Originally Published 2007-05-27 16:05:21
An acquaintance of mine, a Prius owner, mentioned this today as we were filling up his gas tank capable of propelling him 400+ miles. Apparently between mining the nickel and disposing of the battery at end-of-life, the Prius costs significantly more than your average Honda Civic.
I did a quick search and came up with this from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The Prius registered an energy-cost average of $3.25 per mile driven over its expected life span of 100,000 miles. Ironically, a Hummer, the brooding giant that has become the b'te noir of the green movement, did much better, with an energy-cost average of $1.95 over its expected life span of 300,000 miles. And its crash protection makes it far safer than the tiny Prius.
Ouch! Sorry, Prius owners. I feel even better about my gas guzzling (at only 33 miles per gallon on the highway) Acura now!
There's a nice business idea that can come out of this (there always is a way to capitalize, right?). There must be a way of recycling the nickel out of old Priuses (Prii, like radii for radius?). Said nickel could be salvaged at a profit, make the world a better place, and help Prius owners get their tree-hugging mojo back.
I can just imagine the marketing and PR push. "Did you know that your Prius hurts the environment more than an H2? Here's your chance to make up for it!" I bet if it were spun right the Prius owners would PAY to recycle 'em. :-)