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Was Paul McCartney Wrong About Hybrids?

Few of us will intentionally go out of our way to generate greenhouse gases; we may not be willing to sacrifice horsepower for a greener car… but choosing not to sacrifice horsepower to save the polar bears, is far different from intentionally modifying your truck so that it blows out massive amounts of greenhouse gasses in defiance of environmental regulations like these morons:

Back in 2008, Sir Paul McCartney, a well-known environmental activist, ordered up a hybrid Lexus LS600h so that he could do his part to save the polar bears. Lexus didn’t want the famous Beatle to have to wait for his new car to arrive via the slow boat from Japan, so they put it in a plane and flew it to England. It was calculated at the time, that shipping the car would have added 297kg of carbon to the environment, while flying it added 38,050kg! That’s 128 times more carbon! With the 2008 Lexus LS600h rated at producing just 219g of carbon per kilometer, it means that the flight cost the equivalent carbon foot-print of driving the Lexus for over 172,000 kilometers!

Paul McCartney via NPR

Sir Paul was dutifully horrified that Lexus had flown his new eco-friendly vehicle half way around the planet, ruining his efforts at saving the polar bears. This of course didn’t stop him from using the car; after all, the damage was done. Here he is seen using the car to go to the recording studio not long after the car had arrived in the UK:

Paul McCartney with his infamous Lexus LS600h via the Daily Mail

But what is interesting is that even back in 2008, 219g of carbon per kilometer was not all that great. The standard selling economy vehicle was only producing 154g per km, and a luxury Jaguar XJ of similar size was only producing 249g per km! At only 30g per km more carbon, that means Sir Paul could have driven the Jaguar XJ for nearly 10,000 km just on what shipping the Lexus via boat would have cost!

2017 Jaguar XJ via Jaguar

What is really surprising is how much petrol engines have improved when it comes to the carbon foot print, less than 10 years later. In 2017, the top 20 best-selling cars in Europe produce only 100 to 130g of carbon per kilometer; a 20-25% drop over the previous decade! Even more surprising is that a 2017 Jaguar XJ produces as little as 149g of carbon per kilometer, that’s nearly a 40% drop! However, Sir Paul’s beloved Lexus LS600h is still producing 219g of carbon per km in 2017, just like it was back in 2008!

EU CO2 Monitoring

This of course is nothing new for Hybrids. Toyota still falsely claims that the Prius emits around 70g of carbon per kilometer, when independent testing has shown time after time that it actually does more in the 104-120g per km range. The truth is that the Prius barely keeps up with a standard economy car when it comes to the environment, which makes one wonder why anyone would spend the extra $10,000.00 (roughly) to buy the hideous thing over a comparable vehicle. Worse, still, the Prius owner has added to the environmental damage because of what the Prius’s batteries do to the environment!

Toyota Prius Battery via YouTube

Does hybrid car production waste offset hybrid benefits?
The hybrid car may be the savior of the automobile industry, but its production processes have come under fire of late. The car may be green, but what about the way the car actually gets made?

It would seem that the technology of hybrids is falling far behind the technology of standard gasoline and diesel engines, when it comes to being green.

The bottom line is that Hybrids didn’t make a lot of sense back in 2008, and they make even less sense today.

Keep driving my friends!

My thanks to Mark and Larry for all their help with this article.

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