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



  • 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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.

    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

    For more information about the Pacific Institute, visit
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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.


    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    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: 7,770
    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.
  • carz89carz89 Posts: 16
    larsb, after reading all of gagrice's comments and your comments, as well as all the referenced studies, I've come to the conclusion that you are 100% correct on your analysis. Gagrice has been a broken record and isn't listening to reason. I'm a nuclear engineer, and from a scientific/engineering/economic point of view, the "dust to dust" report makes absolutely no sense in any way. I agree 100% with the Joseph Romm blog that you referenced. His insight that CNW intentionally published the study as a hoax is interesting and plausible.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    Let's keep the discussion about the topics and vehicles and keep away from discussing each other please.

    There's nothing but trouble down that road

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This discussion has been closed.