Kelly Cunningham. “The Case Against Hybrid Cars” – To understand the hybrid, truly, you must observe it’s manufacture from start to finish. To make the massive battery found in the typical hybrid, nickel must be smelted- the fumes and byproducts and waste produced in the initial smelt is massive. The area in Ontario where the initial smelting for the Toyota Prius batteries occurs has become barren and scarred and lifeless in the less than two decades that the smelting plant has been situated there. The rain now falls acid, plantlife has long since withered, and no wildlife exists for miles around. The mass of bonded metal produced is then transported by container ship to a nickel refinery in South Wales and refined. By freight or plane it is then transported to China. There, it is subjected to chemical reactions to create a porous ‘foam’ for improved voltaic conduction. Given the infancy of the product and the reluctance of China to adopt environmental protocols as a developing nation under Kyoto, much of the waste resulting from this process is most likey poorly contained. The ‘foam’ is then shipped to Japan, where it is encased and wired for connection to the vehicle. The finished battery is finally shipped back to Ontario and connected to a combustion engine; the surrounding vehicle is then assembled.
Just the shipping involved in the early life of a hybrid battery is horribly pollutive- oil-powered ships, cargo planes and deisel trucks all over the world constantly run, devoted to the task of making more ecologically sound vehicles. When you add the lifeless surroundings