Which Are Greener: Hybrids or Used Cars?

Can it be true that a used car is greener than a new hybrid? After all, proponents of the used car like Jeremy Clarkson say that the manufacturing and assembling of all of the parts that make up a hybrid requires loads of materials and energy. The process also creates a good (or bad?) amount of waste.

People, more-engineery than this writer, have researched this issue and determined that the making of a single Prius uses the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of gasoline. To this claim, however, supporters of hybrids say this pool of gasoline is full of gas when one considers how many more miles the average used car has in it and how many miles a new hybrid has yet to travel.

Assuming that a new hybrid getting 50 mpg will use 3,000 gallons of gas as it covers 150,000 miles over a ten-year span, the hybrid will have used 50% fewer gallons as the used car would use if it was able to provide its owner with 150,000 more miles at 33 MPG.

If, as is likely, the used car does not live to see that many more miles or achieve 33 MPG, the discrepancy between it and the hybrid grows even more pronounced.

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