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Dec. 18 2009 - 9:37 am | 61 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

New study shatters the myth of hybrid cars saving the planet

Fool's gold

Fool's gold

Many on the right view the Toyota Prius as a tree-hugger’s feel-good car. They are much more expensive than non-tree-hugger cars of the same size, and while the mileage is better, the added cost of the vehicle will never equal the gas savings over the life of the car. But the enviro-buyers don’t really care about the cost savings (if they did, why would they overpay for the car?). It is really only about one thing: showing the world that they care more about saving the planet than you or I do. To those of us in the global warming denier camp, Prius drivers just make us think, Here’s your sign.

Well, it turns out that a new study has proven the deniers correct; the hybrid drivers have been sold a bill of goods.

From, of all places, the Washington Post editorial page.

An Energy Department-funded analysis by the National Research Council, a congressionally chartered body, has concluded that plug-in electric hybrid vehicles probably will not produce significant savings in either greenhouse gas emissions or fuel consumption for at least another two decades — even with massive government subsidies. . . .

So there goes the global warming angle. For those thick-headed warmists out there, that means you will not cool the Earth with a Prius.

Second strike is that they are a ripoff.

Therefore, plug-in hybrid vehicles will remain extremely expensive — the gas savings more than canceled out by their sticker price. They’ll probably account for only about 13 million of the 300 million vehicles on the road in the United States by 2030. Not until 2047 is it probable that the fuel savings of the entire fleet of plug-in hybrids would balance out the subsidies necessary to make them cost-competitive with conventional vehicles. And the government will have to spend $303 billion to get to that point.

Note that last part. Electric vehicles won’t be competitive with normal cars for 38 years.

Don’t get me wrong, hybrid drivers should be able to continue to buy these little scam-boxes. It is a free market and Americans are free to waste their money on whatever they want. Just note that if the the shoe were on the other political foot and conservatives were the hybrid lovers, the left would look at this study and ban hybrids as a fraud, a waste of money, and tell us that the ban was for our own good.


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  1. collapse expand

    I’m trying to figure out how you could be more of a pathetic lying/misleading hack. I can’t quite seem to come up with anything.

    Hey Einstein, the study you used to base this nonsense post on uses plug-in electric vehicles, or PHEV as it’s model.

    The Toyota Prius IS NOT a PHEV. I would bet you knew that though and still chose to use it in this disgraceful post.

    The Washington Post is littered with lying Conservative climate denier propaganda. Sarah Palin’s lies as well have George Will’s lies have graced those sad pages.

    There are at least two other holes in your idiocy that I could drive an electric bus through but I’m already bored with eviscerating you.

    Let others enjoy doing that. Well, that is if you can actually get anyone to read and comment on this tripe.

    Since getting to your post requires digging into the bowels of True/Slant that doesn’t seem likely.

    Off to read the antithesis of you, Taibbi.

  2. collapse expand

    I have never seen anything taken so out of context. The quotes you bring up are about plug-in hybrids, NOT the Prius! The Prius doesn’t plug in, and therefore your argument is the scam, not the cars.

    Even if you were correct in saying that buying plug-in hybrids (which aren’t even in mass consumption yet) won’t help the environment, I still disagree. Purchasing these vehicles supports their research and development, so without these initial customers that you are essentially calling “suckers”, we will NEVER reach that 2047 break-even point.

    The truth is that hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles are steps in the right direction for the environment and energy independence, and while it may be hard to see immediate benefits, you need to look long-term.

  3. collapse expand

    Mr. Dupray,

    There is no one technology that is going to “save the world”. To reverse global warming by reducing GHG concentrations in the atmosphere will take a great many different technological, engineering, policy, and regulatory changes. Some of which will work and some won’t. Some might work in some places and at some times but not other places or other times. If you look at each separately, yes, it will, by itself accomplish nothing.

    It is comparable to wiping out typhoid fever in the United States. A century ago thousands of Americans died every year from typhoid fever, today it is pretty rare. It did not happen all at once and it did not happen by one magic technology. It took many decades, many different technologies in many different situations, and many mistakes and errors. However it did happen but only because people tried.

  4. collapse expand

    To think i put on my Christmas Cards this year:

    “I bought a Hybrid, and saved all your asses from global warming, bitches! Thank me later!”

    “Oh, and Merry Christmas!”

    Write more nonsense please, it gives me something to laugh at during day when I’m not busy.

  5. collapse expand

    Why not actually research cars before you write such a ridiculous article? It’s about plug-in hybrids, not the regular hybrids we see on the road today. People will read this headline and assume things that aren’t true, and I find that very frustrating. Real debate is fine, but this isn’t.

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    About Me

    I am a lawyer afflicted with a consuming desire to analyze and debate politics.

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    Contributor Since: September 2009