By contrast, Prius' life according to Toyota's own numbers is 100,000 miles.
That is false. The Prius battery is warranted for 100,000 miles. Warranties are not "life expectancies", and even an idiot would know that. There are no reports of Prius cars being abandoned yet. The fact that they are being bought by cab companies shows the lie of the above statement -- a cab company wouldn't buy a car that was going to break in 100,000 miles. By contrast with this stupid statement, a Prius cab had gone over 250,000 miles with nothing more than routine maintenance, and then Toyota TOOK THE BATTERY back just to check it out, and found it was not materially degraded.
Furthermore, Hummer is a far less sophisticated vehicle. Its engine obviously does not have an electric and gas component as a hybrid's does so it takes much less time and energy to manufacture.
Last time I looked, a Hummer has a very LARGE engine with twice the pistons and moving parts as a Prius gas engine, a drive train with gears that the Toyota does NOT have, and an "electric component" remarkably like a motor-generator, with a motor that is powerful enough to turn over the engine, and then operate as a generator to charge the battery.
What's more, its main raw ingredient is low-cost steel, not the exotic light-weights that are exceedingly difficult to make and dispose.
The materials used for the Prius are hardly "exotic", theres some high-strength plastics that are recyclable, a lot of aluminum which is recyclable. The Hummer as a LOT MORE raw materials than the Prius.
But the biggest reason why a Hummer's energy use is so low is that it shares many components with other vehicles and therefore its design and development energy costs are spread across many cars.
This is the first I've seen suggested that the "design and development" energy costs are a significant factor in lifetime energy use. How much energy to those computers use? The Prius power train is being reused in several other cars, and believe it or not MANY of the parts in a hybrid car are STANDARD PARTS, like brake pads, tires, door handles, electric windows, steering wheel, etc.
There were many other problems with the article, but that is all I could bear to deal with. Like comparing the "real-world" gas use numbers of a Prius to the artificial EPA numbers for other cars. I'm getting real-world gas mileage in my two Prius cars that are far above what I got in any previous car -- and I really doubt the cars they mention are regularly getting 45+ miles per gallon.
If you don't want a hybrid, don't buy a hybrid