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Money News

The Battle Between SUVs and Electric Cars

November 18, 2019

SUVs still control the fast lane.

2 min read

You may have noticed more electric cars and charging stations on the road recently, but that doesn’t mean that gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, have disappeared.

Far from it. In fact, while people bought more electric vehicles in 2018, they purchased even more SUVs, making them the top-selling automobile in the U.S., and potentially cancelling out the positive environmental impact of electric vehicles.

That’s according to the International Energy Agency, in its annual energy report, released November 12, 2019. The IEA is an organization run by a consortium of 30 countries, devoted to developing clean and sustainable energy.

This year’s report predicts that global energy consumption will soar by 2040 under current climate policies, which could also lead to increased carbon emissions and global warming. The agency found growing use of renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, and hydropower, but it also found the use of nonrenewable resources that create greenhouse gas emissions are rising at a rate that may outweigh any positive impact from renewable energy.

Top Takeaways from the Climate Report

SUVs vs. electric cars

Most U.S. car companies are developing electric cars,  to compete with Tesla, the biggest player in the electric car industry. In October 2019, Ford announced plans to start producing electric cars, as well as a national network of charging stations. Ford also announced plans to develop an electric version of its iconic Mustang. Similarly, General Motors said it will soon release dozens of new electric car models by 2023, to add to its Chevrolet Bolt. Fiat Chrysler also announced plans in 2019 to develop electric Jeeps.

Still, consumers seem to prefer driving SUVs. While sales of electric cars increased by 81% in 2018, there were still only 1 million electric cars on the road. Nearly half of all car sales in the U.S. in 2018 were reportedly for SUVs. Last year, there were 200 million SUVs on the road, compared to 35 million in 2010. SUVs are also the second-largest contributor to global carbon emissions, after the energy and power sector, according to CNBC.

SUVs on the road in 2010
SUVs on the road in 2018
*Source: CNBC

The International Energy Agency says that under current conditions, energy demand will continue to outpace the development of renewable resources.

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By Claire Grant
Claire is a content writer for Stash.

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