Report: soaring SUV sales causing car emissions to rise
UK Energy Research Centre calls for 'immediate action' to slow growth in high-riding vehiclesAccording to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), which is comprised of researchers base in several UK institutions and funded by UK Research and Innovation, the rapid growth in SUV sales in the past decade has led to a rise in total CO2 emissions from the global car fleet, despite the growth in battery-electric vehicles.
SUV sales are jeopardising the UK transport sector's ability to meet EU emissions targets, it said. Prof Jillian Anable of the UKERC said this made " a mockery " of UK policy . "The decarbonisation of the passenger car market can no longer rely on a distant target to stop the sales of conventional engines.
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In spite of the growing popularity of electric cars, a new study suggests the sales of large, heavy, emissions-intensive SUVs is far outweighing any initial benefits. On average, SUVs emit around 25 percent more CO2 than normal cars.
SUVs and crossovers outsell electric cars 37 to one. While electric cars are increasing in popularity, with registrations doubling, the SUV craze is stronger still. They made up 21.2 percent of car sales last year.
Contrast to 2017, when SUVs made up just 13.5 percent of car sales. A decade ago, when the crossover was just getting traction, SUV sales were 6.6 percent.
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Between 2015 and 2018, 47,400 electric cars were sold. By comparison, near-on 1.8 million SUVs were sold in the same period. The study noted that affordable finance deals make SUVs more attractive to car buyers.
Applying the average increased emissions from SUVs to that figure, 1.8 million SUVs have emissions equivalent to 2.25 million normal cars. That’s an extra 450,000+ cars’ worth of emissions, outweighing the sales of electric cars almost ten-fold.
CO2 emissions had been reducing since the early 2000s, but rose in 2016. The Department for Transport has admitted this could be “broadly due to a shift towards registering larger cars, which have higher emissions”.
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“The rapid uptake of unnecessarily large and energy-consuming vehicles makes a mockery of UK policy efforts towards the ‘road to zero’,” said Professor Jillian Anable, co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre.
“In effect, we have been sleep-walking into the issue. The decarbonisation of the passenger car market can no longer rely on a distant target to stop the sales of conventional engines. We must start to phase out the most polluting vehicles immediately.”
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Deluded SUV drivers need to take their foot off the gas for the sake of the planet .
Car sales are down, but car emissions are going up. Why? An increase in the sales of SUVsHow can this be? How can the billions of pounds spent on design and development produce cars which are less efficient? You won’t have to look far on the UK’s roads to find the answer. Once a rarity, they have become increasingly common. SUVs or, as I like to call them, Stupidly Unnecessary Vehicles. Unnecessary, because UK roads do not require high-ride four-wheel driven locomotion. Stupid, because the rapid increase in the size and weight of SUVs have produced cars with fuel economy that, in some cases, is worse than models built decades before.