By now we're all aware that the environmental impact of cars and trucks goes well beyond the emissions produced during operation. There is the energy used to produce and dispose of the vehicles and their components, for example, and the cost of getting the fuel for the vehicles out of the ground and into the tank. The impact of making nickel metal hydride batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) was the center-piece of a controversial study published by CNW several years ago. That study
Life Cycle Analysis
2011 Kia Cadenza - click above for high-res image gallery
Treehugger has a post about a life cycle analysis of carbon emissions for various drive-train types that includes manufacturing and use of the vehicles. The study was originally done by researchers from Seikei University in Tokyo, Japan in 2001. They did a detailed analysis of the energy consumption to manufacture the different types of vehicles, based on the CO2 emissions for each.