Everyone knows that people do get impressions of others by what kind of car they drive. One of the things that really makes me roll my eyes is when I see these greenies driving brand new Volts, Priuses, Leafs or what have you because they want to project the impression that they care about the environment. I have news for them. All the material that goes into making a new car is not "green". If people really cared about the environment, they would not run out and buy new Chevy Volts or Toyota Priuses, etc. They'd drive what they have until it fell apart. Then they'd find a nice little very used 4 cylinder Hyundai or something similar and drive it until it absolutely wouldn't go anymore. And then they'd put a new engine in it and drive it some more. The real secret to protecting the environment is: use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
If car manufacturing and importing stopped this very day and there were no new cars, I really wonder how long it would take U.S. citizens to completely use up every last mile out of every last vehicle available until there was actually a shortage of reliable vehicles in the U.S.? I'm pretty sure there is glut of oldish cars that would get us around just fine for quite a while. Its just that not many of us (including the greenies) want to drive old cars, for a lot of different reasons.
As for the battery question, I was surprised to learn that they have been lasting 100,000+ miles, and I'm sure that there will be better ones that will last even longer. I'm also sure that there will be a recycling program for them, however, until enough hybrids are purchased to drive a commercial recycling business, the recycling will most likely be mandated by onerous regulations that will further hurt car dealers and most concerning, smaller automotive repair shops. Bad deal all 'round. :-|