Emissions from SUVs actually went up during 2020 despite an estimated 7% drop in total emissions, as per a report from the International Energy Agency, which indicated a 0.5% increase over 2019. While the pandemic kept many cars in garages and depressed sales of new cars overall, the yen for big wheels could not be contained.
52% of the 14.5 million new vehicles were sold in 2020 were SUVs, and 42% of the broader global automotive sales market. Car sales continued to increase throughout the year, and more than three-quarters of cars sold in the U.S. are now trucks, vans or SUVs. Associated emissions continue to increase on a per vehicle basis as a result.
The Guardian reported last year, putting this into context; “Over a 15-year lifetime of the vehicles...the extra pollution is on a par with the entire annual emissions of Norway.”
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