Surging Quebec SUV Sales to Drive Oil Consumption 30% Higher This Decade
Surging sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are on track to drive Quebec’s oil consumption up by 30% over the next decade, according to a study released by HEC Montréal.
The research “suggests how much consumption habits have to change in Quebec if the province is to meet its goal of reducing petroleum use by 40% by 2030—a goal laid out by Premier François Legault earlier this year,” CBC reports.
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“The big driver for oil consumption is the fleet of cars and vehicles in the streets,” said study co-author Pierre-Olivier Pineau. “There are more electric cars that are sold, but that remains extremely marginal, and there’s a constant increase in the sales of SUVs over the last seven years.”
The study points to 2018 as a year that hit two milestones—an all-time high of 10 billion litres of gasoline purchased, and a sixth consecutive year of record sales of light trucks, a category that includes SUVs and minivans. Petroleum product sales increased 10% from 2013 to 2018, Pineau said.
“Since 2012, light truck sales in Quebec have jumped 61%,” CBC notes. “Quebecers spent C$13 billion buying light trucks in 2018, more than double what they spent on cars.” Light trucks accounted for 41% of the province’s vehicle registrations in 2018, compared to 25% in 2003, while electric vehicles comprised only 3%.Pineau urged the provincial government “to take concrete actions that would decrease the use of larger vehicles in the province,” CBC writes. “He suggested implementing higher taxes for large vehicles or levying a ‘kilometre tax’.”