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2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
@AstroKats
You're right there's really no info out there on the Crosstrek Hybrid specifically. There's info on Beyond Tailpipe Emissions that looks at greenhouse gas emissions for the car and upstream (meaning electric and gas production emissions).

For my area specifically, total GHG emissions is 240g CO2/mi and the tailpipe emissions alone is 151 g CO2/mi. So upstream GHG is 89 g CO2/mi. Average gasoline car in my area (again they don't compare against ICE Crosstrek) is 410 g CO2/mi.
  • 151g CO2/mi is what they say is listed on the window sticker for my car (I could go confirm this later)
  • They say the average gas vehicle data comes from a car with a fuel economy of 27 mpg. They then add a factor of 1.25 to account for emissions from the production and transportation of gasoline.
  • For a 2019 ICE Crosstrek, I found on the same website that the 6-speed produces 353 g CO2/mi and the CVT produces 301 g CO2/mi (tailpipe emissions). If I take the factor to account for production/transportation of gasoline, these become 441 and 376 g CO2/mi, respectively.
So this at least gives you of CO2 savings per mile between the Hybrid and ICE Crosstrek (201 and 136 g CO2/mi savings). I haven't be able to locate documentation on the GHG impact of building either of these cars. Since the battery itself is 8.8 kWh, that would be the biggest contributor and probably the 2 electric motors as well. I found some information about the Prius Prime so I could use info about that. The values below in metric tonnes were pulled from Engineering Explained.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Emissions per mi (g)400240
Emissions vehicle (metric tonnes)1010
Emissions battery (metric tonnes)01.034
Production Emissions (metric tonnes)1011.034

Charting this out over the first 10,000 miles, the 2 lines cross at about 1,100 miles driven. This shows that even though the Hybrid requires additional GHG to produce the vehicle, it provides a savings in GHG emissions after minimal miles.
Rectangle Slope Font Plot Parallel

Here's the data that went into the table:
Font Number Screenshot


I hope this information helps answer what you're looking for.
 

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· Electrified!
2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's really interesting, thank you! Food for thought.

Since I just bought a gas guzzler, I probably shouldn't be throwing stones. However, I drive so few miles a year that I'm pretty sure I'm under the emissions level of the average pious Prius owner.
Yeah, no problem. It was fun doing the research and pulling together a graph of the data. I think even if you drive so few miles per year, sure you're not using as much if that Prius owner does 10k miles, but if your driving is more city, then it might be a wash.

Either way, I enjoyed pulling this together to hopefully show everyone that the hybrid isn't too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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.
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).

Subaru should be able to get the real-world operating data through Starlink or something since I get monthly vehicle health updates, but they probably don't care that much to spend the money on it.

Electric production does vary, but if you look into the details of that site by the EPA, they use your zip code to determine which of the 26 regions for power plant emissions, use 5 regional grid loss factors as well as a regional factor for emissions due to coal mining and transporting it to the power plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After adding in this 'guestimate' for the inefficiencies of producing and transporting gasoline- they conveniently overlook the 'problems' of obtaining Lithium.
Yes, let's add in 25% for the guestimate on gasoline, because Lithium is so easy to get out of the ground and to process into a usable state for batteries, that that environmental impact shouldn't be considered; and its transportation costs are free too.
They are not overlooking the 'problems' of obtaining lithium. These calculations are for operating emissions, not vehicle construction. The emissions associated with lithium for this battery is contained in the battery production value of 1.034 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would say it cleans up your local carbon footprint and fails to measure in any way the global impact. Moving the emissions from one pace to another isn't truly reducing emissions. While I cannot say for a fact whether or not it reduces or increases total emissions, I can say that they conveniently fail to even try to address it in any meaningful way other than gaslighting those that dare to even ask.
Moving the emissions from one place to another is reducing emissions. Do you not see on this graph how even though there are greater emissions when the vehicle is produced, the more you drive said vehicle after 1,000 miles reduces the total emissions compared to an ICE Crosstrek? It's even greater if you're driving the vehicle more in electric than you would if the engine runs (which is the situation in my case) because you negate the cost of petroleum production and transportation. My combined emissions are 240g per mile and this is based on 35 mpg. My lifetime average is 95 mpg so I'm looking at much less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Not misleading but, perhaps, not well articulated. Lithium extraction has its issues as does the generation of the electricity to charge the batteries to drive those few miles.
Yeah, but producing a battery is a one time thing to get you lots of miles, however long it will last. Generation of electricity to charge the battery is already accounted for as 'operating use' vs the battery which is a 'capital use'. That's why on the graph, the hybrid starts as a higher polluter than the ICE Crosstrek and over mileage usage, the hybrid then is greener.

If I charge my battery overnight and it takes 6.5 kWh to charge, that's equivalent to 2,413 g CO2 emissions (371g CO2 per kWh). 1 gallon of gasoline burned emits 8,887 g CO2. Assuming I can drive 20mi on electric and your car gets 20mi/gal, my car would have used 120g/mi for those 20mi whereas the ICE Crosstrek at 20mpg would have used 444g/mi for 20mi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
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.


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.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I don't believe the researchers considered the environmental cost of mining Lithium or generating that electricity.

How is the electricity you use generated?
They might be considering that emissions factor, but I haven't been able to find a paper that goes through all of the detail from soup to nuts. Here's something I found from MIT that is pretty interesting.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
How exactly do they include in those calculations, the environmental impact of the land laid waste and water poisoned in the third-world countries where the Lithium is obtained?
Do you not realize that oil production is much worse than mining lithium and has a far reaching negative impact than lithium?

4 Billion tons of crude oil were extracted form the ground alone in 2020. That's 11.19 Billion tons of CO2 emissions. Drilling, refining, and transporting oil are still much worse on the environment, especially since it is a single use material that is burned and everyone in the world breathes air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
You are running into economics of scale there too- 99.8% (WAG) of the world runs on gasoline and diesel, so yeah, the impact is a little larger than for EV's.
Scale doesn't matter. But since you're talking about scale:

In the event of an oil supply crisis, all consumers driving gasoline cars or diesel trucks are affected by higher prices. By contrast, a shortage or spike in the price of a mineral affects only the supply of new EVs or solar plants. Consumers driving existing EVs or using solar-powered electricity are not affected. In addition, the combustion of oil means that new supply is essential to the continuous operation of oil-using assets. However, minerals are a component of infrastructure, with the potential to be recovered and recycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Evidence you are using? Cites please.
Here's a good report that discusses the roles of critical minerals in clean energy


It only gets better once mining companies switch to more efficient fuels for mining and the trickle down effects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Haven't answered my question yet. I don't see how hybrids are better.
Seriously?

Hybrid Crosstrek produces 11.034 metric tons of CO2 emissions
ICE Crosstrek produces 10 metric tons of CO2 emissions

Hybrid Crosstrek produces 240 g CO2 for each mile driven (gas/electric production and tailpipe)
ICE Crosstrek produces 400 g CO2 for each mile driven (gas production and tailpipe)

Hybrid Crosstrek becomes more efficient after 1100 miles (12.618 tons CO2 vs 12.64 tons CO2)

Hybrid Crosstrek at 100,000mi: 251 tons CO2
ICE Crosstrek at 100,000mi: 410 tons CO2

Difference of 159 tons CO2.

Not to mention the savings from having to go get gas more often. If I had a car that got 27mpg, I would have had to get an additional 145 gallons of gas last year and spent an extra $600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
True. I have always felt that hybrids are the worst of both worlds. The only hybrid I would consider owning is a Prius and that would only be if I had a long car commute with mostly city driving. City deiving is where hybrids really shine. When you take a hybrid version of most ICE cars, the improvement in fuel economy is only around 3mpg.
Not always. The ICE RAV4 is 29mpg combined whereas the hybrid version is 40mpg combined (not the RAV4 prime). If you're thinking the 2014 Crosstrek and the 2014 Crosstrek Hybrid, yeah that was horrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Yeah, it's certainly been a few years since all of these newer technologies have been used for electric generation. I remember 20 years ago in college that fossil fuels were something like 90% or so. It's nice to see all of these battery options for lawn care equipment. I'll be buying an EGO riding mower in a few months and it'll be great to not deal with winterizing that and the string trimmer and simply bring the batteries inside and use them for other EGO products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
And that depends on where you live. In New England, electric generation is almost 50% from renewable sources.

The Solterra is a start toward EV's for Subaru. In time, they will develop more EV's. As I have said before, the only thing stopping me from going that route is lack of re-charging infrastructure in remote areas.
Yeah, that makes sense and that data is total electric generation for the entire US broken down by fuel type just to show that fossil fuels aren't as high anymore. Here in PA, natural gas is the biggest, followed by coal and then nuclear. Where I am, it's probably more coal and nuclear than natural gas (I live near Limerick nuclear power station).

I like the idea of the EGO system where you can take the battery out of the mower and put it into the leaf blower and clean off the mower, plus how much quieter everything is. I grew up wearing ear protection when mowing the lawn so quieter than a gas ZT mower will be great!

That would also be a concern, although I'm not looking to buy an EV any time soon. For a trip from here to Napa, for example, I expect it would have to be planned carefully with time for recharging also factored in. I'm used to just looking for the nearest gas station when the orange light comes on.
Yeah, makes total sense. The only time we go on a long trip is when we drive to Maine so we take the wife's RAV4 because it has more space. I wouldn't have a problem taking my Crosstrek, but there's just no space in the back without having to put the seats down. My car sees mostly local driving of up to 300mi round trip so that's 280mi of gas driving. When we move in a few months I'll be even closer to all of our activities so I'm going to be all electric even more with less time charging.
 
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