Thanks to subscriber Charles Thompson for sending in me a fascinating article arguying that the Hummer pollutes less than the Toyota Prius hybrid once you factor in manufacturing. One major environmental culprit, the article argues, is the pollution from smelting the nickel for the Pruis' nickel metal hydride batteries. Nickel smelting is a nasty business, but batteries represent a fraction of nickel's uses. After all, it's an ingreident in common stainless steel. The article also questions the Pruis' 61/51/55 mpg claims, concluding that a Chevy Aveo and Scion xB are much better bargains and kinder to the environment..
It's a good read even if some of its assumptions are suspect. I'd be curious at Toyota's response. I think I'll send it to them.