Monday, August 31, 2009

The Death of the Prius

Automakers are starting to find out that building vehicles which rely on materials for power that are rarer then the current source of power may not not exactly work out for them. In other words, making hybrid vehicles which run on electricity with no visible means of support may prove to be a dead end or at least a very costly one.
The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.

That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells.
Sort of funny, too, which natural resources are evil while others are okay to strip away from Mother Earth as long as they mesh with the liberal enviro-wacko philosophy.

So just like rushing to embrace ethanol has led to higher food prices and increased starvation in other parts of the world due to food sources being diverted to make energy, so too it looks like this rush to embrace hybrids will only lead to higher automobile prices along with depletion of other resources. The higher vehicle prices don't bother the enviromental crowd--they would just as soon all automobiles would dissappear and everybody be reduced to walking or riding a bike--but I bet they are tying themselves in knots trying to explain why oil is bad but these so-called rare earth minerals are okay.

Don't forget, part of the pending Cap and Trade legislation, which passed out of the House and is now waiting in the Senate for a vote, imposes mandates for just such vehicles and puts other sanctions on automakers in regards to what kind of vehicles they can produce and that you can buy.

No comments: