Greenpeace and more call for the ban of 'gas guzzler' SUVs
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A collaboration of 12 climate activist groups have rallied around this week's Frankfurt Motor Show to call for a ban on all internal combustion SUVs — including hybrids.
The group — known as 'Exit' — have cited petrol-powered SUVs as a leading contributor to global pollution. “As long as SUVs rather than small electric vehicles dominate automotive transport, cars will remain the problem child for us climate activists,” they said, speaking to Reuters.
Hopes for a petrol SUV ban are just part of the consortium's set of goals. They also hope for increased bicycle use and infrastructure in their pursuit of pollution reduction.
“The car industry needs to up its game, and phase out all diesel and petrol cars (yes, even hybrids)... Promoting hybrid cars and improving efficiency are nothing but band-aid solutions to a serious crisis,” said the group in an online statement.
“We want to see an end to new car sales by 2028, and instead have car manufacturers producing vehicles that are smaller, lighter, more energy-efficient and electric.”
A spokesperson for Sand in the Gearbox, one of the other groups within Exit, alleged that arguments on the environmental benefits of hybrid vehicles were "fake" and led by companies primarily centred on profits.
“These fake arguments brought forward by the industry are exactly the reason why we are taking to the streets,” they said. “Volkswagen is by definition interested in selling more cars, so they are not really part of the solution."
Volkswagen in particular were called out by the group following a response to Exit's claims from the German carmarker's CEO, Herbert Diess.
“SUVs is what the customer wants,” he said, speaking to Reuters.
“Owning a car is for many people part of having a higher quality of life. We need to ensure that even middle and lower income families can afford an electric car,” he added, noting Volkswagen's commitment to producing electric vehicles like the newly unveiled ID.3 hatch.
In New Zealand, half of the top 10 best selling vehicles are currently petrol or hybrid SUVs. And, the other half are petrol and diesel double-cab utes. While efforts have been made internationally to improve the pricing and accessibility of fully electric cars, cost-effective solutions, solutions for the trade industry, and solutions for those hoping to haul large loads of people remain limited.