Prius has a larger carbon footprint than your car?

swanz(z5NH)January 25, 2008

"One of the most subtle problems in public policy is to decide what exactly one is trying to optimize. By changing the definition of Green-ness to include total pollution rather than simply minimizing a "carbon footprint" it may well be the case that a Hummer is Greener than a Prius. "

Here is a link that might be useful: Prius

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kartwheel

LOL!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 2:53PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Depends on the "Green".
The Prius keeps more Green in one's wallet over the Hummer.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 2:58PM
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rivkadr(SoCal)

The comments below the article are interesting. It should probably be read with a grain of salt.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 3:00PM
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swanz(z5NH)

Depends on the "Green".
The Prius keeps more Green in one's wallet over the Hummer. color = blue>

Even at today's oil prices the extra premium on buying a hybrid is not recooped.
But my main worry is the Prius's effect on the environment.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 3:06PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

This from near the bottom of the comments of Wretched's very rightwing blog piece:

"So, this is the sleight of hand of this "article." Not exactly a level playing field when the notoriously-costly-to-maintain Hummer is magically allowed to spread it's cost over 300,000 miles while the famously low-maintenance Toyota is only allowed 100,000.

Guess what? The Hummer comes in at $5.85 on a level playing field! And the Prius number is actually under $2.90.

No question that the batteries present a negative for this stage in the technology [though you should ask yourself "How much of that mine's production does Toyota buy? Is it 90%? 20%? 2%?

The article gives the Prius the single handed responsibility for all of it.] In fact, the Canadian mine suffered the environmental damage due to nickel smelting about 100 years ago. And Toyota recycles all Prius batteries as part of the purchase price.

But the main thing to tip you off is that the "report" was written buy a marketing firm. They wont show their research calcs [unacceptable to scientists, and other Homo Sapiens].

But itÂs absurd on the face of it. Initial costs
Hummer: $ 50,000
Prius: $25,000
Cost to operate:
Hummer: 0.47 per mile
Prius: 0.22 per mile

Life expectancy:
Gimme a break. They are the same.

You gotta REALLY want to believe. I mean you REALLY gotta want to IGNORE REALITY to think this PR flack could be true in any stretch of the imagination.

Be smart."

And that is very good advice, swanz.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 3:07PM
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swanz(z5NH)

My only problem with a Prius is that if I bought one, I'd actually have to drive that low down little sucker.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 3:21PM
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spewey

Thanks for digging that out Marshall. Something sounded fishy about the piece, and of course it was.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 3:46PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

A public service from the Marshal

As soon as I saw that it was Wretched's blog, I knew it likely was a suspect.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Pidge

This article was printed on my local paper's op-ed page and drew immediate corrections from readers. Just another shill to discount any efforts to protect the planet.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 4:10PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

The sad part is the appearance in your and many other newspapers and other media. Google will make it available high on the list, without corrections, and the material will become "true".

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 4:14PM
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mtnwomanbc

Well, as nickel is used in most rechargeable batteries, not just those used in a Prius, I guess we're all responsible for the environmental damage due to nickel mining. I'd say the millions, if not billions of rechargeable batteries used for cell phones, cameras, laptops, etc. probably use the bulk of the nickel mined for use in batteries. Those used in the Prius would be a drop in the bucket. And as noted, Toyota does take them back and recycle them. At least that shows a back-end environmental responsibility since they really can't control the front end mining and processing. Also, there doesn't seem to be any nickel mining in Japan.

Of course, I'm prejudiced since DH and I own two Priuses. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Nickel

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 4:37PM
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comettose(7)

All Hummers and big gas guzzling SUVs ought to be smelted down and made into something useful.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 4:53PM
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clay199(5b BC)

I would think that you would have to be pretty naive to believe this article to begin with;

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 5:19PM
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plot_thickens(8a)

If we consider ecological change done by humans to be a problem, then humans are the real source of the problem. Not having kids is the only way to fix that.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:02PM
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inkognito

Hail Mary, mother of God PT?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:26PM
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kingturtle(Zone 7 GA)

The John Stossel effect. People are so used to Mr. Give me a break debunking conventional wisdom and sometimes common sense while treating the viewers as idiots. That and 7 years of alternate reality Bush-speak have overloaded and desensitized people's bs radar.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:27PM
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newjerseybt(5b NE PA)

Buying a tin box for the SOLE purpose of making a political statement and putting your family at risk doesn't make sense.

If you need to drive long distances where little to no braking is required makes the purchase of a Prius far less cost effective as there will little to no electrical energy transfered to the storage batteries. You will be better off buying a Honda or Toyota.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:39PM
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clay199(5b BC)

Excellent point. It is far better to buy a Toyota than a Prius.

Hmmmm. If only that made sense.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:43PM
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swanz(z5NH)

Excellent point. It is far better to buy a Toyota than a Prius.
Hmmmm. If only that made sense. color = blue>

We know what you meant newjers

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
color = blue>

You go first PT, we're right behind you,...really we are.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:17PM
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david52_gw

A lot of folks have Prius out here in the mountain / desert border. They get, with one or two passengers, about 30 mpg up hill, and 90 - 100 mpg down hill. Generally they average well into the 50's. But this isn't interstate, its 60 mph. A 4 cylinder Honda Civic and the Toyota equivalent will average out in the 40's.

In reality, most of the driving around here is to get to work in some office in town, stop by and pick up a sack of groceries and your kid after school and go home. A Ford Excursion or F350 dually or a Prius all doing the same thing.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:28PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I'll ask you the same question, swanz, when gasoline costs $5.00/gallon

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:29PM
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comettose(7)

"In reality, most of the driving around here is to get to work in some office in town, stop by and pick up a sack of groceries and your kid after school and go home. A Ford Excursion or F350 dually or a Prius all doing the same thing."

The Prius does better in stop and go traffic at lower speeds. That is when the battery is used. At higher speeds the gas kicks in. I think that is how it works?!?
You must be making a joke (he he).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:37PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.

So, PT-- is that to say you and your friends won't be as dense once you're dead?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 8:52PM
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swanz(z5NH)

LOL !

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 8:55PM
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swanz(z5NH)

This article was making an extreme comparison. Which means most small sedans are
likely greener than the prius.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 6:51AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Swanz, just because you repeat it does not make it true. You really should read more, as opposed to gleaning what you like off the internet.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 7:44AM
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comettose(7)

Human Extinction - won't happen voluntarily but I've done my part I supposed - one male child that does not want children. I'll mention vasectomy to him.

I'd like to evetually see a sustainable population of humans, not extinction which is one of the groups goals.

It is interesting to read the viewpoints. When taken on face value the group will get scoffed at as the name sounds bad. No species sets out to be extinct, including humans, but we are the only ones that can think about it and organize it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 8:56AM
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pnbrown

The oft-stated "lifetime" of a Prius is simply based on Toyota's testing of the battery-system. They have found no evidence of problems in less that 100,000 miles. The hybrid-haters have jumped on that as to mean that a Prius is worthless after 100,000 miles. An odd conclusion. Most cars nowadays have most of their major problems after 100,000 miles, though many american-made ones become problematic well before that.

Apparently it is true that there are some hideous toxicities generated in the battery-making process for the Prius. Not surprising - the same goes for all battery manufacture. Cellphones, computers, cordless tools - even pv solar systems! Can't get greener that that. Battery efficiency is the single greatest problem faced by all alternative technologies. However, even with the current battery technology, the fuel-savings that it allows offsets the toxicity, because more toxins would have been emitted by bthe combustion of the saved fuel. Unless people drive more after buying a hybrid - that is the real issue that is rarely mentioned.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 9:01AM
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comettose(7)

I had recent dealings with this company and needed to call them but didn't have the number for some reason right at hand and I stuck their name in an Internet Search and found this. I hope they get the research money.

After talking with them last week I asked about this and one of the more immediate uses being looked at, by the Forestry Department, it to place fire sensors in large tracts of forest that are off the electric grid. This is promising and I was told doesn't harm the trees.

Wouldn't it be grand to have companies plant trees to make electricity for power.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alternative Power Source Development

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 9:51AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Slow trickle technology, who'd a thunk? Not being an engineer, I'm not clear on how it works. Any more details?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:24AM
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quirkyquercus

This is interesting and I'm glad someone is shedding light on this. This is precisely the reason I have switched back to regular incandescent bulbs in most lamps in my house. Things aren't always what they seem at first.

There definitely are greener, lower cost cars with comparable MPG than prius.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inco Mine in Sudbury one of the

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:31AM
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maxter(8b)

"Slow trickle technology, who'd a thunk?"

Old news. Drive a nail in a tree and one in the ground and test with a meter...About 4.5 volts. Run two trees in series and get about 2 volts. However, there is no current. I would like to see his device.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:51AM
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comettose(7)

I do not have more details and I know the release on the patent application is older. You can call the company. I was told they don't use the same metal (as listed) as listed in the original news release for the tree probe. You can't find much on it because a company has to be careful their ideas are not stolen, but IMO the R&D from small companies is quite interesting.

I like it any tree works, as the conduit, so if this technology is ever developed to a larger scale it would be sound to plant a large diversity of only native trees for use (and keep the process out of the hands) of any (big) business who will take the technology and reduce it only to dollars in the coffers. This could mean planting only a small variety of trees that grow fast and are uniform. I'd like to see trees that support wildlife be used and the species native to the area they are being tapped.

Despite big oil there are companies out there working these kinds of things. Big innovations come from small business resources.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:52AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Maxter, the trickle charging aspect is relatively new -- as you point out, barely a charge. College physics experiment

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:01AM
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maxter(8b)

Old, old news. I built an inverter years ago that trickle charges batteries from the voltage supplied at my phone jacks.

"College physics experiment"

I'm glad I didn't attend that college!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:06AM
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comettose(7)

And surely electricity had its own naysayers. I'm happy there are people out there working on the charging aspect of 'yawn' that old hat technology.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:08AM
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maxter(8b)

I'm all for free energy. Why worry about a couple of volts from a tree when we have billions of amps available from the earth's magnetic field? Kind of stupid to wire up thousands of trees for a few volts. What a waste of time and money.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:20AM
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comettose(7)

One good use is to detect fires in remote places of California for instance. Is that a waste of money?

OK Maxinator - I hope you are working on a process that can harness usable energy from magnetic fields. I hope all that are capable of doing anything like this are working on alternatives, rather than making fun of those that try.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:25AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Maxter, you couldn't get in my College. :P

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:41AM
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maxter(8b)

"Maxter, you couldn't get in my College. :P"

I know! It closed decades ago!

No comment on energy from magnetic fields. lol

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:47AM
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pnbrown

How do you extract that energy, max? We're ready and willing.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 12:05PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

It was all covered by Popular Mechanics some 25 years ago.

Trials collapsed because of too much NIMBYism. All those copper stakes and lightening strikes. :P

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 12:05PM
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maxter(8b)

Watch.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 12:29PM
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steve2416

Maxter, very interesting but they need a better production staff to make it entertaining.
Do you currently (pun intended) use this technology in your home?
Why is the lighting so dismal and they don't show their faces? If I had developed something this revolutionary my face would be all over the news.
Of course, this is old technology: Ayn Rand first told us about it in "Atlas Shrugged" back in 1957. I can't figure out why it is still shrouded in mystery.
Can you explain?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 3:23PM
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swanz(z5NH)

Maybe because it's a very dangerous discovery. There are trillions of dollars that
will be lost by some countries and conglomerates.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:43PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Steve might have tongue in cheek waiting for Maxter to slip away again.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:10AM
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comettose(7)

This baby gets 200 miles before refueling and only water vapor coming out the back end. Hydrogen - one of earth's most abundant resources right?

Here is a link that might be useful: Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Car

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:17AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

How is the hydrogen made? (too lazy to check for myself)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:22AM
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comettose(7)

"How is the hydrogen made? (too lazy to check for myself)"

I have the sneaking suspicion you know that.

Seems people have varying opinions on it. I found this interesting article (that mentions Ms. Clinton) too. Might not be so wonderful or might be. I'm not a scientist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrogen Fuel Cells - Good or Bad?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:32AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

comettose, thanks. I've seen a similar positive view from Loving elsewhere. I won't even bother commenting on the hit piece/editorial by the other guy. Us old fat guys will die before we'll give up out infernal combustion muscle engines.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:06AM
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pnbrown

I sure like the idea of using the exercise machines to generate electricity. Howmsoever, it's no simple or cheap set-up to install. A lot of generators, wiring, inverters, charge controllers, safety disconnects, and so on. The machines would be much more expensive. But the rising cost of electricity would probably make it feasible for big gyms. The patrons could easily power the lights and heat (or cool) the place and then some.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:53AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

We need a line of clothing and furniture and bedding capable of capturing the energy given off my 6-7 billion people.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:10AM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

There definitely are greener, lower cost cars with comparable MPG than prius.

Really? Which one would that be? I would add the stipulation it has to versatile enough to use in town and on the freeway for longer trips...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:32AM
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quirkyquercus
    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:20PM
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comettose(7)

QQ - most people won't have to worry about that least efficinet two seater category. I should have those worries!! LOL

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 1:35PM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

No QQ, you did not answer my question. Name a car...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 5:59PM
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comettose(7)

They need a spell checker on GW! Efficient is what I thought I typed.

OK, I looked at QQ's list and Prius is at the top as most efficient. What is the issue again?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 6:07PM
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mtnwomanbc

Just to throw another car in the mix...I used to drive a VW Rabbit diesel, which got 43 miles a gallon. With that car converted to biodiesel, it might be just about equivalent to the Prius, although with greater emissions.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:23AM
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markjames

From reading the Dust to Dust Energy Report, it seems that the real competition from a dust to dust efficiency, cost and environmental impact perspective comes from small to mid sized vehicles.

Hummer H3 $ 32,107 ($1.94 per mile) @ 207,000 miles
Toyota Prius $ 23,142 ($3.24 per mile) @ 109,000 miles
Honda Civic Hybrid $ 23,627 ($3.23 per mile) @ 113,000 miles

The Top 10 most energy efficient vehicles over their lifetime:

1. Scion xB $14,971($0.48 per mile) @ 189,000 miles
2. Ford Escort $14,522 ($0.57 per mile) @ 192,000 miles
3. Jeep Wrangler $ 25,375 ($0.60 per mile) @ 207,000 miles
4. Chevrolet Tracker $18,567 ($0.69 per mile) @ 153,000 miles
5. Toyota Echo $11,217 ($0.70 per mile) @ 157,000 miles
6. Saturn Ion $15,002 ($0.71 per mile) @ 161,000 miles
7. Hyundai Elantra $15,333 ($0.72 per mile) @ 162,000 miles
8. Dodge Neon $15,424 ($0.73 per mile) @ 148,000 miles
9. Toyota Corolla $15,873 ($0.73 per mile) @ 169,000 miles

  1. Scion xA $13,151 ($0.74 per mile) @ 156,000 miles

Here is a link that might be useful: Why 100,000 Miles for Prius?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 11:44AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Already rebutted above, but here's another debunking of CNW Marketing Research's claims.

Hummer versus Prius: "Dust to Dust" Report Misleads the Media and Public with Bad Science Closer inspection suggests that the report's conclusions rely on faulty methods of anlysis, untenable assumptions, selective use and presentation of data, and a complete lack of peer review. Even the most cursory look reveals serious biases and flaws: the average Hummer H1 is assumed to tavel 379,000 miles and last for 35 years, while the average Prius is assumed to last only 109,000 miles over less than 12 years.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:11PM
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clay199(5b BC)

I guess I need to realize that my 2000 Toyota Echo which has 320,000 miles on it is actually not capable of going that long. I will immediately tell my wife not to drive it home from work. It might just magically disappear.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:34PM
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comettose(7)

I love my 2000 Echo. Best car yet, good on gas and no major repairs. In fact, no minor repairs for that matter. I have $126k miles on it. I keep it turned up and change the oil reguarly. I hope to get at least another $100k out of it.

I don't know how where that data came from for the price of the Echo. I paid $13.8 (auto) on the road, tax, title and tags in August 2000.

They don't even sell the Echo anymore anyway - it's is the Yaris.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 4:18PM
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