1) Show me a non-hybrid ICE car of comparable size, features, and price that gets within 20% in combined cycle MPG to the Prius (adjusting for the increased expense of diesel with respect to regular unleaded in the US).
2) Toyota recycles all Prius battery packs
, and indeed pays a $200 bounty to recover them.
3) Intuition is a fickle beast. Rely on life cycle energy assessments instead (and I'm not talking about CNW's crap, where they assume a 300,000 mile lifetime for a Hummer H2 and only 100,000 miles for the Prius). Here's some reading, written by yours truly, regarding said life cycle energy assessments and the assumptions that underlie such assessments: Do electric cars make environmental sense?
Hi, it appears I've stumbled into your specialist area of knowledge
But in answer to your questions:
1) I'm not sure what the price of fuel has to do with efficiency? Here (UK) the cost difference between diesel and unleaded is negligible. A quick internet search suggests the gen 1 prius is 1250kg and does 57mpg combined, gen 2 is 1300kg and does 65mpg. Good, but not exactly unrivaled by pure ICE cars.
Of course, gentle city driving favours the Prius. An extreme example, a Motoring TV program raced a Prius around a track against a heavier, less aerodynamic, much more powerful BMW. The Prius used much more fuel.
2) An excellent initiative
I guess a few escape though, as there are plenty for sale on ebay.
3) Sorry, I don't know what CNW is, I've never seen a Hummer dealership and the only time I've heard of Rush Limbaugh is on that episode of Family Guy.
I drive a 15 year old car, running on LPG with 180,000 miles on the clock. I've saved several cars from the scrapyard so they gave several years more service.
1) Reduce, 2) Reuse, 3) Recycle