PITY THE poor Hummer. It seems as if almost everyone — with our governor as the notable exception — loves to pick on it as the big bad boy of environmental contamination.
But this is America. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that someone would make the case that the Hummer is actually greener than the Toyota Prius and other hybrids that are the favorites of the “save the planet” crowd.
A 450-page report by the Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research, an “automotive marketing company,” has come to this startling conclusion: The Hummer H1, H2 and H3 are more energy efficient than a Toyota Prius hybrid and many other smaller vehicles.
The biggest problem I have with the Prius….it’s ugly! Not only that, you can’t carry anything in it. What if you’re going on a week long family trip, Mom, Dad, two kids. Where do you put the kids? Being a female, I’d have at least 2 suitcases, so there’d be no room for children, no matter how small they are…unless you put them on the hood. Naturally, the dad has to be inside….he’s got the cash and credit cards to pay for the trip. Don’t want to tick him off too much, right? To me, it would be MUCH more efficient to have the larger vehicle. That way, you can have your luggage and the kids inside.
But what about all those reports that the Toyota Prius gets about 50 miles per gallon, and the Hummer averages about 8 to 10?
According to the CNW report, titled “Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles from Concept to Disposal,” that’s not the way to calculate energy efficiency. You also have to factor in the amount of energy it takes to produce the vehicle before it gets on the road — and the amount used to dispose of it.
By that calculation, the Hummer comes out far ahead. In “dollars per lifetime miles,” a Prius’ “energy costs” average $3.25 per mile, compared to a mere $1.95 per mile for a Hummer H3.
And the Prius is still ugly.
Enter the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think-tank, with a counter-report alleging that the CNW report is based on “faulty methods of analysis, untenable assumptions, selective use and presentation of data, and a complete lack of peer review.” Among its most flawed assumption: the average H1 Hummer is assumed to last 35 years, and travel 379,000 miles, while the average Prius is assumed to last only 109,000 miles over 12 years.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a vehicle that will last 35 years, instead of just 12? Obviously, you have to do routine maintenance, which, in my understanding, is easier to get for a Hummer than Prius, but I might be wrong.
The lesson here is to beware of junk science. If you want to do your part to fight global warming, it probably doesn’t make sense to trade in your Prius for a Hummer.
But I thought the left LIVED by ‘junk science’?