Strong SUV Sales Nullifying Environmental Benefits From Electric Vehicles
It's no secret that SUVs have spiked in popularity recently. Over the past few years, SUVs have surged past sedans in sales and are sitting just behind pickup trucks – at least in the United States – for overall sales. Consumers like the added height, the tall seating position, and the perceived feeling of being safer on the road, which is true to some extent. Unfortunately, SUVs emit a large amount of carbon emissions and it's undoing everything electric cars are doing for the environment.
SUVs Emitting Large Amounts Of CO2
In a report that cites a new study from the International Energy Agency, CNBC lays out exactly what's going on. From 2010 to 2018, the number of SUVs on the road grew from 35 million to over 200 million. According to a chart that CNBC made, the amount of CO2 emissions from SUVs has increased by 544 metric tons over that eight-year span. That's more than the increase that heavy industries, trucks, aviation, and shipping industries saw during the same span. Other internal combustion engines have seen C02 emissions go down by 75 metric tons.
In addition to the increase in C02 emissions, the study also found that larger vehicles, like SUVs, were responsible for 100 percent of the increase in demand for oil for passenger vehicles.
"If consumers' appetite for SUVs continues to grow at a similar pace seen in the last decade, SUVs would add nearly 2 million barrels a day in global oil demand by 2040, offsetting the savings from nearly 150 million electric cars," stated the researchers in the study.
EVs Will Suffer Because Of SUVs
CNBC reports that SUVs accounted for 48 percent of car sales in the U.S. last year, which is the highest percent globally. That won't last long, though, as sales are starting to increase in countries like China and India.
The popularity of SUVs is coming at an odd time for manufacturers. The majority of brands are looking to make the switch to electrified powertrains, but are struggling to find funds, profits, or buyers, especially in the U.S. The answer isn't as easy as offering more electrified options of large SUVs, either. There have been a few electrified SUVs, and are a few on the market today, that just aren't popular. Whether it's pricing, consumer expectation, or something else, consumers aren't all that interested in electric SUVs.
The issue with the love affair with SUVs is that it could postpone the adoption of more efficient vehicles. "Bigger and heavier cars, like SUVs, are harder to electrify and growth in their rising demand may slow down the development of clean and efficient car fleets," said the International Energy Agency in its study.
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