(CTN News) – According to a report by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), if SUV vehicles had remained the same size, emissions from the motor sector could have decreased by over 30% between 2010 and 2022.
However, the popularity of SUVs has caused the average size of cars to increase, resulting in a 4.2% annual reduction in fuel usage for light-duty vehicles (LDV) between 2020 and 2022.
The report also revealed that SUVs now make up the majority of new car sales at 51%, and the average weight of LDVs has reached a record high of 1.5 tonnes. Automotive companies heavily market SUVs as they provide the most profit, despite having a lower manufacturing cost compared to their premium selling price.
Additionally, the average footprint of new car models has increased to 4.2 sq meters.
The report urges governments to limit vehicle sizes to combat the SUV trend.
Sheila Watson, deputy director of the FIA Foundation, stressed the threat that larger vehicles pose to sustainable mobility and the need to move away from them to achieve fuel efficiency goals.
The report also highlights that the automotive industry’s emission reduction is driven by the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, with China and Europe leading in energy efficiency improvements due to strong EV growth.
In contrast, North America lags behind with lower EV adoption and slower improvement rates.
According to Dan Sperling, the Institute of Transportation Studies’ founding director at the University of California, Davis, the key to achieving more sustainable mobility is to reverse the trend towards larger and heavier vehicles.
This applies to electric mobility as well, as it can make the market for EVs more equitable and inclusive while reducing the need for critical minerals and electricity.
The report’s authors are also urging investment in renewables, a reversal of fossil fuel subsidies, carbon pricing, regulations on minimum EV charging deployment, and financial instruments that facilitate affordable access to EVs.
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