Overall exhaust emissions from new cars in the UK have been increasing the last three years as the rise in high emissions of sports utility vehicles (SUV) sales now outsells electric cars by 37 to one.
According to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) the high volume in SUV sales are jeopardising the UKs ability to meet EU emissions targets making a “mockery” out of UK policy.
Prof Jillian Anable of the UKERC said, “Effectively, we have been sleepwalking into the issue.
“The decarbonisation of the passenger car market can no longer rely on a distant target to stop the sales of conventional engines. We must start to phase out the most polluting vehicles immediately.
“It is time to enact a strong set of regulations to transform the entire car market towards ultra-low carbon, rather than focusing solely on the uptake of electric vehicles.”
In the last four years there has been 47,000 battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales compared with a whopping 1.8m SUV sales in the UK.
The UKERC said, “SUVs are larger and heavier than a standard car, emitting about a quarter more CO2 than a medium-size car and nearly four times more than a medium-sized battery electric vehicle.
“Assuming the majority of these SUVs will be on UK roads for at least a decade, it is estimated the extra cumulative emissions to total around 8.2m tons of CO2.”
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said, “It’s important to remember that the SUV trend has been developing for around two decades, arguably really taking off in the mid-2000s, whereas the electric vehicle (EV) market is only just beginning to accelerate as battery technology improves, along with the availability of public charge points.
“As a result, there are some very strong EV sports utility vehicles on sale now.”