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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.

Go deeper

Electric cars could become charging stations too

Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup can top off the battery in a Mustang Mach-E. Photo: Ford

Electric vehicles will soon have "bidirectional" or two-way batteries that can turn cars into useful sources of power for your home, worksite or even another car.

Why it matters: One of the biggest obstacles to EV adoption is the lack of charging infrastructure.

  • But if you think of your car as a source of energy — not just a consumer of it — that whole calculus begins to change, says Reilly Brennan, a transportation investor at Trucks Venture Capital.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.