Debunking an Absurd EV Myth: The Hit Job Against the Prius

Written By Luke Sweeney

Updated May 15, 2024

Like any other green tech, electric vehicles (EVs) stand to cost some industries a ton of money. 

That understandably makes them a great target for media misinformation campaigns. 

Take the humble Toyota Prius, for example. It was the subject of one of the most absurd media hit jobs I’ve ever seen. 

According to an embarrassingly misinformed journalist, a 2006 Toyota Prius will use more energy and have more impact over its lifetime than a GMC Hummer H3. 

prius vs. hummer

Think about that. The author was seriously claiming that a hybrid, four-cylinder vehicle weighing in at just over 2,800 pounds supposedly left a bigger footprint than a 4,700-pound civilian tank. 

But you know how the media work. Before the fact checkers could raise the alarm, that ridiculous story made it all the way to Jeremy Clarkson, host of the British automotive comedy Top Gear.

As one of the common man’s most trusted authorities on everything fast, Clarkson officially breathed life into the story. He also included an obviously rigged test that showed a Prius getting worse gas mileage than a BMW M3. 

If you can believe that a 480-horsepower sports car would perform more efficiently than a vehicle that was literally designed for efficiency, I’m not even sure I would trust you with this bridge I’ve been looking to sell. 

The original author of the now-infamous article claimed that nickel mining for Prius battery packs was causing untold destruction across the planet. To back this up, he cited the environmental damage done to Sudbury, Ontario. 

sudbury contamination

Nickel mining poisoned the soil and groundwater for years. Seeds would die immediately upon contact, and the landscape was covered with the corpses of unlucky animals. 

Sounds pretty nasty, right? It most assuredly was. 

There’s just one issue. This is what that disaster zone looks like now…

sudbury today

The so-called “Nickel City” resembles any other idyllic Canadian town. The contamination brought on by mining was identified and resolved back in the 1970s, decades before the Prius was even imagined. 

Another swing and a miss for the author. 

It Was a Media Hit Job, Plain and Simple

It wasn't the first, and it won't be the last. 

I can understand it in a way. If I had invested billions into gasoline vehicles and oil, I wouldn’t want anything encroaching on my territory either. 

Despite plenty of outrage from more reputable analysts, the stories were never retracted by their original publishers.

What else would we expect from tabloid rags like The Daily Mail

Some of the top labs in the country have repeatedly defended EVs' superior efficiency over regular gasoline vehicles. The Argonne National Laboratory, UCLA’s engineering lab, and even Toyota itself have all exhausted any doubt on the subject. 

After all, every gas car is a tiny, inefficient power plant that generates its own power. It’s far more economical to produce power at scale and send it through the grid. 

Lithium mining for battery packs can be destructive, but the process is being refined and improved every day. New battery designs are replacing rare materials like cobalt with cheaper alternatives. 

One by one, EVs are clearing the hurdles on their way to full-scale adoption. The media can try all they want, but we’re one small breakthrough away from an electric future. 

At this point, there’s only one significant supply hiccup we can expect before then. 

Perhaps hiccup isn't the right word. This could be a catastrophic supply crunch if a few things don’t happen immediately. 

Like with many other industries, China has the upper hand with certain priceless raw materials.

We’ve taken to calling them “Imperial Metals” because whoever controls them will be able to completely dominate the EV industry.

If the U.S. — or any country, for that matter — wants to buy OR sell cheap EVs, they’re going to need to play nicely with the CCP. 

Except, if you remember correctly, the U.S. just slammed the door shut on China’s semiconductor industry. 

That might not go over so well — but it could also be a blessing in disguise. 

If China decides to cut off the U.S., it will instantly shift a huge amount of business to these U.S.-based companies.

This is the ground-floor investment of the decade. 

To your wealth,

Luke Sweeney
Contributor, Energy and Capital

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Luke’s technical know-how combined with an insatiable scientific curiosity has helped uncover some of our most promising leads in the tech sector. He has a knack for breaking down complicated scientific concepts into an easy-to-digest format, while still keeping a sharp focus on the core information. His role at Angel is simple: transform piles of obscure data into profitable investment leads. When following our recommendations, rest assured that a truly exhaustive amount of research goes on behind the scenes..

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