Zapping Auto Moto Renault Rafale: first contact with the large SUV cut from the Losange
By hook or by crook, manufacturers, and therefore their customers, are forced by public authorities to switch to electric cars. An unnecessary transition… according to the well-known Greenpeace organization. The latter at least believes that this is unnecessary, if sales of thermal SUVs continue to increase in parallel.
The beneficial effects of electric would in fact be canceled out by thermal SUVs. The NGO pointed this out in a report. It also targets three manufacturers, Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia. The fault is the increase in sales of thermal SUVs from these brands.
According to Greenpeace calculations, the SUV CO2 emissions of the three brands were 298 million tonnes. Which is far more than the nine million tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided by the use of electric cars.
A calculation that does not take into account car production
The fact remains that this method of calculation can be criticized. In fact, it does not take into account the emissions produced during the entire life of the vehicles. That is to say that the production phase, often more polluting for electric than for thermal, is not included in these results.
These results can also perhaps be explained by the fact that thermal SUVs have been present in larger quantities on the roads for much longer than electric ones. Vehicles already on the roads that must nevertheless be kept, in order to limit their environmental impact.
Greenpeace wants an end to greenwashing
Still, Greenpeace does not see this favorably. No more than the trend to produce electric SUVs. Like what WWF recently denounced, this remains greenwashing (false ecology), denounces Eric Choi, in a press release from the NGO:
“It’s time for the auto industry to stop greenwashing. Hyundai, Volkswagen and other manufacturers must reduce the size of their SUV fleets, at the same time as they electrify (their sales).”
More SUVs? It’s normal
Remember that the share of SUVs increased from 15.6% to 37.3% of sales at Toyota between 2013 and 2022. Same escalation from 10.1% to 44.3% at Volkswagen and 19.7%. 52.7% at Hyundai-Kia.
A development that can be explained in different logical ways. First, by consumer choice. Manufacturers have no interest in pushing cars that don’t sell.
Economic reasons can then be put forward. Modest-sized cars are difficult to make profitable in the age of electrification. Which explains their disappearance. Although this is changing, notably with the Renault Twingo in France.
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To sum up
According to the NGO Greenpeace, the switch to electric is useless if sales of thermal SUVs continue to rise. The organization made calculations, particularly targeting Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia. Electric car gains are wiped out, its results show.
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