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New Study: EVs vs SUVs and the battle for a cleaner future

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Car companies like to make big promises of an electric vehicle (EV) future. Meanwhile, they are working hard to sell millions of highly polluting – and highly profitable – SUVs and pickup trucks.

Environmental Defence launched a new study on the subject, and Équiterre supports its conclusions. The automobile industry spends big bucks to promote these gas guzzlers – in Canada 4 out 5 car ads promote only or mostly SUVs and pickups. The result is nearly 80% of the vehicles sold in Canada are SUVs, pickups and vans, contributing to rising emissions from transportation, which is the second largest source of carbon emissions in Canada.

So where are the EVs car companies keep promising?

Last year 3.5 percent of all vehicles sold in Canada were battery electric or plug-in hybrids, but when it comes to the SUVs, pickups and vans most Canadians buy, only 1.6 per cent of those are electric. Car makers are slow to roll out affordable EVs, instead sticking to profit making SUVs. These same companies also fight climate change actions like increased fuel efficiency standards. It’s time for the federal government to step in to require car companies to sell more EVs in Canada and to improve incentives to make EVs affordable for all Canadians.

This study is an initiative of Environmental Defence. Graphic design and illustrations by Jake Tobin Garrett.