Subaru Crosstrek and XV Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
Yep, interesting stuff ... thanks.

The concern I have about numbers like that is that they're going to vary wildly when looking at individual use cases, depending on how often a particular vehicle uses its gas engine. A hybrid that's used mostly for commuting may have only minimal tailpipe emissions over its lifespan, while one that gets a lot of roadtrip use will have a much harder time amortizing the environmental cost of its manufacture. Does Subaru (or anyone else) really have the quantitative statistics to know what percentage of a hybrid's real-world operating life is battery only? I'm skeptical that they do.

And of course the environmental cost of electric production varies wildly, too, depending on where you happen to be driving, so someone looking to evaluate their personal environmental impact would have to figure that into account.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
Exactly! Lithium extraction is becoming as big of an environmental catastrophe as oil extraction or coal mining.
Well, I wouldn't say it's as big an environmental catastrophe, just because the production volumes for coal and petroleum are so much greater, and some of that is pretty horrific (looking at you, Alberta). But the environmental and economic and social costs of lithium are unquestionably pretty high on a per-vehicle basis, and the social issues (at least) don't get sufficient attention from EV advocates. And despite the research, I think the world is going to be in for a shock when the volume of used lithium battery reprocessing begins to explode in a decade or so.

Yes, varies widely could happen, but then again you're not using your vehicle so are you really saving or are you just wasting money down the drain for something you're not driving?

The point is that if a hybrid is driven on longer road trips, it's still producing less emissions than the ICE version of the Crosstrek doing the same thing. It is also better for emissions in less mileage than the standard Crosstrek as illustrated above so it makes more environmental sense (note that the whole lithium mining issue is not captured in any of this).
The point I was making there was that a hybrid that's driven 10,000 miles as a commuter will have very different environmental and economic savings curves than a car driven 10,000 miles on longer roadtrips. Everyone's personal situation is going to vary there, so when someone is looking at a personal buying decision they need to take those numbers with an appropriate grain of salt.

Which actually brings up a secondary thought, though it's more applicable to pure EVs than hybrids. EVs are more expensive than ICE vehicles, and will likely remain so for a while, so they tend to be purchased by folks with a higher disposable income. Anecdotally, at least, I get the impression that a lot of those EVs are second cars, because people still want/need ICE vehicles for longer roadtrips. So if someone's primary concern was to reduce their environmental footprint, they might be better off just sticking with a single vehicle than adding the EV and all it's associated manufacturing impacts.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
Another thing to think about is if you buy an EV, there would be lower maintenance costs (no need to replace an engine or transmission) and the motors and battery should last you maybe 15-20 years. Would people hold on to those cars for that long or would they be like most of those BMW, Mercedes, Audi owners that just lease for 3 years and get the next newest thing (which is much worse for the environment because it makes manufacturers produce more and more cars)?

I will likely hold onto my Crosstrek for at least 10 total years because that's how long I get Starlink for free. After that I'd have to pay for the subscription so depending on if I want to buy that or go without, it is still probably cheaper to keep the car than buy another car. Battery shouldn't be an issue since I just broke 18,000 miles after 3.5 years.
Yep, my guess is that the cars they'll be building in a decade or so will definitely have greater overall longevity than what's typical today ... but maybe not the ones that are being built now, since a lot of the engineering is still very much a work in progress, and a lot of the EVs that are being made now are going to seem obsolete pretty quickly.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
I know this is an ICE forum, but it still amazes me about all the rationalizations for not wanting to buy an EV. And so much misinformation, not worth my time to try to counter it here.
Fair enough. A reported post in this forum caused me to visit the Solterra board a few weeks ago, and I was similarly amazed by the rationalizations and confirmation bias of the core folks who have stuck it out over there.

Anyhow, the range issue is definitely the biggest thing right now, and it's what gives hybrids a pretty strong real-world edge over EVs for the moment if you want more than a commuter car.

Subaru, especially, needs to figure that out, since it positions its products as great roadtrip vehicles. They're marketing their rebadged Toyota with pics of it plowing into the wilderness affixed with cargo boxes and bike racks, presumably far from town, but real-word reports show that its range is at the lower end of the current spectrum, and its charging speed is utterly appalling. Take that thing on a real roadtrip and you'd spend a full quarter of your day waiting in parking lots waiting for the battery to replenish. And I find the excuse that "well, you need to stop anyway" to be pretty disingenuous. Once you get away from the urban centers on the left coast, few drivers who actually need to get somewhere are going to want to wait for charging as long as the Solterra demands, and you'd be planning the trip around finding charging locations instead of where you actually need or want to stop, or where you need or want to eat. I live in a town that's a major tourist destination and along a transcontinental interstate, for example, and the only non-Tesla Level 3 charger is at the Audi dealership, a couple miles from anyplace to get some decent food. The Tesla supercharger is a good half-mile from the closest food if you want anything more than heat-lamp gas station hotdogs.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
Ha! I guess I get triggered by unjustified condescension. :sneaky:

Edit: but anyway, I agree that the environmental footprint of an EV is going to vary a fair amount depending on the source of the electricity it uses, but I think it's pretty evident that the overall footprint of the EV is going to be less, regardless. That said, there's no such thing as a completely guilt-free energy source ... I have friends in the environmental movement, for example who are justifiably outraged at the environmental cost of some of BC's hydropower projects.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
In case you are not aware, there is a no politics rule on this forum.
Absolutely correct ... and thanks for posting this reminder to new members. Future comments that begin venturing into politics here will be deleted.

Personally, there are lots of non-political reasons why I wouldn't want to move to SoCal ... or Tennessee, Texas, or Florida, for that matter. But I wouldn't want to encourage any more carpetbaggers to move to Montana, either! ;)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top