- T​oyota USA

T​he Toyota Prius is Terrible for the Environment

M​ight as well be a muscle car

1y ago

Look around the next time you’re out. Start to count them and you’ll soon run out of fingers. The Prius is everywhere. Because, somehow Toyota has managed to convince millions of soccer moms and celebrities that their little egg shaped car is a worthy purchase. So much so that Leonardo DiCaprio drives one???

A​ll this leaves me with just one question, why?!?!? Why in gods name would people put themselves through abject misery on a daily basis. N​ow, most people would argue that the Toyota Prius is envoirmantally friendly, and that it's ok to go through a bit of pain to make the world a better place.

However, that argument only stands it it's true, and unfortunately there is leading cause to believe that it simply isn't. And before all of the ecomentalists out there start running about claiming that I am a gas guzzling coal-lover I will say this. I own and daily drive a gen-1 Tesla Roadster, and I love it.

Tesla USA

Tesla USA

But w​hy is it bad for the environment?

See this is were it gets tricky because while yes, the Toyota Prius does get fantastic gas milage when pottering around town and dropping the kids off at school it does have 3 fatal flaws.

First of all to understand why the Toyota Prius gets such good gas milage we must discuss how it works. As you probably already know the Toyota Prius is a plug-in Hybrid, which means that it has a tiny little 1.5 liter engine, a small electric motor, and of course some batteries.

Now this is where it gets interesting, because to make these batteries they must first go to Canada and mine rare-earth materials such as lithium. After which, the Lithium is shipped off to China were it is turned into a battery pack along with its electric motor counterpart. Once the battery is finished; it is course sent to the factory in Japan where all the parts come together. Then, the little Toyota is shipped across the world to Leonardo Dicaprio's drive.

A​s you may have probably noticed the amount of pollution which this little car has already created is so great that even Toyota admits that the Prius is a bit of a polluter during its production.

N​ow at this point you may be saying well that's alright because my little fuel efficient Prius will make it all up on the road.

T​his is where I get to the second issue, because while the Toyota uses up less fuel than your average family car we must understand where its energy comes from. Because, the only reason the Prius gets good gas milage is because of its battery. Unfortunately, however, the battery gets its energy from mostly non eco-friendly sources; because whether you plug it in or just use the engine to top it off you are still getting your electricity from fossil fuels. This problem, however, cannot be said for all hybrid/electric cars because many EV chargers, such as Tesla superchargers use a lot of solar power to reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicles.

N​ow, the third and final issue is more subjective, because yes the Toyota Prius does do well on gas, but only when you aren't pushing it. Simply because if you take a car such as the BMW M3 and put it against a car like the Toyota Prius on a track the Prius would use more fuel. This is down to the fact that the M3 has to use less of its power while the Toyota has to use all of its measly power while staying in the redline for longer.

I refer you to an episode of Top Gear in which Jeremy Clarkson tested a Prius against a BMW M3. The cars went at the same pace and in the same conditions. So, when the ten laps of the Top Gear test track were up, the Prius managed 17.2 mpg while the BMW averaged 19.4 mpg. It’s odd then that any car should be based off its efficiency, when that efficiency depends on the driver; the fact is that It’s not what you drive that matters, it’s how you drive it.

A​s a result you end up with a car which is universally recognized as drab, slow, unexciting, and at a starting price which is $8,000 more than the Toyota Yaris.

And it isn't even kind to polar bears.

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Comments (19)

  • Thanks for writing this. This has been my argument for years now and all I ever get is told that I hate the planet. It's everything wrong with your typical Prius driver.

      1 year ago
  • This is the most poorly written article I've read in a while. The number of grammatical errors made my head spin. If it's your job to write, at least do it well.

      1 year ago
  • Your article is a bit weird.. all cars are terrible for the environment, though some are worse than others. The Prius parts get shipped over the world, as most cars parts do before they get assembled. It of course does deppend on how you drive your Prius. But I think we all agree, that the Prius *can* be driven with much less gas, than a BMW M3.

    Now about the battery. It depends on how they are produced. Tesla for example is mainly using renewable energy to produce its batteries, where as Toyota may (I dont know wether they do or not, but just for example) use fossil fuels to produce their batteries. And it depends on how you charge your Prius (if you do chargr it at all). I mainly charge my Model S from renewable energy sources, but a Prius driver may not, so it depends. But a Prius can be more environmentally friendly than a normal gas car.

      1 year ago
  • Yes, a Prius is not as environmentally friendly as people think. It does however help lower some of the air pollution in cities. Good for you that you drive a $200k Tesla roadster. It seems this entire article was written just so you can get that gloat in. You're are so much better than us Prius owners.

      1 month ago
  • So, the Prius has had a 1.8l, not 1.5 for a decade now. The Prius is also not a plug in, has no lithium ion batteries (nickel metal hydride).

    There is a plug in variant, but that’s a different model. The Prius Prime. That one does have lithium ion (small 8kwh battery) designed to last 300k+ miles. Sounds like someone just wanted to humble brag about their Tesla and knows almost nothing about they subject of their own article.

      2 months ago