Anyone who’s driving a Toyota Prius hybrid here in the Philippines is clearly not doing it for the environment. People who do simply have two million pesos to blow on a fancy gadget. Pretty much like anyone who owns a MacBook Pro who doesn’t do Apple app development, video or design. They buy it not because they need it but because they can.

Let’s get it straight. Clearly, it’s not about fuel efficiency or saving on fuel. If you’d really want to save on gas money, buy a small car with a wee 1L engine or perhaps buy a diesel car (like the Hyundai Accent diesel). You only spend at most Php 800,000 on a decent, fuel-efficient car. The Prius costs Php 2,250,000 (extra Php 15,000 for the White Pearl variant).

Let’s do simple math. Try and calculate how many liters of gas that extra Php 1,450,000 can already buy 26,300-ish liters of premium high-octane gas. With a small car, that can already take you 263,000 km (if the car gets 10 Km/L). If you get a diesel, that even gets you around 640,000 km (if the car gets 20 Km/L). The Prius simply even matches the diesel with its claimed 21 Km/L figure which it doesn’t.

If you’re a regular Pinoy. You won’t even consume half of that at the effective lifetime of the car in your possession. Most people dispose cars even before hitting the warranty-breaking 100,000 km mark. Spending an additional Php 1,450,000 to “save on fuel” isn’t saving. It’s idiocy. Or a vulgar gesture of someone with lots of money.

But no. You buy and drive a Prius to make that (pretentious) statement that you’re all for the environment. That you’re one with Al Gore, and Cameron Diaz, and Leonardo DiCaprio who gives a shit about the environment.

But get this. Critics have pointed out that the carbon footprint of building a Prius (the production of the batteries alone) is much larger than building an all-out fossil burner. That, among all the other criticisms on how environment friendly it really is.

So what do you exactly achieve with driving a Prius? Be viewed as a savior of whales and baby seals? Not really. In my book, you’re just a pretentious douche.