I'm sure this has come up before, and I believe I have read similar arguments in the past about solar panels, but I didn't find anything in a brief search of the boards. How would you respond to the following? Is it true?
The Toyota Prius is the biggest crock of **** to come down the pike in years!
It gets about 50mpg from the gasoline it burns, but there is a MAJOR problem.
The energy needed to make the storage batteries EXCEEDS THE ENERGY SAVED BY THE FRIGGIN' CAR!
If you compare it to the most efficient Toyota conventionally powered car, which gets approx. 35mpg, the the Prius appears to save 15 mpg.
Over the 100000 mile life of the storage batteries (an optimistic assumption) that 15mpg equates to 857 gallons of gasoline saved.
The battery bank sells for approx. $5000
The energy to produce batteries is roughly 1/2 the cost, or $2500 worth of energy.
If we assume that Toyota pays the energy equivalent of $2500 of gasoline to produce the batteries (again a very generous assumption), then at current costs of $1.36 per gallon of gas, they just spent 1840 gallons of gasoline to save 857 gallons, or 1000 gallons of gasoline wasted.
So the actual mpg of the Prius is 2000gal, plus 1840 gallons to go 100000 miles, or
Hell, I get better gas mileage than that in my VW bus!!!!