Worried about Hybrid Battery Environmental Impact

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by SureValla, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    I saw these anti prius comments recently and did not know how to respond

    Can anyone tell me if these claims are accurate?


    1. A normal car, after disposed, could be recycled. A Hybrid could be recycled too, but the battery has to be specially recycled and sent to a special Hybrid recycling facility. This seriously damages the environment

    2. On top of the actual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Pruis relative to a normal car is probably at least 50% more damaging to the environment in the first few years of use when manufacturing and recycling damage is included.

    3. On top of the actual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Pruis relative to a normal car is probably at least 50% more damaging to the environment in the first few years of use when manufacturing and recycling damage is included.
    (Gordon Murray, EVO Magazine)

    4. No one looks at thee facts about the environmental-nasty batteries.

    example:

    Sudbury Ontario
     
  2. ken1784

    ken1784 SuperMID designer

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  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SureValla @ Jul 29 2007, 01:12 AM) [snapback]486959[/snapback]</div>
    My God, Man, you haven't found the search tool? You ought to know a good "big oil spin" when you hear one. Moreover, the rebuttal stickey was right above your question! :p
    ok, being a fellow P.C.'er ... I'll hold yoiur hand, just this once:

    http://priuschat.com/Prius-Myths-and-their...als-t26909.html

    enjoy, and remember, the search tool is a wonderful thing
     
  4. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hill @ Jul 29 2007, 01:22 AM) [snapback]486962[/snapback]</div>
    that never addresses the battery disposal...
     
  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SureValla @ Jul 28 2007, 10:12 PM) [snapback]486959[/snapback]</div>
    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/a...in_page_id=1770

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SureValla @ Jul 28 2007, 10:26 PM) [snapback]486963[/snapback]</div>
    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/environment/rec...stem/index.html
    http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/te...004/hybrid.html

    See bottom of http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/te...004/hybrid.html.
     
  6. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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  7. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi SureValla,

    This is a quite old and totally debunked topic. We will probably be hearing about it for some time.

    So here are the salient points one more time:

    Sudburry Nickel Mine is more than 100 years old. It has been refining sulfurous nickel ore all that time.

    For those un-aware of history, man landed on the moon in 1969. The moon buggy training occured previous or shortly thereafter. The Prius Design Project started in 1992. There is no way the Prius was even around when the ecological destruction was already done while the Moon Buggies were scooting around the damaged Sudbury landscape.

    The source of the picture used in the article was found by PC'ers. It is available for purchase from a picture supply company, and is dated well before 1992.

    INCO (the company that owns the mine) has done much since the 1970's to recover the damaged areas. In fact they have won awards for their efforts in recent decades, and actually have gotten trees to grow again in some of the areas.

    Nickel is an industrial metal used in a myriad of everyday items. Stainless Steel is the main use. Next time you pick up your eating utensils, "The Mail on Sunday" would like you to think about Sudbury too. The next time you take a trip by turbine powered aircraft, think about Sudbury - turbine blade alloys are mostly nickel. The next time you do not need to replace the exhaust system in a car in 2 years - Sudbury. The list goes on and on (metal platings, cutlery, connectors, magnetic shielding...). This is probably why "The Mail on Sunday" retracted the article. Toyota's nickel purchase is less than 1 % of yearly production at Sudbury.

    Unfortunately, every lazy politico wanna-be (like Rush Limbauh, George Will and college student muscle car enthusiasts - Chris Demoro) out there keeps regurgitating the faulty information from the misleading The Mail on Sunday article. Rather than fully researching the topic.


    Toyota has a recycling plant for the batteries, and a $200 bounty for the scrap batteries. Does your local Household Goods store have such a program for the stainless steel eating utensils, cutlery and oven grates they sell? Does "This Old House" list a place to send those Stainless Steel kitchens they are fond of installing after they are used up?
     
  8. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi SureValla,

    The energy usage and lifetime analysis stuff comes from a marketing company - CNW Research. In recent months, the report has showed the Prius getting better and better. Allot of their assumptions are quite faulty, and if taken seriously in the 1950's, the present FWD configuration of many cars would have never been developed. As the Prius becomes more successful, the investment in developement per car gets less and less.

    There are even more things wrong with the report. The link below gives a good detail of the faulty nature of report:

    http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of...rsus_prius.html
     
  9. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(donee @ Jul 29 2007, 09:37 AM) [snapback]487041[/snapback]</div>
    all great information thanks so much for the excellent responses
     
  10. shand

    shand New Member

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    brilliant information - I have used this to fight some battles lately!
     
  11. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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    The other point I wonder about is the 12V battery used in conventional cars. They weigh, say 40 to 50 pounds. You may replace them every 5 years or so. So by the time a Prius battery has died (10 to 15 years, 100 to 150k miles, 150 lb weight about?) you have replaced 150 pounds of conventional lead acid batteries too.

    Also the Prius battery can be rebuilt, conventional lead acid batteries cannot.
     
  12. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The NiMH portion weighs about 65 lbs, the rest of the assembly (case, relays, computer) another 20 lbs.

    We don't know much about time longevity, but my opinion is that 250,000 miles is a conservative estimate for the average lifetime.
     
  13. swi66

    swi66 Member

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    Yes even the BBC TV show "Top Gear" went through the battery mining and disposal issue as an attack on the Prius.
    But they are well known Prius Bashers.

    Generally, people doing this have an agenda.
     
  14. krelborne

    krelborne New Member

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    My favorite attack that they have used more than once: the nickel for the batteries, (omitted fact: all ~30 pounds of it for each car), takes a trip from Canada to Europe to China to Japan. The entire car at 3,000 lbs gets shipped from Japan, and I'm supposed to be worried about a little extra shipping for that chunk of nickel?
     
  15. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    The biggest joke of all is that all the damage to the environment in Sudbury occured in the -past-, when the nickle was used mostly in Detroit iron gas guzzling monster cars, home kitchen sinks, and restaurant kitchens. You know, those cars we car nuts love to restore! ;)

    You'd think the American liars who propagate the anti-Prius hubris would have the sense to shut up, as much of the damage is their heritage.
    Today the Sudbury mine and smelter is one of the cleanest on the planet. And most of the nickle that goes into the Prius comes from -that- scenario. Some is even from recycled sources.
    As far as batteries and recycling, both NiMH and lead acid battery metals are recycled fully. Ask your local wrecker what he does with his lead acid batteries. They are sold to recyclers.
    Ask your local Toyota dealer what a dead Prius NiMH battery is worth. They get $200 for them and they are totally recycled.

    But if you want to believe some of those statements at the beginning of this thread, I have a few bridges to sell! Great deals available. ;)
     
  16. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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    The people at my tire store told me they sell their used wheel weights to a battery manufacturer. I just figured that they made new wheel weights out of them.
     
  17. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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    The whole argument against the Prius is laughable anyway.

    Assuming I average 45 mpg in the Prius and 18 in my Ford Explorer, after 100k miles I have used 2222 gal in the Prius and 5555 in my Explorer.

    Prius to Explorer comparisons
    Transmission holds 4 qts as opposed to 13 qts
    Rear axle 0 qts to 2 qts
    Transfer case 0 qts to 2 qts
    Front axle 0 qts to 2 qts
    Power steering 0 qts to 1 qt
    Brake fluid probably the same
    Coolant 9 qts to 12 qts, the Prius has a big cooling system it seems
    Tires small compared to the Explorer, less weight = less petroleum products

    Anyway you look at it the Prius has less petroleum based products in it and uses less to keep it going than a typical family SUV. Typical sedans will look better than my SUV of course.

    I like my Explorer but I am under no illusions that it is a consumption pig.
     
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