Anyone who’s considering a Toyota Prius might want to remember this quote from Jack Lifton, an independent commodities consultant and strategic metals expert, who calls the Prius “the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world.”
That’s a mighty big claim, and if it’s true, it means the Prius, billed as one of the most eco-friendly cars in the world, is actually eating away our planet’s stores of rare metals.
The reason for the Prius’ hunger for rare commodities are its batteries and motor magnets.
According to Leftlane,
each Prius uses about 2.2 lbs. of neodymium and each battery uses 22-33 lbs. of lanthanum, figures that will inevitably double as Toyota seeks to boost the Prius’ fuel efficiency.
Yes, hybrid vehicles decrease our use of fossil fuels and reduce tailpipe emissions. However, how “green” they actually are is an issue that needs some serious debate.
I’m thinking fuel-efficient four-cylinder gas or diesel engines are actually much healthier for Earth.
Are hybrid cars like the Prius “green,” even though they deplete Earth’s rare metals? Do you even care?