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SUVs double  market share

March 31, 2020 April 2020 No Comments

Growing demand for SUVs was the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2018, an analysis has found.

In that period, SUVs doubled their global market share from 17% to 39% and their annual emissions rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2, more than the yearly total emissions of the UK and the Netherlands combined.

No energy sector except power drove a larger increase in carbon emissions, putting SUVs ahead of heavy industry (including iron, steel, cement and aluminium), aviation and shipping.

“We were quite surprised by this result ourselves,” said Laura Cozzi, the chief energy modeller of the International Energy Agency, which produced the report.

The recent dramatic shift towards heavier SUVs has offset both efficiency improvements in smaller cars and carbon savings from electric vehicles.

As the global fleet of SUVs has grown, emissions from the vehicles have increased more than fourfold in eight years. If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.

“An SUV is bigger, it’s heavier, the aerodynamics are poor, so as a result you get more CO2,” said Florent Grelier from the campaign group Transport & Environment.

T&E figures show the average mass of new cars rose 10% between 2000 and 2016, which the group suggested could be down to a trend towards SUVs, heavier automatic and dual-clutch gearboxes and the inclusion of other equipment including cameras and sensors.

Grelier said the global shift towards bigger cars had been observed for a while, but the effect on emissions increases compared with other industries was surprising nonetheless.

“The problem is much bigger than we expected,” he said.

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