EVs sales have been on the rise. We’re still a bit off from mass adoption but we’re slowly getting there. With those EV gains come gains in curbing carbon emissions. But there’s a problem as The Conversation points out. Sales of big ass trucks and SUVs with bad gas mileage are offsetting the gains made by EV adoption.
While some automakers are touting EV sales, the ugly underside of those sales is that they’re on the backs of pickups and SUVs. Companies like Ford for instance. Ford says it’s the No. 2 EV automaker in the US with sales of the F-150-Lightning and Mustang Mach-E in August. But dig deeper into those sales and you’ll see that over 58,000 F Series pickups were sold in August; nearly 421,000 being sold this year so far. And it’s not just Ford. Through October 2021, light truck sales were over 75 percent of new vehicle sales in the US.
The problem with all this is twofold. While EV sales are gaining, they’re still a fraction of all US auto sales, expected to hit six percent by year’s end. That’s still not enough to have much effect on curbing carbon emissions. And an analysis of EPA data by The Conversation shows that Americans’ insatiable desire for these big vehicles does nothing to help curb emissions.
My analysis of the EPA data shows that through 2021, the higher emissions from market shifts to larger, more powerful vehicles swamp the potential carbon dioxide reductions from EVs by more than a factor of three.
So what can be done? Lots, mainly in the arena of policy. But it’s all covered with red tape, and anything meaningful would take time and public acceptance. But steps are being made, such as the GM announcing a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund which will “address the large light trucks as part of new standards targeting a 60 percent reduction in fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.” Overall though, people just need to stop buying big pickups and SUVs and automakers need to get to work on making them cleaner and more efficient.