Even with strong demand resting on car manufacturers to build greener, lower emission vehicles, consumer demand for SUVs is soaring. SUVs consume much more gas than smaller gas-powered cars, and SUV sales have been much stronger than these smaller cars. With increasing pressure to reduce global emissions, will EV manufacturers be ready to fill this demand for green SUVs?
Electric Vehicle Sales Are Strong
We recently reported that 2019 was a very strong year for electric car sales, peaking at 2.6% of all new car sales in September. Well, it looks like electric cars are just picking up more momentum. With both consumers and manufacturers starting to realize electric is the future, The Guardian reported that the industry should expect to continue seeing strong growth in 2020. In an effort to meet more stringent emission guidelines, many manufacturers are looking to shift more towards electric in 2020. UK electric car sales are set to account for around 5.5% of all UK vehicle sales in 2020.
European buyers will have over 175 electric options by the end of 2020, up from less than 100. It’s difficult for car manufacturers to completely change everything about their manufacturing process overnight, so it’ll take some time to see a completely electric world. But with brands like Fiat and Mazda set to break into the electric car space we are taking clear steps towards that future.
SUV Demand Soars
The Wall Street Journal reports that SUV, pickup, and crossover sales accounted for 73% of all US car sales in 2019. But despite heavy demand, electric manufacturers are lagging behind with those larger cars only accounting for less than 20% of EV sales. The growing number of gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks on the road could increase oil demand by millions of barrels a year. Say what you will about the Tesla Cybertruck, but it seems like it does fill a very well needed niche.
But for those of us not living as far in the future as Elon Musk, there’s plenty of more sensible looking options for larger cars on the horizon. Yesterday we took a look at the Ariya concept car Nissan was showing off at CES. With a clean interior and 300 miles of range we’re very excited to see what comes from this green SUV concept.
Just a few weeks ago we saw Rivian make a huge splash with the tank turn feature on their R1T pickup truck. By taking advantage of the fact that each wheel has its own electric motor, the R1T can spin 180 degrees in place like a tank on treads. This feature seems built for adventurous off-roaders, breaking the stereotype that all-electric cars are tiny commuter vehicles.
We also recently reported on some of Jeeps new plug-in Hybrid vehicles. With all the power and size you expect from a conventional gas-powered Jeep, but a battery with a 30-mile range. I believe plug-in hybrids will be a very important segment of the market moving forward. They give consumers everything they want in their large SUVs, but with a battery that has enough range for almost all of their daily commuting. And many consumers aren’t ready to ditch their combustion engine just yet, so plug-in hybrids can alleviate a lot of range anxiety until we’ve built out a lot more charging infrastructure
Mazda also recently unveiled their first EV, the MX-30. This all-electric SUV only sports 130 miles of range, but with so much demand for SUVs may be Mazda’s name recognition can make this one a success. We’ll just have to wait and see if Mazda’s first step into the electric space is a stumble.
Luxury Green SUVs Coming to Market
We also recently looked at the Fisker Ocean. With a 300 mile range and affordable price, this luxury SUV could be another very attractive option to consumers. It looks like manufacturers have noticed this gap in the market as it seems like the news lately has been flooded with electric SUVs.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. We’re ready to see more SUV releases from companies like Ford, Audi, Jaguar, and Toyota to name a few. With SUV demand at an all-time high, it looks like the automotive industry is ready to provide a greener alternative. We’ll continue to look out for new electric SUVs coming out in the future.