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  1. #1
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    "Green" cars cause more pollution

    They are popular with socially-conscious Hollywood stars, politicians on the campaign trail and eco-friendly motorists, but some of the 'greenest' cars cause more pollution than gas-guzzling off-roaders, a study has revealed.

    The petrol-electric Toyota Prius, one of the most 'environmentally friendly' cars, favoured by Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, is on the list of worst polluters.

    It was beaten by several off-roaders including the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Discovery.

    The study, commissioned by What Car? magazine, suggests that if drivers really want to save the planet, they should ditch their 'green' vehicles.

    Researchers accepted that many 'green' cars do push out less pollution when they are running, but they argue that the energy used to make the technically complex vehicles means they cause more pollution that conventional cars.

    Near the bottom of the list is the Toyota Prius which languishes in 74th place, while the Honda Civic Hybrid was in 73rd place.

    Another hybrid, the Lexus RX400h, was in 83rd place.

    They were beaten by a range of gas-guzzlers, including the Mercedes Benz M-Class, Range Rover Sport and Jeep Cherokee.

    The best performing car overall was the Jeep Wrangler off-roader, followed by the Toyota Yaris, Corolla and Chevrolet Kalos.

    The Ford Focus, Hyundai Accent and Mazda 3 also ranked highly.

    Worst performer overall was the Maybach limousine, built by Daimler-Chrysler.

    Art Spinella, from CNW, the organisation that carried out the research, said: "Why do hybrids show up so poorly? It's because of the manufacture, replacement and disposal of high-energy use items including the batteries, electric motors and lighter weight materials used in construction.

    "Simpler vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler, use established technologies that need less energy in manufacture."
    http://survey.sky.com/morethan/Defau...article_id=301

    I've always thought the same thing when people start talking about electric cars. Currently most of our power still comes from pollution creating sources. So just because the car itself doesn't pollute doesn't make it just as bad overall. Plus as they mention above the manufacturing processes are likely to be more complicated making more pollution.
    Steve

  2. #2
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    It doesn't say what kind of a time frame they're talking about though. A Prius might cause more pollution from production through 1 year after purchase. However, does it eventually even out, when compared to the Wranger after 10 years of being driven?

  3. #3
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    I agree, it's rather ambiguous.
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  4. #4
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    always thought electric cars was a somewhat stupid idea, until they can harness the power of the sun(without looking like a silver ufo) and self generate power to keep moving, they won't be any better.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Stephen)
    always thought electric cars was a somewhat stupid idea, until they can harness the power of the sun(without looking like a silver ufo) and self generate power to keep moving, they won't be any better.
    Thats because the means of generating electricity currently uses fossil fuels. We need to focus on moving our power plants away from fossil fuels before moving our cars away from them.


    Alex

  6. #6
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    This doesn't apply to hybrid cars though, because they don't use any electricity from a power plant. The issue they're saying is with the manufacturing process, but they don't really go into enough detail on what specifically the pollution they're referring to is.
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  7. #7
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    If anyone in the UK has ever watched the Horizon documentary about "global dimming", the limits on exhaust fumes put in place by the EU are causing Europe to suffer from increased "global warming", which we have noticed since the likes of catalytic convertors were made compulsary.

    So I think they should now scrap cats and stop encouraging everyone to go green, as its actually the visable fumes (which is all cats can stop) that counteract global warming...

    At the end of the day, global warming is going to kill the earth, if global dimming can slow global warming down, then it should be promoted (I know global dimming itself is harmful, but if we stop global dimming, it will cause global warming to increase in speed and end the earth sooner then we think).

    With the current decrease in global dimming, Britain will have the climate of North Africa within 100 years scientests rekon...

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  8. #8
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    Batteries are bitch to dispose of and right now this technology is young and not as efficient as it can be. Given some time hybrid manufacturing will get more efficient - if people keep supporting it. IMHO article is very short-sighted and sends wrong message.

  9. #9
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    Well to be honest Hybrids will never achieve what they should whilst the likes of Lexus insist on putting 4.3L engines and the like in them.

    I don't see whats wrong with 2.5L myself.... but there we go!

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  10. #10
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    Well horsepower in cars has just been dramatically increasing in recent years and it doesn't seem like it's going to change, no company is going to go stick a 200 hp engine in their sedan when all their competitors have 350 hp engines.
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  11. #11
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    You dont need a bigger engine capacity to create more horsepower.

    Manufacturers need to take a leaf out of Volkwagon's book, with their upcoming TSI range of engines.

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  12. #12
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    That's true, most companies just go for bigger engines though. The Dodge Viper has an 8.3L engine and produces what, 500 horsepower? Somewhere in that range anyway. Seems very inefficient to have that capacity engine and only produce that much power, although it is a lot there's significantly smaller engines then that which produce a good deal more power.
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  13. #13
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    Since clearly they're factoring in the advanced construction requirements, the significantly smaller production quantities, presumably some level of the research and testing/development required to go into "green" cars, are they also including the average lifetime of the various types of cars (if a car is really cheap to manufacture, but the average one ends up in the junk heap within 10 years, versus something like the 1980's civic hatchbacks, which seem to be immortal in this sense, is this factored for)?

    On that note, have they factored in the cost of research in the forms of all F1 races, Nascar, etc. when considering how much pollution non-hybrid vehicles produce? Because all of those races are simply development, in plain sight (and are generally pretty clear about that).

    This argument IMHO seems to be a bit off, the article seems to embrace the idea that we should stay where we are technology wise, because new green development produces pollution, before it produces longterm results. While I agree that certain technologies are red herrings (eg. hydrogen cells that requires platinum lining the fuel tanks to keep the hydrogen atoms within the tanks); I think that many technologies if in the same scale mass production as current vehicles would produce significantly different test results.

    I'm surprised nobody has brought up the super capacitors that have been in research news recently, that have the potential to act much like batteries, using carbon nano tubes.

  14. #14
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    I agree there, it doesn't seem like you can really make an accurate comparison between the levels of pollution produced by hybrids and regular gasoline engines right now, I wouldn't really put much stock into the accuracy of the statements made in that article, I don't see any evidence there to back up their claims.
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  15. #15
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    I don't see any evidence there to back up their claims.
    I think that's because it is more of an advert for this months issue of the magazine rather than the full detailed article. I did have a look on the "What Car?" website but couldn't find a full version so I guess we'll have to wait to see how they really put it all together.
    Steve

  16. #16
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    Yeah seems like they just put a spin on it to make this point, it's easily to manipulate statistics to your advantage like that.
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  17. #17
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    I have heard that one possible problem with solar power is the toxic metals used to manufacture them. I don't know of any studies quantitating the effect.

    Certainly a simple way to be relatively fuel efficient is to not buy much more car than you reasonably expect to have a use for. If you don't expect to transport a baby elephant very often, but want to be prepared for that contingency, that's why there are rentals.

  18. #18
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    Yeah I agree. 90% of the people who buy SUVs don't utilize them and don't need them, it's really not necessary. Unfortunately that's never going to change, people who can afford Escalades and H2s buy those and not Corollas and Focuses.
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  19. #19
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    Interesting group of famous owners.

    Famous owners

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HC-Josh
    That's true, most companies just go for bigger engines though. The Dodge Viper has an 8.3L engine and produces what, 500 horsepower? Somewhere in that range anyway. Seems very inefficient to have that capacity engine and only produce that much power, although it is a lot there's significantly smaller engines then that which produce a good deal more power.
    Keep in mind, just because an engine is larger doesn't mean it's inefficient or a polluter. The new VW engines will likely be pretty heavy on the pollution side since they're twin charged, with both super & turbo chargers involved. Gas mileage likely won't be that great either, especially in city driving. The same goes for the the rotary engines. They're about 1.3 litre's in size, but get awful gas mileage and take a TON of work to pass any emissions tests.

  21. #21
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    Well I would think that generally speaking anyway larger engines are heavier polluters, that thing is a gas guzzler obviously also. I was actually more making the point that you don't necessarily need a larger engine to produce more horsepower as someone else said, I just think that a 8.3L engine which only produces 500 hp isn't amazing. I suppose that's not exactly relevant to a discussion on pollution from vehicles though.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by inogenius
    Keep in mind, just because an engine is larger doesn't mean it's inefficient or a polluter. The new VW engines will likely be pretty heavy on the pollution side since they're twin charged, with both super & turbo chargers involved. Gas mileage likely won't be that great either, especially in city driving. The same goes for the the rotary engines. They're about 1.3 litre's in size, but get awful gas mileage and take a TON of work to pass any emissions tests.
    Rotary engines have never been aimed at fuel efficiency, they were originally designed in the early 1900's when fuel efficiency was something that never occurred. All they are designed for is high revs. A 1.3 rotary engine in general uses about the same amount of petrol as a 3L internal combustion engine, but then it also delivers about the same amount of power (~230BHP).

    Also, you have to look at the fact that since they were conceieved, only a handful of companies have tried to develop them further, with only Mazda having made a success of them (even Norton had a go). Now internal combustion engines have been developed by pretty much every manufacturer going, and nowadays, especially in Europe where petrol prices are high, its as important to squeeze more mpg out of engines then bhp, so this has a led to a sharp increase in fuel economic IC engines, especially within the last 10 years.

    Due to the fact roatary engines work completely differently I dont think they can be included in this theory of larger engines being less efficient then smaller engines.

    Volkswagons new TSI engines are actually being developed with fuel economy in mind - if they wernt, there would be no point in them spending the millions they are doing it. The Volkswagon Golf GT for instance features a 1.4L TSI engine and not only does the supercharger to 2000 help remove turbo lag, but is also makes the performance of the car equivalent of that to a 2.4L V6, but with the fuel economy of a standard 1.6 engine.

    Yes, the emissions will be slightly higher then a standard 1.4/1.6, but at the end of the day, the car is road legal in Europe, where emissions limits are the most strict in the world.

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  23. #23
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    Wow this article is almost as biased as a CNET article. Talk about stretching the information to agree in what they want to relay.

    More pollution during the setup procedure compared to driving? LMAO.. ok...nice stretch....
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