Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Wingen_Miner, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Wingen_Miner

    Wingen_Miner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With all of the talk of hybrid cars, power from 'renewables', and carbon emissions trading, it leads me to wonder are well still being Conned?

    It seems that we are being led to believe that the only way to be 'environmentally responsible' is by purchasing the new 'green' technologies. Our government policies seem to be written with this premise in mind. After all, wasnt the $900 stimulus handouts meant to for consumer spending; for items that we as human beings don't really need?

    How often in the newspaper, do we read stories of governments around the world offering quite substantial sums of cash for the relinquishment of 'old bomb' cars, on the condition that a new 'more fuel efficient' is purchased. How quick is our society to throw away those that are not worn out for something flashy and new..... we are made to feel even better knowing that our new purchase is 'green'.

    Was there anything 'wrong' with the old car?

    I myself own two old cars; a 1964 sedan & a 1979 wagon, both 6 cylinder 3L capacity. Whilst they will not win any races, and lack the electric gizmos that are commonplace on new cars, they are reliable, cheap & easy to maintain & PAID FOR. The latter having served my family for the last 30 years and 350,000 kilometres. I'll admit that they do not have the greatest fuel economy in the world, but driven correctly, they are no worse that the equivalent sized SUV in stock form. However with
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    I've read that it takes substantially more energy to produce a Prius than a Hummer! More than will be regained by their difference in fuel consumption over the lifetime of the cars!!
    https://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=8560

    Don't know if this is true or some sort of urban legend (there's so much disinformation out there these days)
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Keeping old cars makes ecological sense to me. I've never seen an analysis of the environmental cost of replacing the older fleet of cars though (eg taking into account the full production and pollution costs as well as what do you do with the old cars). NZ govt wanted to do this for health reasons (less emissions to breathe in) but I thought it was daft environmentally.

    Late model eco-cars are just the middle classes' way of ignoring global warming without being too obvious about it.
     
  4. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    That Prius vs Hummer 'study' has been pretty comprehensively discredited from a science basis. It'll still continue to be quoted by people that have an agenda, though.

    That said, anytime there's a new trend there's going to be people selling products and services into it. Just have a look at all the businesses now starting up that offer to set up and maintain gardens in peoples' backyards, or that will rent chooks to them.

    I figure, if people are going to go in for consumerism and conspicuous consumption (and there will always be an element of that in society), it's a lot better for them to be doing it on green things than on destructive things. If organic cotton clothes, organic food, super-efficient cars, household solar power systems, rainwater tanks, eco houses, etc all become the latest badges of success, surely that's a good thing for the future of humanity? At least until the inevitable backlash against the trend, anyway :).
     
  5. Wingen_Miner

    Wingen_Miner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    .

    But are these items really 'non-destructive' and 'sustainable as we are led to believe? The 'overall efficiency' of a prius is similar to our economies of scale; larger outlay (of entrained energy and finances) with the promise of reduced operating costs over a large time or operational period. So in effect, to utilise this level of 'efficiency' you need to drive more. And it's not even a class leader , its been made 'fashionable'. So if you're smart about your travel and don't need to drive a lot, why not buy a Hummer? Geometry dictates that you can't drive in most city areas anyway. and if that affects the enjoyment level (after all, aren't cars meant to be enjoyed), you wont see too many in trafficked areas. And when you do, it will be different at least.

    Such luxuries are only a badge of sucess if you intend to keep score in this game of life. Quite frankly i would prefer to spend my $40k on taking 6 months off of work. If you have time on your side why would you need a car in the first place..... there's plenty of time to walk, ride & swim to where ever you want to go.

    Human beings are the only species on this planet that feel that they need such luxuries in order to survive.
     
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    How about Bowerbird males that feel the need to collect as many useless blue objects as possible in the hope of getting laid?
     
  7. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    to me it is all pie in the sky, it realy can't be proved in hard copy, and yes gov' is all about wool pulling and contradiction, the nation needs massive spending to keep it going so "afluenza" needs to run unchecked, for me throwing money at something won't make it go away(ie.,. the carbon issue), it needs common sense applied in huge doses and you see very little of that because scientists can't measure it, using their own evolved parameters.

    if any of these very expensive enviro cars were to be a problem solver (keep in mind they are only talking cars not rucks, buses, ships, trains and planes) then how do you get them cheap enough say 2 or 3k in price so the poorer end of town will buy one (keep in mind these things have distance restrictions and carrying capacity restriction ie.,. how would you be hooking up the 6X4 trialer and filling it with something and twoing it someplace? maybe a boat to go fishing now they will never be enviro' friendly hey).

    len
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    I feel a little anxious about putting up my hand here and confessing but -
    Forgive me Gaia as I own a Prius.....

    I bought it 5 years ago when my previous car (Hyundai Excel) was dying and was too small for what I needed. Given the options available to me at the time it seemed like a better idea than the 4WD's that most of the people around me were driving to the shops and to drop kids off at school.

    I love my Prius. It has been reliable and lived up to expectations about fuel efficiency. The built in computer today told me that the consumption for the current tank is 5.7 L / 100 km. And that's just every day running around town use. I find it does much better on the open road. I made Mackay to Gympie on a single tank (45 L) with kids / suitcases and the AC on in December.

    I feel very smug sitting at the traffic lights knowing that my petrol engine has turned itself off while everyone else out there is still chewing through their fuel. I have enough insight into my own personality to know that like many other people part of the purchase decision was about being seen to be green as much as it was about actually being green. It hasn't got me laid though... Maybe it's the wrong colour and a blue one would work better?!

    My son has tabs on it and wants it to become his car when he gets a license - he's only 14 at present so it'll be staying in my hands for quite sometime. The big question then will be what do I get next?
     
  9. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    In the city a prius will get better economy but on the open road something like a vw tdi will get around 3.2-3.8l/100 so it depends what driving you do - in support of the priuses - the nickel in the battery does get recycled so the footprint isn't that bad - and be kind to hummers the H3 uses 13l/100 kms, which ain't that great but still better than a lot of conformadores and most large 4wds on the road. :wink:
     
  10. Wingen_Miner

    Wingen_Miner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Being able to recycle most things (the NiMH prius battery in this case) might make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but what about the footprint that went into making it in the first place? [the battery pack is in addition to all of the other components of a regular car] and the foorpring resulting from the substantial amounts of energy required to re-cycle it?
     
  11. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    that's about it w/m hey?

    with all these new fuzzy feel good measure, and then with this car (the fuel consumpsion as far as i can see is nothing flash lots deliver that now), not a touring/family car very much a local shopping car, it is so expensive it will never create much of a niche in the market place. also never any mention of obselencency, bet it won't last 20 years. we had an eb fairmont with cruise control delivered between 6 & 7 litres per 100 on highway speed fully loaded with 2 late teenage kids and 2 adults on board and boot full, 60 liter tank got us from rocky to brisbane easily. and again if it uses plastics they mostly come from the petro-chemical industry, still rolls on rubber.

    len
     
  12. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Our Peugeot 308 HDI Wagon does 4.1L/100KM on highway runs without luggage, or 5.2L/100KM with a wagon load of luggage and three adults. Plus, if you want, you've got the flexibility to put economy aside and enjoy the 340Nm torque for amazing overtaking.

    CO2 emissions
    308 = 155g/km
    Prius = 89g/km

    Does the low CO2 emission from the Prius hold up when you have to factor in manufacturing and disposal of batteries?
     
  13. Vagabond

    Vagabond Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Everyone is missing the big picture while we argue over fine points of one type of motor vehicle vs. another. The fact is, we shouldn't be driving so much and instead should design towns around well placed rail links so you can walk or cycle to the station and minimize fossil fuel use (assuming electricity for the train is generated in a sustainable manner). The billions spent in Australia on the economic stimulus would have been far better invested in sustainable infrastructure for the nation's future, but unfortunately is was used to prop up the housing bubble and in attempts to maintain the popularity of the ruling party - little more than vote buying.

    With regards to the Prius in particular, any "facts" coming out of America are to be distrusted given the amount of B.S. from industry lobby groups and highly paid crap artists. The overall picture is more complex. The following is from https://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_the_Toyota ... nvironment

     
  14. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    I don't think i would get a prius if i had the cash but they do have one other value - that of an Icon - if we think of some super eco fuzzy form of transport it's easy to get mixed up with the citroenVWholdenfiestacolt economical cars but when people go looking for a small car they often have a prius like picture in their heads and the desire for the warm fuzzy feeling of petrol and exhaust. - They will most likely come out of the dealership with something cheaper and more Nm-s but it gives a form to the thought - something to aim for.
    The prius and its iconic status also encourages other car companies to better it - cheaper and more economical.

    Super complicated and smug car... about $45,000, encouraging the global car industry into eco thinking and helping the planet....priceless.
     
  15. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Hey - one scary thought is electric cars - we use a dodgey 11 killowatts a day but with an electric car we (and most others) would use about 30 something kilowatts/day tripple the power stations and powerlines ( i think ive said this bit before but...)
     
  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    yes vagabond,

    sounds like pie in the sky sales hype, of course they would find those findings over here they have conned the gov' into helping with some sort of funding whatever so they need to impress hey?? be just like asking general motors who makes the best value cars??? or victa mowers who makes the best mowers a fore gone conclusion realy.

    this type of discussion been had on many other forums, and i've asked when are they going to mass produce a vehicle the masses can afford to buy?? can't be done. affordability for the masses would need to be down in single figure thousands of dollers not up near the 50k dollar range they simply can't afford it.

    anyhwo mean time the icon earns a few more fuzzy sales.

    len
     
  17. Wingen_Miner

    Wingen_Miner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    Not in our country unfortunately Len.

    In India maybe, with the Tata Nano (approximate cost US$2,500). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Nano Although i can't see too many Australians 'lowering' themselves to drive something so simple and cheap. There's no Icon status to be had.

    If we truely want cheap motoring, look towards the hoards of used cars that we already have (Opt for simplicity over luxury and you will be rewarded with less headaches). Visit your library and pickup a repair manual (or ebay), grab some second hand tools (ebay, thrift shops, wherever you can) and have a go at doing your own maintenance & servicing. Scour the internet car forums for ways to modify the car for more fuel efficiency; https://www.ecomodder.com is a great place to start.

    Most of all, where humanly possible, get the most out of your rego/insurance payments per year by becoming a one car family instead of two (or two vs three..... whatever your scenario). How many of us, have that second car for the 'odd' trip or odd job here and there? Hire a car for these scenarios... it IS cheaper and you have a lot of variety- run the numbers for your situation, you may be pleasantly surprised..... I WAS!
     
  18. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    if you had to replace the car anyway, good on you for going with something near the efficient end..
     
  19. Wingen_Miner

    Wingen_Miner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  20. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Prius; Justify our need for Consumerism

    actually w/m,

    me and the missus thinking when this not a gas guzzler needs replacing we'd look at those 3 wheel battery/elect' bikes with a trailer on each for going to local shops and if we want to tour then hire a vehicle?? no way we could ever afford 40 or so thousand for a vehicle and then all its maintanance and replacement costs figure they might do 10 years.

    people around doing things under the bonnet of their older cars 70's there abouts models and cutting fuel up to 30% minmum this brings those cars (cheaper to buy) closer to the 3 & 4 l/100km mark . other are other alternatives that are cheaper to provide. these units csot less than around $1k to convert, the masses could afford that, no money in it but for the car makers hey?

    len
     

Share This Page

-->