The original article is an opinion piece (i.e., no fact-checking) for a college newspaper that publishes wild claims in a pathetic attempt to draw attention to itself. In February, The Recorder published "Rape only hurts if you fight it" and now in March, "Prius outdoes hummer." This newspaper and this article are garbage.
1. Regarding new EPA mileage estimates, Demorro claims the Chevy Aveo's mileage puts it within "spitting distance" of the Prius. The new EPA combined mileage put the Chevy Aveo at 26 mpg, the Toyota Prius at 46 mpg. So I guess 20 miles more per gallon is "spitting distance."
2. The "Dust-to-dust" study is from a marketing firm, not a science journal. It arrives at an artificially high cost for the Prius by assigning it an arbitrary lifespan of 100k miles, and a Hummer 300k miles. There's Prius being used as cabs that have over 200,000 miles on them now.
And, insofar as a car lasting, what car do you expect to repair less? A Toyota Prius or a GM Hummer? You can check Consumer Reports for the answer to that one. A good analysis of the flaws in dust-to-dust is available from TrueDelta.
3. The Sudbury info is seriously outdated, and the comment about moon buggies (like, when did Nasa test moon buggies — early 1970’s) ought to have given the author a clue. Sudbury was polluted by a century of mining (1870 on). In fact, some of Sudbury’s nickel went into making the Statue of Liberty. Currently, the mine is owned by INCO (not Toyota), and produces 100,000 tons of nickel a year, of which Toyota buys 1% (1000 tons). Blaming Toyota for the pollution at Sudbury is ludicrous. Nickel, by the way, is primarily used to make stainless steel. The Mail on Sunday newspaper, which ran the story the college article's Sudbry info is a thin re-write of (visible here), used a stock photo you can buy online taken in 1994 to illustrate the pollution (visible here). There were, of course, no Prius in existence or being manufactured in 1994.
Furthermore, Sudbury is no longer this polluted, as INCO and the city have planted over 8 million trees there since 1979. A really good history online of the Sudbury devastation/reforestation comes from GM Canada -- that's GM, maker of the Hummer, ahem, writing about how Sudbury was polluted and how it has come back. Really, one should blame Chicago more than Toyota, as Sudbury's trees were all cut down in 1871 to help rebuild Chicago after the fire. GM provides telling photos of some of the reclamation from 1979 to present.
Canadian news recently broadcast a show on Sudbury's regreening (the acid rain problem David Martin of Greenpeace is talking about is the situation pre 1972).
The author of this article, Demorro, is so fact-challenged that in his follow-up piece, wherin he admits "Dust-to-Dust" is suspect, he continues bashing the Prius by saying people should instead buy a Tesla Roadster for $30,000. The Tesla Roadster actually costs $92,000. Demorro can't even get the list price of a car right; I seriously wouldn't trust his opinion on hybrids.