Asking how SUVs and 4×4’s potentially harm the environment is segmenting this type of vehicle as opposed to seeing such vehicles as no different to any other carbon based fuel vehicle. It is unfortunate that some seem to want to directly criticise 4x4s and SUVs, marking them out as a bigger offender in the environment harming argument.
If one is looking at pollutants being exhausted into the atmosphere, then a 4×4 or SUV will be no better or no worse than similar engine size vehicles.
In addition, in some cases such vehicles may be less harmful to the environment simply because they are either working vehicles or owned as a hobby vehicle. This generally means that engine maintenance is kept up to good standards, with regular oil changes and other operations needed to keep the vehicle running at its optimum. This means that as a comparison to other vehicles of the same engine size that are not regularly serviced, then in fact the 4×4 or SUV will be less harmful to the environment than those not serviced.
Owners of 4x4s and SUVs often keep their vehicles longer. This means that all of the energy and resources that go into the production of new cars is reduced by owners of 4x4s and SUVs simply by not changing their car as frequenly as owners of other types of car. In addition, many 4x4s and SUVs are rebuilt and restored so that they provide many more years of use, again reducing the amount of energy and resources required for that owner to own a vehicle. And, by keeping that car longer, the 4×4 or SUV owner is holding off another of the largest sources of pollution, that of the final destruction of a vehicle.
Many 4x4s and SUVs have the capability of being converted to LPG or to use a sustainable fuel source as well. This again means that they are not the bogeyman as seen by many. It is unfortunate that many lobbyists and others looking for votes within green supporters use the 4×4 or SUV as something to use as a focal point during election time.
In the UK the 4×4 and SUV was used as a reason for pushing up vehicle taxation costs, this gaining full support of those who saw green issues as something to fight for. Unfortunately for those that supported such taxation increases, the real reason for such increases was that the Government intended to introduce vehicle taxation based upon vehicle emissions. This mean that once the new vehicle taxation laws were passed, many of the supporters of the new taxes found that they too were paying more for their vehicle, even though it was not a 4×4 or SUV.
The 4×4 or SUV should not be singled out as an example of a vehicle that harms the environment more than any other vehicle does. It is a car with an internal combustion engine of a certain size, there are other vehicles using engines of the same size and performance. suggesting that one type of vehicle within an engine class is far worse than others shows a lack of common sense and education.