Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/11/16

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Subject: [Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?
From: henningw at (Henning Wulff)
Date: Fri Nov 16 12:34:09 2007
References: <> <> <> <> <> <>

>Ken, it is the first time I hear something like this:
>>    Carbon footprint?  Most cars consume more energy while being 
>>manufactured than on the road.
>sounds very probable and interesting. Do you have any figures about this?

There are a whole lot of factors in energy efficiency/ecological 
footprint concerns.

Cars do take a lot of energy to produce, and the Prius unfortunately 
needs more; batteries are a large part of the problem. Also, 
regarding the ecological footprint, there is the concern that 
batteries intrinsically need aggressive chemicals to work and that is 
a manufacturing/re-manufacturing and accident and disposal issue.

The total life-cycle ecological footprint is generally lower for 
turbo diesels of the latest types, and these are probably most 
reasonable for European users. Now that finally low sulphur fuels are 
also available in N. America we'll see more diesels here as well, as 
they are even better suited to the N. American style of driving.

Regarding the wish for better brakes; Toyatas in general have 
relatively poor systems. Some years back a test was done in Europe on 
brakes. About 10 different cars from various manufacturers were 
tested. The final test was loading them to the manufacturers 
specified maximum (which is surprisingly low, and exceeded regularly 
in the US and Canada), driven to the top of a high mountain pass, 
driven down the pass with frequent use of the brakes (necessary!), 
sped up to 120km/hr or so, and then had their bakes slammed on right 
after at a specified point. At the point where the best braking car 
(a Porsche) had stopped, the residual speed of the others was 
measured as they tried to stop. The Toyota was still going over 

When the LS400 Lexus was first brought to Germany and marketed as an 
alternative to BMW's and Mercedes, it was found that while it could 
accelerate to 250km/hr on the Autobahn, it needed regular brake 
system (pads, discs, the lot) replacement every 5000km or so as the 
braking system was not up to the speeds it could achieve. And it 
couldn't stop adequately even when the brakes were new.

The Prius Hybrid system works well in a certain range of speeds and 
usage. Gentle acceleration, speeds of 120km/hr or less and gentle 
cornering. The idiot tv screen showing where your power is going can 
thankfully be turned off. It seems to be very reliable and problem 
free; a Toyota virtue. The problem is (if you like driving the car) 
that it has no overall ecological advantage, and monetarily you are 
not going to come out ahead unless you drive a lot more than average.

    *            Henning J. Wulff
   /|\      Wulff Photography & Design
  |[ ]|

Replies: Reply from leica at (Didier Ludwig) ([Leica] Forget Prius, buy a bike)
Reply from eduardoalbesi at (Eduardo Albesi) ([spam] Re: [Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
In reply to: Message from nathan at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
Message from leica at (Didier Ludwig) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
Message from rsphotoimages at (Bob Shaw) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
Message from reid at (Brian Reid) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
Message from ken at (Ken Iisaka) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)
Message from eduardoalbesi at (Eduardo Albesi) ([Leica] Totally OT: Prius experiences?)