Average Annual UK Tailpipe Emissions Increase Over Three Years

Average UK tailpipe emissions have been increasing, not decreasing, for the previous three years, a UK government-commissioned report has found.

The cause, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) says, is a growth in SUV sales in the UK, with SUV sales accounting for 21.2% of all new car sales in 2018, equaling out to 1.8 million, while battery electric vehicles were just 0.7%, or 47,000 vehicles. That’s a staggering ratio of 37:1.

However, when widening the scope to all electric vehicles, not just pure electric vehicles, eight out of 10 electric vehicles sold were plug-in hybrids, with the majority of these also being SUVs.

This continues a trend which sees consumers putting their personal comfort above concerns for the environment, which is quite clearly a worry for automakers attempting to decrease emissions. Indeed, according to the research, the sales of SUVs will pump an extra 8.2 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, assuming these SUVs have an average road life of 10 years. The research also found that an SUV emits up to four times more emissions than a zero emission BEV, and a quarter more than a medium-sized hatchback.

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