Équiterre is sounding the alarm: Canada’s roads are struggling with obesity! Vehicles are higher, wider, longer, and heavier. This goes against all the efforts being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and to promote the electrification of transportation.
There’s no denying the popularity of light trucks—a category consisting of sports utility vehicles (SUVs), crossover utility vehicles, minivans, and vans. Consumers love their versatility, the sense of safety they provide, and the prestige they are associated with. And sales continue to explode as a result! In fact, 81% of new vehicle sales between January and September 2021 were light trucks. Certain auto journalists even go as far as to predict the eventual disappearance of the more traditional car. A great discussion to have with sedan fans . . .
This phenomenon will likely have an impact on the achievement of climate change targets. In fact, it has been analyzed from every angle in the latest Équiterre report on the increase in light trucks in Canada, which aims to understand the phenomenon in order to reverse the trend. Andréanne Brazeau, Mobility Analyst at Équiterre, summarized the issue live from the international summit on climate change in Glasgow (COP26).
Consequences on the environment and choosing electric
Light trucks require more natural resources for their manufacturing and more energy to use than cars. They therefore stand in the way of the government’s efforts in the fight against climate change. But to what extent?
“Because the sale of light trucks is increasing at the expense of less energy-consuming vehicles, GHG emissions in this area are increasing de facto,” the expert explains. These emissions have increased by 161% in Quebec between 1990 and 2018. And in 2020, 44.8% of these emissions were the result of transportation in the province, hence the need to consider quickly decarbonizing this industry!
The popularity of light trucks is even slowing down the governments’ electrification efforts.