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Hybrids not enviro-friendly?! Looking for credibility of this study...

My wife and I like to consider ourselves environmentally 'conscious'. We recycle and compost whenever possible, use energy-saving fluorescent bulbs, buy energy-saving appliances, subsidize our greenhouse gas emissions through a clean-air program, etc.. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The next step in our attempt to do our part to help the environment, was to buy a hybrid vehicle. We spent months researching the environmental impact of specific models, fuel economy and safety ratings, and came to a decision - we were going to buy an '07 Camry Hybrid. Until recently.

While checking reviews and doing other research, I came across a study completed by CNW Research (Marketing/Research Firm) out of Oregon. The study involved collecting data pertaining to the energy cost per vehicle, from production to disposal. The report is called the "'Dust to Dust' Automotive Energy Report", and the results are translated into 'dollars per lifetime mile' for all new vehicles sold in the US in 2006. Essentially, this report confirms the amount of energy consumed over the lifetime of a vehicle (to produce, distribute, drive, dispose of, etc.) and therefore the environmental impact.

We were shocked to see that hybrids did not fare well in this report. Here are a few examples (showing energy cost per lifetime mile):

Maybach - $11.582 - *HIGHEST*
Honda Accord Hybrid - $3.295
Toyota Prius - $3.239
Honda Civic Hybrid - $3.238
Ford Expedition - $3.058
Hummer H2 - $3.027
Honda Civic (non-hybrid) - $2.420

INDUSTRY STRAIGHT AVERAGE - $2.281

Honda Accord (non-hybrid) - $2.180
Toyota Camry (non-hybrid) - $1.954
Toyota Tacoma - $1.147
Jeep Liberty - $1.099
Scion xB - $0.478 - *LOWEST*

As you can see, the non-hybrid vehicles scored much better than their hybrid counterparts. It sort of makes sense when you take into account energy usage during production and distribution, fuel economy (small factor, so it seems), energy required to dismantle and dispose of the vehicle, etc., and consider that driving a hybrid may reduce greenhouse gases in the area you drive it, but essentially export pollution to other areas (ie. where the vehicle is built, shipped or disposed of).

Why would we buy a Camry Hybrid, when it's non-hybrid counterpart appears to be much more environmentally 'friendly'?

Other than reading the report itself, we haven't read/heard much about it, and we are really interested in knowing what other people have to say.

Report: http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/

We're really looking forward to getting some feedback as to the credibility and legitimacy of this report!
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Comments

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That study has already been trashed by people all over the world. Their data is wrong, their assumptions are false.

    Move along people - nothing to see here....
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The study has only been trashed by pro hybrid bloggers not liking the results. The study makes a lot of sense and is probably the most extensive ever done. It is obvious that some here would like it to go away. Until a more comprehensive study comes along I say it is the one to use.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Um, No, it has been trashed by way more than hybrid bloggers.

    This result runs contrary to all other research in the area.

    The conclusions appear to be very different from the results of several other rigorous, scientifically-reviewed studies of the lifecycle impact of vehicles (e.g. Argonne National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    · Example 1: These studies conclude that the majority (80-85%) of the total lifetime energy use of a vehicle comes from the driving stage, with the remainder coming from the remaining stages of a vehicle life, whereas the CNW study shows these percentages to be reversed.

    · Example 2: Two Toyota models mentioned in the report, the Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    · Example 3: The CNW study states that hybrids require more lifetime energy than even large SUVs. Toyota’s internal analysis does conclude that there is more energy required in the materials production stage for a hybrid, but that this is overwhelmingly made up for in the driving stage (the 80-85% stage), causing the hybrid to have a significantly lower lifetime energy use.

    There are also basic factual errors in the report, for example CNW claim that the hybrid batteries are not recycled.

    In truth Toyota and sister brand Lexus have a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case, and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information.

    Toyota and other environmentally conscious car makers have been using life cycle assessment for many years to evaluate various advanced vehicle technologies. Toyota, along with many others, believes that the best way to judge the environmental impact of a vehicle is to do a full evaluation of all the inputs and outputs in every stage of its life. The lifetime energy use is just one of the many things to look at.

    The debate is not helped by sensationalistic reporting of an uncorroborated and unrepresentative piece of marketing research carried out in North America.

    Other studies which REFUTE the CNW study:

    * The 2001 MIT study called "On the Road in 2020: An Assessment of the Future of Transportation Technology" (.pdf) used a life cycle analysis that concluded that increasing fuel efficiency with hybrid technology, is a net energy and global warming pollution winner.
    * Andrew Burnham, Michael Wang, and Paula Moon at the Center for Transportation Research of Argonne National Labs recently gave presentation called “Energy and Emission Effects of the Vehicle Cycle” at the 2006 SAE World Congress. One of the key the conclusions is “Total energy cycle energy use decreases for advanced powertrains & lightweight vehicles… Improved fuel economy offsets increase in vehicle cycle energy.”
    * Heather L. MacLean and Lester B. Lave of Carnegie Mellon University published a 1998 life-cycle assessment which concluded that 85 percent of energy use associated with a conventional vehicle’s life cycle is attributable to operation. Only 15 percent is attributable to manufacturing and disposal. Given that, it seems implausible that a 50 mpg rated Honda Civic Hybrid could be worse for the environment than a 17 mpg rated Hummer H3, even if it took twice as much energy to make the hybrid and it is driven half as much before it is replaced.

    Also - the CNW study used the ridiculous notion of comparing the Prius to the the Hummer by using a 300,000 mile lifetime figure on the Hummer but only 100,000 mile lifetime for the Prius. Now THAT'S really comparing apples to apples, Huh?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Other studies which REFUTE the CNW study:

    How can studies done long before the CNW study refute? And Toyota in their study claims that the pollution in manufacturing and disposal far exceeds that which is put out in driving the vehicle. I would equate pollution as a direct result of energy expended. You have yet to show a study that refutes the study this person is concerned about in this thread. You have just stated bias that you and others share. Older studies may be used but do not address the study at hand. If Toyota would claim that the Prius is good out to 300k miles maybe it would have been included as such.
    Did you ever read the whole report or only the bits and pieces presented here on Edmund's?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This is a dead end conversation - that study is garbage and everyone knows it.

    That's why they won't release their data points for peer review.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Where is the rule that "only the newest study can be accurate?" What does the age of the study have to do with anything?

    And you said, "Toyota in their study claims that the pollution in manufacturing and disposal far exceeds that which is put out in driving the vehicle. I would equate pollution as a direct result of energy expended. You have yet to show a study that refutes the study this person is concerned about in this thread."

    Um, yes I did show the other studies. Just because they were done before CNW does not invalidate them.

    CNW invalidates itself by it's refusal to be peer evaluated.

    (Wait, what exactly is the peer for a paid-off garbage study company?) :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Other studies which REFUTE the CNW study:"

    I think it would be useful to all if you provided links to the studies.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, I'm looking for the MIT study link. Found it:

    MIT Study

    The second study is a $14.00 download you can buy here:

    Vehicle-Cycle Energy and Emission Effects of Conventional and Advanced Vehicles

    The third study is summarized here:

    Automobiles: Manufacture vs. Use

    I know at least a couple of hybrid advocates who have personally e-mailed Art Spinella (the head of CNW Research) and he has been very defensive of his data, has called them childish names when they challenged his conclusions, and thus far he still refuses to provide his data for peer review.

    To come out and make these outrageous claims and then refuse to let others see and evaluate the data to see if their assumptions were scientifically correct is a joke.

    I can guarantee from the results that they were not.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    So far all you have given is your own biased opinion on the CNW study. It is available at CNW. I would like to see where someone was able to pick it apart with some credible evidence. So far no one has. If you had read the 450+ page report you could give us an analysis along with facts that are valid to help make up our minds about the report. You have only looked at the list and claim it is wrong because it puts the hybrids in a poor light. Guess what there are many of us that consider the hybrid a poor choice for the environment. As well as a poor choice economically.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary you can slice it all you want, but the CNW study is FLAWED. Read my previous posts.

    Read the studies I just posted.

    CNW refuses to allow peer review - that is a dead-on sign that they are scared of the result.

    How is it reasonable to compare the lifetime energy of one car that goes 300,000 miles to that of a car which only goes 100,000 miles? Even YOU can see that flaw.

    And how about the Scion thing? The Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    What gives?

    It's BAD ASSUMPTIONS and a BAD STUDY.

    Accept that FACT and move on.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    From your above study.

    if you are a person who considers toxic releases more important than energy use, then it is wiser to hold on to your existing car, in order to avoid promoting the manufacture of a new one.

    The manufacturing of a car is more polluting than the driving of it. All part of the "Dust to Dust" study. Just not nearly as comprehensive.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Yes, anyone with a lick of common sense knows the longer you drive a car, the better it is for the environment, unless it's a filthy 1980's diesel car or truck. (actually, the older a car get the more it pollutes, but that's another story altogether!)

    And the blanket statement of "the manufacturing of a car is more polluting than driving it" is not true in EVERY case.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    How is it reasonable to compare the lifetime energy of one car that goes 300,000 miles to that of a car which only goes 100,000 miles? Even YOU can see that flaw.

    The study may be going by the manufacturers own LCA that considers the Prius a 150k mile throw-away. Until we have more data on the hybrids and longevity we have to accept that the life of the hybrid is equal to the life of the most expensive component, the battery. This generation of Prius is barely 3 years old. You cannot base a longevity study on only 3 years. Every time we point out problems with the first Prius that was sold here, you poo poo that as the old hybrid model. Well until the current Prius proves itself for 8 or more years we have no data to go on.

    Many people that are not as negative about the CNW report have also pointed out the large SUVs that have a better rating are not made with a lot of exotic metals and components. That should be factored in. I think the jury is still out on the CNW study. Only a few vigilantes would like to string up the folks that went to the trouble of doing the report. The same reaction came about when CR came out with a scathing report on the hybrids. They just buckled under to their highly pro hybrid customers. Either they lied in the first report or they lied on the second one. Cannot have it both ways.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    True, not if you keep it long enough. Problem as I see it todays cars are not much good past the warranty. The automakers have a vested interest in you dumping the car before it needs expensive repair. They have managed to build them so it takes a specialist in each model to trouble shoot and repair. That gets rid of all the shops that used to be able to work on any vehicle with some expertise. They make the software for analysis so expensive it is not worth buying if you are an independent. All reasons to believe the older style low tech vehicles will cost less over the long haul.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "All reasons to believe the older style low tech vehicles will cost less over the long haul."

    Gary, have we not been through that already in previous months/years/decades?

    Go ahead and follow that advice. It's good for about 4 more years.

    Modern cars are ADVANCED. They must be worked on by TRAINED TECHNICIANS. If Joe Mechanic wants to survive as a mom and pop car repair shop, he MUST INVEST in the computerized tools which can analyze these cars.

    And of course today's cars are not much good past the warranty - how much money can an automaker make if everyone keeps their cars for 15 years?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let's keep focused on the CNW report and leave CR out of this particular discussion, for now.

    It's only you who says hybrids are "throw away cars" Gary. I have not seen that written or said anywhere but from your fingers. That assumption alone is flawed. All cars have ends of life, and no car because of it's design alone is limited to a certain number of miles.

    So if you are doing a comparison of cars and trying to make ALL THINGS EQUAL, then you have to assign the same number of miles to EACH VEHICLE. The assumption that a Prius will only go 100,000 miles is about as laughable as assigning a 300,000 mile life to a Hummer !!!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    There you go again worrying more about the big mega corporations instead of us little guys. That is the very reason, if I am ever able to unload this GMC hybrid I would NEVER buy another hybrid vehicle with all that complexity and so little added benefit. I realize you like to buy a new car every couple years. I refuse to make payments to some fat cat banker.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,281
    We get it... you guys disagree. We're pretty far afield here from the original question. Think we might be able to get back to it without going around in the same circle again?

    Edmunds Moderator

    Silver 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback & White 2019 Nissan Rogue S

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Just purchased or leased a vehicle? Write your own vehicle review

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    OK Gdub1973, here's to hoping you read all the posts with interest.

    Let me state my qualifications and then summarize what I have said so far in response to your original post.

    My employer leased a GM EV-1 car back a few years ago right before GM recalled them, and I drove that car several times for a total of 100+ miles. I loved it and wanted one !!

    I bought my first hybrid, a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid manual transmission, in July 2004 for $19,324. It was used with 4822 miles on it.

    I immediately found Edmunds and other hybrid websites and learned everything I could about hybrid cars.

    After about 24,000 miles in my HCH and a lifetime MPG of 48.1 MPG, I moved up to a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid for the additional interior room (my kids are 8 and 11 and growing fast.)

    So far my lifetime average is 36.2 and rising on the TCH after about 10K miles.

    Neither car has ever given me one lick of trouble.

    So I am a biased hybrid advocate, but biased only based on my solid and ever-expanding knowledge of the hybrid technology and my good experiences with both the Honda IMA system and the Toyota HSD system.

    I know for a fact all the criticism I have given the CNW study is true. They indeed compared apples to oranges and made several more bad assumptions, like the Scion problem. They refuse to submit their data and methods for peer analysis.

    Don't believe a word of that study.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "And of course today's cars are not much good past the warranty - how much money can an automaker make if everyone keeps their cars for 15 years?"

    Oh, I don't know, Honda has been in this ("cars last a long time") market niche for a couple of decades now, and they seem to make money pretty well.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,791
    what's the big deal about 'peer review'? it just means you give jealous others a chance to rip your original idea. :P
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,940
    I can't help getting into the middle of this. I own no hybrid, have considered them, but payout is extended. These results make no sense. I can conceive of no possible way for an Expedition and Hummer to have more lifetime energy use than the hybrids, unless the study takes them to different total miles, which would automatically classify the results as useless. An how can a Tacoma and Liberty do twice as well as the Accord and Camry?

    Maybach - $11.582 - *HIGHEST*
    Honda Accord Hybrid - $3.295
    Toyota Prius - $3.239
    Honda Civic Hybrid - $3.238
    Ford Expedition - $3.058 :surprise:
    Hummer H2 - $3.027 :surprise:
    Honda Civic (non-hybrid) - $2.420

    INDUSTRY STRAIGHT AVERAGE - $2.281

    Honda Accord (non-hybrid) - $2.180
    Toyota Camry (non-hybrid) - $1.954
    Toyota Tacoma - $1.147 :surprise:
    Jeep Liberty - $1.099 :surprise:
    Scion xB - $0.478 - *LOWEST*
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I agree. When was the last time you tried getting any information from CR? They guard their source material and test procedures also.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,791
    maybe there is an 'off road' component that is not spelled out. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • dreasdaddreasdad Posts: 276
    these guys(CNW) are off thier rocker. A while back they said that incentive trips that the Manuf award to the delears
    add over 3,000 to the price off each and every car. I am at a delear and have been waiting for my trip to the moon ever since. S as I sold over as I sold over 220 new cars last year my trip should be worth $660,000.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,791
    life is not fair, ask your boss how he liked his trips. :surprise:
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well if you looked in depth at this report it is based on false premises leading to faulty conclusions.

    As larsb stated there is no one taking this report seriously. Not to demean your position but GM ignored it and went full force into hybrids right after it was published.

    Now the Europeans have decided that they at least need a hybrid option to their already efficient diesels. Even the skeptics are ignoring the study as trash basket food.

    Next subject. Batteries dying at 101,000 miles?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The study may be going by the manufacturers own LCA that considers the Prius a 150k mile throw-away. Until we have more data on the hybrids and longevity we have to accept that the life of the hybrid is equal to the life of the most expensive component, the battery. This generation of Prius is barely 3 years old. You cannot base a longevity study on only 3 years. Every time we point out problems with the first Prius that was sold here, you poo poo that as the old hybrid model. Well until the current Prius proves itself for 8 or more years we have no data to go on.

    You've ignored the several posts that Toyota has done bench testing on the battery system and found that at 180,000 miles ( 20% longer than the longest warranty ) that there is no deterioration in the performance of tghe batteries.

    The batteries are a non-issue except for the 'flat-worlders' that are concerned about falling off the edge of the earth if they go too far. There is no data to support a Maximum 100,000 mile life of a hybrid ( CNW's idiotic presumption ). There is no data to support that the vehicle life will end with the warranty period either ( 150K miles in the CARB states ). There is data to state that the batteries will last the expected life of the vehicle which should be 200K to 250K miles as with most vehicles. Those who drive less miles can expect 10 years minimum and most likely 12-15 years if they so desire.

    Now plug those numbers into the CNW study and there is an entirely different conclusion. Reality.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    You are totally ignoring your own companies LCA. So I was wrong it is not 100k miles only 100k kilometers. Toyota states in their LCA of the Prius the following.

    *Assumes a lifetime travel distance of 100,000km
    (10 years) and calculations based on the 10-15
    Japanese test cycle.


    LCA
  • gdub1973gdub1973 Posts: 3
    Wow.

    I wasn't expecting this much feedback so quickly! It's taken a while, but I have also found more feedback and opinions on this study at other locations online as well.

    Although I do not feel 100% confident in the conclusions reported by this, and other comparable studies, I do feel better about our decision.

    We feel the need to proceed with our instincts telling us the right thing to do is buy a hybrid - Camry Hybrid, here we come!

    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this conversation, specifically 'larsb' and 'gagrice' for your passionate responses. :)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You are very welcome, and you will enjoy that TCH I'm sure.

    I know I love mine.....Leaving for a driving trip to San Fran from Phoenix next week....

    Good Luck !!!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The pleasure was all ours and I hope you enjoy your new car.
  • gdub1973gdub1973 Posts: 3
    Thanks again! We certainly feel much better about our decision. :)
  • kkerlkkerl Posts: 1
    CNW's counter-intuitive 'Dust to Dust' study raised my curiosity on any possible biases I could find in the company. Here is what I found after a quick search. Draw your own conclusions.
    ______________________________________________________
    Company Background

    Founded in 1984, CNW Marketing/Research began as Coastal NW Publishing Company. Through the years, clients and subscribers have spread from the Great Northwest to include every state of the union (except Alabama), Australia, Europe, Asia and Canada. Clients include major automobile manufacturers, banks and lending institutions, Wall Street brokerage firms and consultants. Besides publishing LTR/8+ (America's most quoted source of leasing information), CNW publishes new and used vehicle industry reference guides and study summaries, a monthly Retail Automotive Summary of sales and trends, as well as our online research distribution center, CNW by WEB. CNW holds an annual conference in Los Angeles in connection with Time Inc. Mr. Spinella is available for Executive Sessions for a limited number of clients.
    ________________________________________________________________________________- ________

    This is very interesting aspect of CNW, catering to US Auto industry executives at a conference and golf club; not a good sign for unbiased research:

    CNW's Conference Center



    CNW Marketing Research's Vista del Lago conference center has hosted executive sessions for automotive executives. While some major renovations continue, the Center is accepting Session dates for 2007.

    Sessions now include golf outings at one of the country's best golf courses, Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes. Click here to go to Bandon Dunes' web site.

    This is the view at dawn from its deck overlooking Ten Mile Lake in Lakeside Oregon.

    Click for details.
    ________________________________________________________________________________- __________________
    PaCIFIC iNSTITUTE, an unbiased CA reserch group, did a May, 2007 study on CNW; this is their conclusion:

    The Lack of Transparency in Regard to Funding
    As of May 2007, the company continues to refuse to provide information on the sources of
    funding for the analysis, other than to say that the report was “self-funded.” What this appears to
    mean is that funds from other clients (or profits from those funds) must have been used. By
    itself, this is certainly not evidence of error, but it violates fundamental principles requiring the
    transparency of research funding.

    Conclusion
    This (our) short review and analysis calls into question the unsubstantiated conclusions of the CNW
    “Dust to Dust” report – it appears that the report suffers from fatal flaws. Indeed, correcting only
    a few of these flaws completely changes the conclusions. A full analysis, however, would require
    more information about the data, assumptions, methods, and calculations used in the report.
    CNW has not released this information for independent review. We call on them to do so. At that
    time, it may be possible to accurately review and assess the important question of life-cycle
    energy for automobiles.

    Until then, substantial peer-reviewed and verifiable research indicates
    that the only reliable ways to cut the use of fossil fuels in the transportation sector are to build
    more efficient automobiles, develop cars that use alternative energy sources, and drive fewer
    miles.

    For more information about the Pacific Institute, visit www.pacinst.org.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The conclusion of Pacinst relate to who paid for the CNW study. How is this study any different than CR. Will CR tell you how much and who donates money? Who supports all the folks at Pacific Institute? Are they funded by folks that have an agenda? In this day and age ALL studies are suspect. The best advice is follow the money.

    If Pacific Institute is that interested in the Dust to Dust report, they should do their own study. See what they come up with. The truth is it is a huge undertaking and it is easier to undermine someone else's research than to do your own.

    I eagerly await their study on the subject. No one else has come forth with a study that disputes the CNW report with facts.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Calling a Big Ole', TEXAS-SIZED "NOT" on this statement: "No one else has come forth with a study that disputes the CNW report with facts."

    In point of fact, Gary, ALL the other studies prior to CNW dispute it with facts:

    The results of several other rigorous, scientifically-reviewed studies of the lifecycle impact of vehicles (e.g. Argonne National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    · Example 1: These scientifically PEER-REVIEWED (something CNW has refused to allow) studies conclude that the majority (80-85%) of the total lifetime energy use of a vehicle comes from the driving stage, with the remainder coming from the remaining stages of a vehicle life, whereas the CNW study shows these percentages to be reversed.

    · Example 2: Two Toyota models mentioned in the report, the Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    · Example 3: The CNW study states that hybrids require more lifetime energy than even large SUVs. Toyota’s internal analysis does conclude that there is more energy required in the materials production stage for a hybrid, but that this is overwhelmingly made up for in the driving stage (the 80-85% stage), causing the hybrid to have a significantly lower lifetime energy use.

    There are also basic factual errors in the report, for example CNW claim that the hybrid batteries are not recycled.

    * The 2001 MIT study called "On the Road in 2020: An Assessment of the Future of Transportation Technology" (.pdf) used a life cycle analysis that concluded that increasing fuel efficiency with hybrid technology, is a net energy and global warming pollution winner.
    * Andrew Burnham, Michael Wang, and Paula Moon at the Center for Transportation Research of Argonne National Labs recently gave presentation called “Energy and Emission Effects of the Vehicle Cycle” at the 2006 SAE World Congress. One of the key the conclusions is “Total energy cycle energy use decreases for advanced powertrains & lightweight vehicles… Improved fuel economy offsets increase in vehicle cycle energy.”
    * Heather L. MacLean and Lester B. Lave of Carnegie Mellon University published a 1998 life-cycle assessment which concluded that 85 percent of energy use associated with a conventional vehicle’s life cycle is attributable to operation. Only 15 percent is attributable to manufacturing and disposal. Given that, it seems implausible that a 50 mpg rated Honda Civic Hybrid could be worse for the environment than a 17 mpg rated Hummer H3, even if it took twice as much energy to make the hybrid and it is driven half as much before it is replaced.

    Using CNW's logic, America's answer to foreign oil dependency and to pollution is simply to do nothing, as every experimental vehicle, such as hybrids or fuel cell vehicles, will always take more energy to produce in the short term. Obviously, since there are fewer hybrid suppliers, for example, chances are those hybrid supplies will have to be shipped further - taking more energy.

    Using CNW's logic, invention and technological advancement are evil things. Since supply chains for new technologies seldom exist, their creation will ALWAYS, INITIALLY, be less efficient. Therefore, the status quo is always best, well, at least in the short term, but who really cares about the future?

    Face the facts - the CNW study is a bunch of hooey.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I am not going to waste my time refuting each of your examples. Let's just take number ONE.

    Example 1: These scientifically PEER-REVIEWED (something CNW has refused to allow) studies conclude that the majority (80-85%) of the total lifetime energy use of a vehicle comes from the driving stage, with the remainder coming from the remaining stages of a vehicle life, whereas the CNW study shows these percentages to be reversed.

    Energy used will parallel pollution in almost every instance. According to Toyota and the chart I will post for the umpteenth time, clearly shows that most pollution is expelled during manufacturing of the vehicle. In this case the Prius. That means the CNW report is closer to the Toyota report than these other questionable reports. Now you can have it your way or Toyota's way, not both.

    Look very closely at this graph. The largest percentage of Hydrocarbons, Sulfur Oxides, Particulate Matter and Nox are emitted during the manufacture of the Prius. The only one close to 50% is NoX. PM is about 99% put out in MFG.

    image

    I am not sure I agree with the CNW report. I would like to see some other group do a similar report that would give us something to compare. NONE of the studies you offered are even close to as extensive as the CNW report. You just don't like the results so you discredit the data. I don't like the way CR does their flaky surveys so I discredit their rag.

    That does not make either of us RIGHT or Wrong.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, I'm not the one discrediting their data. It's the other studies which do that. REAL studies by REAL SCIENTISTS, not a MARKET research company, which CNW is.

    And there is no disputing that the Prius is more polluting DURING THE TINY, SMALL LITTLE MANUFACTURING PHASE. That fact amounts to a "big freakin WHOOP" when you look at the "lifetime emissions" of the Prius versus comparable gasoline cars !!!

    Concerning your chart that you love so much: If someone put the Prius on that chart versus the Hummer, both with EQUAL LIFESPANS (which CNW did not do), which pollution line would a reasonable, logical, thinking person think would be shorter?

    You know the answer.

    There are degrees of wrong, and this CNW study is just SO FAR from right it's not even funny.

    If they are so confident in their numbers, they would allow scientific peer review - and the have not allowed that. This little fact should tell you that they know what the result would be if a NON-BIASED group of REAL SCIENTISTS looked at their data and methodology.

    The points I have already mentioned refute their data - the Scion issue for example, and the fact that the vehicles were compared with different life spans. Those mistakes ALONE invalidate the data.

    From Wiki:

    David Friedman of the Union of Concerned Scientists commented that the study "has been completely contradicted by studies from MIT, Argonne National Labs, and Carnegie Mellon's Lifecycle Assessment Group."

    An article on the Better World Club website investigates the source of the statement "a Hummer is more energy efficient over its lifetime than a Prius", which it characterizes as an urban legend.

    When your data is so lowly respected and doubted that your number one newsworthy conclusion becomes an "Urban Legend," that's pretty sad.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Simple question. How can studies from 1998 and 2001 discredit a study from 2005? Show me a current study that backs up your suppositions. How can a study from 2001 be at all credible concerning hybrid cars, when so few were even on the road?

    I see no difference in your arguments against CNW than my arguments against CR. Both are based on feelings rather than facts. At least I have a few facts to back up my distrust of CR. Yours is based on emotions.

    The only hybrid so far that disproves the CNW study is a LONE cab in Vancouver BC. When we see 100s of Prius with 150k miles and no big issues on the road it will be a good case against CNW. Until then CNW is the only comprehensive "dust to dust" study to go by.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Even More Simple Answer: Because they were both studying hybrid cars and their environmental impact, which has not changed. It does not matter how many were on the road at the time of the study because the study was not using "cars on the road" as any basis for any conclusions.

    ( I'm not going to talk about CR here - everyone knows they are a valid source of good information. That you personally choose to discredit them is your own demon to deal with. )

    My feelings about the CNW study are ABSOLUTELY not only based on emotion. It's based on logic. I have already stated the logical problems in their data multiple times here.

    Not only I have seen the ridiculosity of this study, but logical disputes of it's findings are all over the Web !!!

    It's a MARKETING company, not even a scientific organization !!

    One simple question for you Gary:

    You DO know that in the "scientific community" all studies are peer-reviewed before becoming a part of the research base, right?

    So how can their results be considered scientifically valid when they won't allow REAL SCIENTISTS to review their methodology and data?

    Until then, it's just a fancy opinion.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Your discrediting of the CNW report also discredits the Toyota LCA. Have it your way. I can totally disregard the CNW report and the evidence is still there that a Prius pollutes more in the MFG than in the driving. And the percentage is way over 50%. I know you don't like that Toyota published that analysis. It still exists and you can deny it all you like. Maybe the Toyota study was just some tech writer's OPINION.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    hold on - I'm workin on something.....

    OK, go read this PDF:

    RMI info on CNW study

    The Toyota LCA shows that in every category except PM, the overall pollution of the Prius versus a comparable gas car, like the COROLLA, is less over the life of the car. ( And notice the PM is VERY SMALL compared to all other pollution categories. )

    Put a Hummer as the "comparable gas car" versus the Prius and watch what would happen to the comparison bars.

    PS Here is another EXHAUSTIVE, LENGTHY study which puts HEVs at the lowest end of overall environmental impact:

    Another CNW refuter with DATA in 2006
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "Your discrediting of the CNW report also discredits the Toyota LCA."

    Oh, by the way: NOT.

    The LCA merely shows that a Prius pollutes more at manufacturing than does a comparable 2.0 liter gasoline engine car.

    It says nothing about Prius versus a polluting monster like the Hummer.

    Like I said - put a Humdinger on that LCA chart and you'd need an 11 x 17 sheet to see the length of the hummer line.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I don't think so. If the life of the H2 was 300k miles or two Prius lifetimes it would be a totally different picture. We are in a holding pattern. We DO NOT Know how well the hybrids will hold up over 10-15 years. If they go 15 years with normal car expense. They will be in the winners circle. Otherwise they will be a page in automotive history.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You are attempting to combine ALL of your anti-hybrid rhetoric into a few posts, when that is not the topic here.

    How you feel about the "historical significance" or lack thereof in regard to hybrids is not at issue.

    Trying to guess what hybrids will do in 10-15 years is not the issue.

    This CNW study, and it's accompanying ridiculous conclusions, is the issue at hand in this topic.

    Anyone visiting this particular forum with an open mind and no preconceived biases can see my "fact-filled" rebuttal of the CNW study and will make up their mind without prejudice. My points have been made and they are correct.

    OUT.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    My opinion of hybrids is based on facts. The CNW report was based on how long a vehicle will last. The reason the Hummer was more cost effective was the presumed longer life. Toyota set the life of the Prius at 10 years and 150k miles. I would say on average that is very generous. I think that they will be filling the wrecking yards shortly after they hit 100k miles. The cost to maintain them after the warranty is up will be more than the average owner will want to spend. That is what the CNW report is all about. If you missed that you should read it over again. Those that have tried to disprove it have an agenda. My agenda is a vehicle that will last a LONG time with as little cost as possible. The CNW report left out the obvious best choice "DIESEL".
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,281
    We get it. You guys disagree on this. We're going around in circles again. Let's move on

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says: "My opinion of hybrids is based on facts."

    Then he turns around and issues two consecutive opinions:

    "I think that they will be filling the wrecking yards shortly after they hit 100k miles. The cost to maintain them after the warranty is up will be more than the average owner will want to spend."

    Anyway, like I said earlier, for those people looking for validity of that CNW study, I have proven beyond a shadow of doubt with FACTS my point that the CNW study is bogus, ridiculous, not scientifically valid, and is contradicted by every other scientifically peer-reviewed study on the subject.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Dust To Dumb - another successful CNW debunking

    Of all of them, this one makes them look the stupidest.

    I am mocking this report because it is the most contrived and mistake-filled study I have ever seen -- by far (and that's saying a lot, since I worked for the federal government for five years). I am not certain there is an accurate calculation in the entire report. I say this without fear of contradiction, because this is also the most opaque study I have ever seen -- by far. I defy anyone to figure out their methodology.

    In this post I'm just going to highlight the most inane claims -- and again, they can only be treated as claims because the report omits all the underlying calculations.
This discussion has been closed.