistaken assumption of a 100,000 mile lifespan). That is only the hybrid-part warranty period (see http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/2005/prius/faq.html).
Toyota pays $200 per battery to recycle them (see http://www.hybridcars.com/faq.html#battery). Every pound of recycled nickel is one less that needs to be mined.
As to the comparison of the Prius to the Chevy Aveo; according the Consumer Reports, the Aveo is a clunky econobox with poor durability, whereas the Prius is spacious, low-maintenance, and drivable. Despite the new 45 MPG rating, the Prius still has 150% of the Aveo's fuel economy (http://www.fueleconomy.gov).
Check out http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/en/gv/d...sionrating.asp for info on the emissions ratings.
I enjoy discussions, like this one, that challenge our assumptions.