Are SUVs Good For The Environment?
SUVs, there are some who love to hate them while others who hate loving them! Both sides have their own reasons. The haters will point out the massive proportions of an SUV, their slight ostentatious looks and their much discussed effects on the environment. The SUV lovers will tell you that it is one of the safest, most luxurious and adventurous creation on four wheels. Wondering which side to pick? Maybe simplifying the most widely publicized issue might help. And that is the hotly debated question of the environmental friendliness of SUVs; in order to understand this completely, there are several factors to be taken into account.
During the 1990s, the period in which SUVs became insanely popular, fuel prices were very cheap. However, the days of wallet friendly fuel prices are long gone and in today’s world of sky rocketing fuel prices, it is becoming extremely difficult to maintain a SUV. Also, SUVs gulp up fuel at a rapid pace, the most inefficient SUV being the Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG, which gives an average of around 12mpg.
Pollution is another SUV side effect. SUV emissions lead to the depletion of the ozone layer. Also, the great amount of pollutants given out by SUVs causes the creation of ground level ozone which then leads to lung diseases and asthma. Statistics show that SUVs emit 30 per cent more carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons as well as 75 per cent more nitrogen oxide that normal cars. So as far as keeping the environment clean and free from harmful pollutants is concerned, SUVs are definitely not putting their best foot forward! The detrimental emissions of SUVs have long term effects like severe climate change. Gases like carbon di oxide and carbon monoxide cause calamitous phenomenon like global warming. In fact, Ford Escape Hybrid, one of the SUVs with a good fuel economy, emits around 5.7 tons of carbon di oxide in a year!
And needless to say, the demand for fossil fuels is increasing day by day, all thanks to the rapidly increasing number of SUVs on the road. This desperate need for oil has led to explorations in areas like the Arctic and the Californian coastline, both of which are highly susceptible natural ecosystems. If such sensitive and vital habitats are tampered with, the result can be disastrous for all of mankind.
Owing to all these environmental problems, SUV manufacturers have tried to come up with solutions over the years. The most successful endeavor has been the development of hybrid SUVs. Hybrid engines reduce emissions to a great extent and offer exceptional fuel economy. Also, the performance offered by hybrid SUVs is as good as its fuel driven counterparts. Ford Escape Hybrid offers around 34mpg in the city; a number that suggests this technologically advancement will help in reducing environmental degradation. Another technique that is used by manufacturers is reducing the weight of the SUVs that helps in decreasing tailpipe emission. So, all is not lost and there might soon be a day when this world will see a completely eco-friendly SUV.