Updated Dec 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

SUVs conquer Earth

Data: IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

SUVs' share of the global auto market reached fresh records this year, growth that counters the climate benefits of the growing vehicle electrification, the International Energy Agency said.

The big picture: "In 2021, SUVs are on course to account for more than 45% of global car sales — setting a new record in terms of both volume and market share," IEA analysts write in a new post.

Why it matters: SUVs are heavier than typical passenger cars and hence use more fuel, which generates more CO2.

IEA's analysis has this wild stat: "If SUVs were an individual country, they would rank sixth in the world for absolute emissions in 2021, emitting over 900 million tonnes of CO2."

Yes, but: The growth of electric vehicles — including electric SUV models — is offsetting more CO2 from internal-combustion SUVs than in the past.

"The good news is that skyrocketing electric car sales in 2021 are expected to be just about sufficient to cancel out the additional emissions stemming from the 35 million SUVs that were purchased instead of average-sized cars," IEA notes.

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