• Dec 27, 2005

Perhaps it was because we’ve been awash in yuletide eggnog, but Autoblog (and apparently the entire automotive press) missed Toyota’s Prius being honored with the first-ever Jim Henson Technology Award on December 21. [Insert It’s Not Easy Being Green jokes here].

The award, part of the newly-created Jim Henson Honors, is an “...an annual program that acknowledges organizations, individuals or products that reflect the core values and philosophy of Jim Henson and the company he founded in 1955.” Alrighty, then. The three other awards given out by Brian and Lisa Henson (co-CEOs of The Jim Henson Company) included the Celebration Honor: author JK Rowling; the Creativity Honor: musical mashups The Gorillaz; and the Community Honor, Bill Haber of Save The Children.

Does this mean that we’ll see an Electric Mayhem Edition of Toyota’s Little Green Clean Machine with the entire Gorillaz catalog preloaded onto a Phat Box and Save the Children bumper sticker out back? We can only hope.

[Source: The Jim Henson Company]



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  • 12 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      How come the Insight is never mentioned? On all accounts it gets significantly better real world mileage, lower emissions and is overall better for the environment.

      PS- Jim Henson wouldn't buy a hybrid, with all the pollution costs associated with it's production and disposal, when there are perfectly usable, nearly as fuel efficient used cars availble that wouldn't add the waste buying a new car creates.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Excellent points! I wonder what Fozzie would make of it all...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Klaatu, not really. You failed to actually read or think before responding. I didn't say the environmental costs of building and disposing of a hybrid vs another new car, I said the costs of a hybrid vs a fuel efficient USED car that is already on the road and produced. Driving used civic VX (44/51mpg) would be a fraction of the price and wouldn't add to the net pollution the production of a car creates. Any true environmentalist knows one of the worst things to do is to buy a new car as opposed to a used one. Plenty of perfectly running efficient vehicles are junked for the vanity of having new ones.
      Other people will buy new cars regardless, your best bet would be to not contribute to their uneeded, highly wasteful production by buying new. Remember the first two of the three R's. REDUCE, REUSE

      PS- Your one time fuel economy is not an accurate indicator of your true mileage. My car gets anywhere from 3-150+ mpg while on the highway depending on hills (like your example) acceleration/deceleration, AC use and climate conditions.

      PPS- The insight is much more fuel efficient than your prius in all real world testing I see in reviews.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Probably a quick "double take" and shake of the head.

      • 9 Years Ago
      jm, your points are pretty well thought out except for the fact that I really don't want to be in a subcompact car while surrounded by morons busy talking on cell phones while attempting to aim 5000 pound pickups and stupid utility vehicles with as much skill as a chimpanzee and with as much attention span as a Beagle puppy. My Prius has vehicle stability control which reduces single car accidents by 80% (you don't leave the road, in other words). I have side air bags, curtain side air bags, ABS, traction control, etc. All of this made our insurance cheaper than an econobox we had (2002 model) prior to this, that we gave to a family member when I got my Prius.

      My Prius can seat 5 in comfort when we need to, can seat my wife and I and our Newfoundland (in the back) when we want to. For example, I can fold down the back seat and put in a VERY LARGE Christmas tree (which I just did a couple of weeks ago), we could conceivably use the Prius to sleep in (in back) while on a camping trip if it pours with rain, it has proved to be a great highway car and city car.

      In short, your hypothesis has merit - and in fact, with a Toyota Corolla, I'd bet that your hypothesis would be even stronger (it'd probably last 250,000 miles with care, instead of only 150,000 miles for used econobox #1 and 150,000 miles for used econobox #2). But the short answer is - I wanted mid-sized comfort and room (functionality) but wanted to use 1/2 the fuel - and that's why I bought a Prius. Inside, it is nearly as large as the Camry (or for that matter, a Ford Crown Victoria - believe it).

      I also have bought many used pieces of absolute crap when I could not afford new cars, and now that I'm nearly 50 and can afford new cars, why would I buy something which may have gone through a hurricane, or had a prior wreck? No, thank you. Used can be a false economy. New has depreciation to account for, so just figure it as part of the expense and go on.

      The best bet is to buy what you can new and drive it into the ground, if you can afford to do so. Next best is to buy the best used car you can (put the VIN # through one of those online wreck-check sources) and drive it into the ground.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Jim Henson was a pot smoking anarchist. All this Disneyfied doo-gooder deification is completely at odds with the man's rebellious soul. I would hope that he'd drive something with a bit more spirit and panache. Hey, does anyone know what he DID drive?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm glad they cleared that up, I was starting to lose sleep over what some puppetier would drive.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Oh, yes, JM - by the way. I'm averaging 50 MPG in the summer (air conditioning on) with the Prius, and my current tankful (it's 34 degrees outside and I have Bridgestone Blizzak full-winter tires on the car) is showing 48.3 mpg. And don't give me any crap about "EPA says I should get 55" either. I don't drive like grandpa (left blinker left on, in fast lane, bumper sticker "let me tell you about my grandchildren"), as the EPA test simulates! Real traffic speeds are a lot higher than post-energy crisis America of 1974 when the EPA test came about.
      Anyone else old enough to remember the "temporary" national speed limit was 50 MPH until the truckers all went on strike to make it 55? I remember.....

      Now, when I go to a major metro area for business, I have to drive my Prius at nearly 90 to prevent the lunatics from literally driving me onto the shoulder.
      And I STILL get 40-45 mpg at those speeds on average.

      Try THAT with a used minicompact, JM.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Where was hollywood & the media when GM was the only one out there with a distinctive electric car ?? Do we need McCarthy again? :')
      • 9 Years Ago
      To answer #1, some milestones are more universally recognizeable than others, and GM's EV-1, while important in the development of such vehicles like the Prius, had many flaws that resulted in a failure to really gain any kind of mindshare.

      The EV-1 was simply a trial program. Only about 1100 cars were ever made, and you could only get the car on a 3 year lease, after which the car would have to be returned. The car could only be obtained in California and Arizona.

      The car appealed to the geekiest and the most "green" niches, but lacked the practicality of the new generation of hybrid vehicles.

      Hybrid vehicles like the Prius are notable because they are widely available, mass produced, practical and no longer are "concept cars" that you get to drive around.

      That is the difference between the Prius and the EV-1. Both are milestones, but the Prius gained recognition because it reached critical mass.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Benson, I thank you, couldn't have said it any better myself. I likewise plan to drive my '05 Prius until it dies, and my wife has committed to the purchase of some sort of hybrid in about 2 years, we'll look at the Hyundai Accent hybrid (using a copy of Honda's IMA system), the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Camry HSD and whatever else is on the market (she does not care for the instrument panel of the Prius, so we won't be a 2-Prius family). I'm figuring 250,000 to 300,000 miles should be about right for my Prius, since I'll give it excellent care. And I'm NOT figuring on having to buy a new main battery, due to the fact that in all of the Prius's built since 1997, not one main battery has failed-in-service. Then, the car will be recycled - having used literally 1/2 of the fuel of a comparable "D-class" (known as "mid-sized" in the US) car of equal performance. Hopefully, it will be my last gasoline fuelled vehicle, we'll see in about 10 to 15 years, I guess.
      • 9 Years Ago
      JM is correct that the Honda Insight gets better mileage than the Prius. The Insight is rated by the EPA at 60/66, but the BIG caveat is that it only gets 60/66 with a 5 speed manual tranny, not the CVT version.

      JM is incorrect that the Insight has better emissions than the Prius. The 60/66 meets ULEV according to the CARB emission standard. The Prius is AT-PZEV, which exceeds SULEV, so the Prius is much cleaner than the Insight.

      The Insight with a CVT in much cleaner than the Insight with a 5 speed manual. It meets SULEV, but at the same time, its mileage drops to 57/56, which is only slightly better mileage than the Prius... the Prius gets 60/51, which is not bad for a car that's much bigger and more powerful than the tiny Insight.

      Moreover, one must not forget that for a lot of people, the Prius is a much more practical car than the Insight. More people would like to own a 5 door family sedan than a 2 door-2 seater compact. The Prius seats 5, and is a hatchback to boot.

      Moreover, I'd like to add that am putting my money where my mouth is with this car... I do not intend to get rid of my Prius in only a few years. I intend to keep this car for a decade or more... drive it into the ground. I fully intend for this to be the last gas powered car I will ever own.