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Sales of SUVs have been continuously rising not only in America but also around the world, to the point of exceeding 40 percent of all new car sales worldwide in 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its World Energy Investment 2020 report, noting that preferences for larger cars have dampened fuel economy improvements and more than offset the gains by EVs.
Over the past decade, the world has seen “a dramatic shift towards bigger and heavier cars,” the Paris-based agency said. This shift toward SUVs has doubled the SUV sales over the past decade, and now there are more than 200 million SUVs on the road globally, up from about just 35 million back in 2010. Last year, the share of SUVs in total global car sales topped 40 percent for the first time, up from less than 20 percent a decade ago.
A total of 60 percent of the rise in the global car fleet since 2010 is attributable to SUVs.
From the perspective of oil demand for road transportation, bigger cars support oil demand as more fuel is being consumed. From an environmental point of view, SUVs are making the challenge of cutting transport emissions harder, the IEA said.
The trend for SUVs is not only confined to the United States, where half of all car sales are SUVs—it has been “universal and unrelenting,” the agency said.
“In China, as elsewhere, SUVs are often considered symbols of wealth and status. In India, sales are currently lower, but consumer preferences are changing as more and more people can afford SUVs, and their share is rising,” says the IEA.
In the U.S., the Trump Administration is rolling back fuel economy rules.
This week, 23 U.S. states led by California “filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s disastrous final rule rolling back the nation’s Clean Car Standards,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Wednesday.
“America’s Clean Car Standards were doing the job. We’re going to court to defend them,” Becerra said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.