Today 200 million SUVs are on the roads globally, up from 35 million in 2010, according to data the International Energy Agency (IEA). 60% of the rise of the global vehicle line since 2010 came from SUVs.
As a result of SUVs are significantly less fuel-efficient than smaller compact cars, the impact on oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions is visible. SUVs accounted for “all of the 3.3 million barrels a day development in oil demand from passenger vehicles between 2010 and 2018,” the IEA said.
EVs have been making significant headway in automobile sales, elevating hopes that the vitality transition could accelerate and result in peak oil demand. However, the IEA cautioned that SUVs are undercutting much of the progress. If sales of SUVs proceed on their current trajectory, it could add another 2 million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2040, “offsetting the savings from around 150 million electric vehicles”, the IEA warned.
The fallout for the climate could be severe. SUVs accounted for further greenhouse gas emissions that were second to the power sector. Shockingly, the rise in emissions from SUVs alone exceeded the increase in emissions from heavy trade, trucks, and aviation, which is notable given the vast expansion of commercial capacity in countries like India and China.
The global auto sector is heading for trouble at least in the short run. Total sales are anticipated to plunge globally this year because the economy decelerates and teases with the recession. The IEA said that sales of the internal combustion engine (ICE) fell by 2% last year, which was the first contraction since the global financial crisis a decade ago.