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4X4 emissions the real culprit?

(16 Posts)
Rantum Mon 19-Feb-07 17:13:08

While I understand that 4X4s with bigger engines are less efficient than many smaller cars, surely if a person drives a large car but only uses it infrequently for shortish trips then they are polluting the atmosphere less, and using less fossil fuel, than someone with a smaller car who uses it for long distances all the time?

So, in principle, it is the only the amount of petrol used per year by a driver (regardless of the size of the vehicle) that has a greater or lesser effect on the environment is not?

peanutbutterkid Mon 19-Feb-07 20:05:52

Partly depends exactly on the emissions for the vehicles in question; some 4x4s actually have different emissions standards (they are allowed to pump out a lot more pollutants per mile and still pass MOT). This is especially true of American SUVs which are not classified as "cars" but as "light trucks".

Best thing of all to do is to minimise vehicle use of whatever kind, and to use the least polluting vehicle / mode of transport you can when you do need to travel.

So why not use a small car for those infrequent short journeys?

Rantum Tue 20-Feb-07 13:30:07

Of course a small car for short, infrequent journey's makes more sense, environmentally!!

I was thinking of people with large families that occasionally need the car for trips with a full load of children on board.

My dh and I have two cars because there is no reliable public transport near us - one small car which my dh uses for his daily commute, one larger (2ltr engine) for use with children and dogs. I use it a couple times a week to visit family and to go to town. I just know lots of people who drive everywhere - children to school everyday, across the village to each others houses (really, really short trips where I would walk) and yet they think they are more environmentally sound because they travel in a small car. Weird.

IntergalacticDave Tue 20-Feb-07 13:32:57

There was a thing about this in the Sunday Times mag, saying that a lot of large saloon cars are worse polluters than 4x4s

CountessDracula Tue 20-Feb-07 13:39:05

I find them annoying because they take up so much road space. In London they jam streets where two normal cars could pass easily.

Also their exhausts seem to be at buggy/small child head height, I hate walking past one in a traffic jam with dd.

They don't have good visibility either, not so safe - dd nearly got decapitated by one reversing onto a pavement as the driver couldn't see her because he was so high up

They are appropriate for farmers. Not in cities.

Bugsy2 Tue 20-Feb-07 13:58:31

The thing in the Sunday Times was written by an ardent 4x4 driver.
I think the thing with 4x4s is that they are not just fairly bad on emmissions, but they also use bigger tyres, more metal, take up more space, are more dangerous if they hit a pedestrian etc etc etc.
They are ridiculous vehicles to drive in cities & towns & only really required by those who need to do proper off-roading.

LucyJu Tue 20-Feb-07 14:17:03

That Sunday Times article was really annoying! The gist of the argument seemed to be that:
1. Large 4x4s do not emit as many poluttants as Ferraris
2. There are more mid-range cars (Mondeos etc) around, and so Ford Mondeaos, Vauxhall Vectras, etc cause more total pollution
3. People only really moan about them because they are JEALOUS.

CountessDracula Tue 20-Feb-07 14:18:05

what jealous of looking like a cunt?

I think not <snurk>

jampot Tue 20-Feb-07 14:18:20

I run on lpg and am congestion charge free if it helps

NadineBaggott Tue 20-Feb-07 14:21:58

Why is the article annoying if it's stating facts?

That does sound like jealousy

ScoobyDooooo Tue 20-Feb-07 14:22:08

I hate them, i HATE the fact that some single people drive around in them because they think they look "cool" why have such a big beast of a car when you don't need one?

I don't think people are jealous of anything i think the fact is people don't like them because they are big, bulky & dangerous.

ScoobyDooooo Tue 20-Feb-07 14:22:40

You obviously drive one then LucyJo

LucyJu Tue 20-Feb-07 14:51:37

Let me re-iterate my point that the Sunday Times article was annoying. The arguments put forward by the journalist were pathetic.
Like "Ferraris emit more pollutants". Yeah, that's such a problem because there are so many thousands of Ferraris on the road, aren't there?
Mid-range cars emit more total pollutants because there re more of them? So.... your point is...? Let's have even more 4X4s and so we'll have even more total pollution?
Non 4x4 drivers are just jealous? In your dreams, mate!

jampot Tue 20-Feb-07 16:38:12

I guess what rantum was trying to get at is

If Car A (Ford Fiesta) were to drive 30 miles per day to work and back and her dh Car B (4x4 Rav 4) were to drive 5 miles on school run each day. Which would be worse on the atmosphere?



Whilst we are on this subject Im sure I heard that those super duper green machine things actually cause more pollution to produce and dispose of than a regular car so when it is in use it is green but its overall footprint is truly shite - allegedly

Rantum Wed 21-Feb-07 09:04:32

Actually, I do not really enjoy the image of our larger car and I am quite sure that most people are not at all jealous. Ours is not a HUGE 4X4, many saloons have the same sized engine, but still. I do live in the countryside but I am unconvinced that even this is a great excuse for driving this car, so I do try to limit how often I use it (was talked into it by husband - but with hindsight I should have been more firm). However, I find that because I have this particular car, I am more conscious of the frequency with which I use it, whereas I know plenty of people with smaller cars that don't give jumping into it to drive anywhere and everywhere a second thought. That was all I was saying.

peanutbutterkid Wed 21-Feb-07 14:27:59

I think manufacturing and disposal costs (environmental costs) for 4x4 type cars also tend to be higher than for smaller cars (since Jampots alluded to manuf.+disposal impacts of hybrid cars).

Bottomline is we all "should" think about the environmental impact of everything we do. Not that there is single one-size-fits-all right answer in every set of options.

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