Friday, June 29, 2012

Hummer Versus Prius

There was a rumor that was circulating a few years ago. I recall it being on the internet, but not in the mainstream media.

It went, that because a Toyota Prius used lithium batteries, and that mining lithium caused so much environmental damage, the Hummer was actually better for the environment over the long term. Really?

A number of writers have since clearly disproved this. See their valid analysis here:

However, I did my own simple analysis. It was not difficult at all. The hardest part is finding the correct numbers.


Prius - Weight Of The Battery:

How Much Gas Do ICE Vehicles Burn Up Just Idling At Red Lights?

Further to my previous post on CO2 in Evs and ICE vehicles, how much gas is burned over a car's lifetime idling away at red lights and stop signs? And then accelerating up to speed again?

A Honda Accord gets approximately 25 MPG in city driving, and 31 MPG on the Highway


Assume 25 MPG for a Honda Accord in city driving.

200K miles / 25 MPG
= 8000 gallons of gas in the car's lifetime

8000 Gallons * $4.00 per gallon:
= $32,000 for gas in the car's lifetime

$32,000 / 200,000 Miles
= 16 cents per mile, just for the gasoline


Assume 31 MPG for a Honda Accord for highway driving.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combusion Engine: Total Cost Of CO2

Further to the Total Cost of Energy for a vehicle, how much CO2 do Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)  vehicles make, versus Electric Vehicles (EV)?

The total weight of C02 that an ICE vehicle emits into the atmosphere over 200K miles is at least 50 times the car's weight! Wow!

On CO2 emissions, electric vehicles easily beat internal combustion engines, usually by orders of magnitude.

How MUCH Carbon Dioxide Does Your Car Produce?

So, how much CO2 do ICE vehicles produce over their lifetime? First, consider how much CO2 is produced by burning a gallon of gasoline.

According to,, the average fuel economy for cars sold in 2005 is about 25.2 MPG (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

"How much CO2 is produced from 1 Gallon of Gas? 1 GALLON OF GAS = 19 LBS. OF CO2. If a gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds, how can it produce three times that much greenhouse gas? The carbon from the gasoline mixes with oxygen from the air. … The eight molecules of CO2 weigh about three times more than the one molecule of octane you started with. That doesn't mean you've violated the law of conservation of mass; instead, you've added the weight of the oxygen from the air to the weight of the carbon from the gasoline."


Burning a Single Tank Of Gas Will Create More Carbon Dioxide Than Most People Weigh! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vehicle Lifetime Cost Of Energy: Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combustion Engine

Recently I was thinking about the total cost of gas over an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car's lifetime of about 200 thousand miles and ran some numbers on the question. It's a LOT!


Cost of Gasoline Over The Vehicle's Entire Lifetime:

Assume an ICE vehicle's total mileage before it is scrapped is 200,000 miles. Assume it gets 25 MPG and gas costs $4 per gallon.

200,000 mile / 25 MPG
= 8000 gallons of gas in the car's lifetime

8000 * $4.00 per gallon
= $32,000 for gas over the car's lifetime!

$32,000 / 200,000
= 16 cents per mile, just for the gasoline

Over the lifetime of the car, 200K miles, the gasoline to drive it will cost $32,000!

Even if the car runs on average at 35 MPG, the total cost of gasoline for the car's lifetime, is about $22,857! When you think of it, the total cost for gasoline is about the cost of the car itself, and often even more! If you only get 15 MPG, the cost of gas over 200K miles will be $53,333!