Question: Assume that the typical car lasts 15
years. The car is driven 14000 miles
per year with 9000 miles in a city and 5000 miles per year on a highway. The fuel efficiency in miles per gallon for
the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Corolla are presented below.
Fuel Efficiency in miles
per gallon


Toyota Prius

Toyota Corolla


City

51

30

Highway

48

42

Each gallon of gas consumed results in the generation of
19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide.
What is the difference between the CO2 generated over the
lifetime of the Prius compared to the lifetime of a Corolla?
Answer: Get
annual gallons consumed by dividing miles/(miles/gallon). Multiply by 15 years. Multiply by 19.6 pounds of C02 per gallon
of gas.
Calculation of CO2
Reduction obtained by Replacing a Corolla with a Prius


Prius

Corolla

Difference


City MPG

51

30

21

Hway MPG

48

42

6

City Miles

9000

9000

0

Hway Miles

5000

5000

0

City Gallons Annual

176

300

124

Hway Gallons Annual

104

119

15

Total Gallons Annual

281

419

138

Total Gallons Lifetime

4210

6286

2076

Pounds of CO2

82507

123200

40693

Concluding thoughts: Environmental benefits of Prius are
considerable  20 tons of CO2 over 15 years in this example.
Unfortunately, even after accounting for the reduction in
gasoline consumed the Corolla is much more economically efficient than the
Prius. This result stands regardless of
whether cars are purchased or leased.
See the following posts on lifetime costs of different cars.
Is the Prius economical?
Prius versus Corolla with leases
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