The Toyota Prius: Environmental Disaster

I have come to a conclusion, as I often do, which may surprise readers (all three of you). You may be aware of the Toyota Prius, which aside from being the World's Ugliest Car also lays claim to saving-the-world-one-puff-of-CO2-at-a-time super efficiency.

Friends, I shall prove to you that this is a myth.

My theory is built upon the observation that Prius drivers potter along like they're your bloody granddad. For instance, I personally was stuck in a queue of traffic on a single-lane, no-overtaking, 60kph-limit road for about 4km at 30kph, just a day or two ago. In my car (heavy, diesel-powered 4WD) that meant I was in second gear at middling revs.

Now here comes the mathematical bit.

Let's say that five minutes at 3000rpm in my car produces one unit of CO2. Let us further say that ordinarily, stretch of road A would take me five minutes at 3000rpm, thus emitting one unit of CO2.

Happy with the maths so far?

Right, so normally, I'd be doing the regulation 60kph along this stretch of road to take the aforementioned five minutes. On Prius Day, as I have named it, I was stuck at 30kph, at about 3000rpm. (The revs are probably higher, but let's face it, this is bogus math and we all know it, let's just continue).

This means I was at 3000rpm for ten whole minutes. wait, hang on, that means I emitted twice as much CO2 because I was stuck behind a Prius? Fuck! Call Al Gore!

Worse, let's imagine (as was in fact the case) that it wasn't just me stuck behind said Prius, but a queue of other traffic.

Let's put this into a formula

Let X = baseline emissions for an average car along this stretch of road
Let P = Prius
Let M = me
Let Q = queue of cars I was stuck in.
Let J = overall Journey


P = (X/3) (emissions for Prius over this stretch of road)
M+Q = (2X + 2X + 2X + 2X) (emissions for the rest of us stuck behind)
J = (8X) + (X/3) or 8.3X, to simplify things
divided by all five cars = 1.6666 recurring

or, roughly 1.6 times the normal CO2 emissions for these cars along this stretch of road

Gee thanks granddad. We're all gonna cook and it's because of you and your lousy Prius.

This post brought to you by Totally Hokey Maths inc., a division of Grumpy Fucker corp.

posted @ Thursday, January 11, 2007 10:09 AM

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