Greener than Reihan suggested. A reader adds:

I'm disappointed that you lent so much credence to Reihan in the Prius-bashing, who lends so much credence to that Wired article without at least noting that soon the Toyota Prius will be switching to a lithium battery, which will change that calculus completely.

It's true that the Prius does have a bit of a green footprint issue vs. a used car, but that's kind of a silly argument to make considering the fact that the used car is clearly a different product than a new car, and a different market. It's a bit unfair in an apples to apples way to pick the most fuel-efficient used-car you can find and put it up against a new car, where it has a built-in advantage immediately in its carbon footprint because it's used! Why not a new Prius vs. a used suburban? I wonder who would win that comparison?

Also, it's silly to assume a used TERCEL or GEO METRO is going to be a plausible product for most people since the reliability of those cars and whatever longevity might be left on a used one is dubious at best. You might as well urge "green living" by using your coffee ground three or four times before you throw them out. Sure it's an awful beverage or has no actual flavor left by the fourth time, but hey, it's greener so that's the choice a green must make! These arguments trying to bring in crazy scenarios about using old cars that Reihan even acknowledges are death traps all just seem like silly contrarianism.