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The evolution of ECO-FRIENDLY SUVs

Everyone is familiar with SUV’s, but for many, the relationship has not always been a good one. With concerns about fuel efficiency and pollution on Canadian’s minds, the larger family vehicles have never been all that popular. That is changing now. With advances in hybrid technology, and a greater demand for fuel-efficient cars facing automakers, the world is finally getting the SUV’s it has always wanted.

First Eco-Friendly SUV’s

The first true hybrid SUV’s were produced by Honda in 1999. Shortly after that, the market was taken by storm by the Toyota Prius. Ever since then, more and more hybrids have been gradually entering the market. However, it’s only been recently that hybrid technology in SUV’s has caught on with consumers, and car companies have taken notice.

Fuel Economy Factors

One of the reasons that eco-friendly SUV’s are taking off is that for years, SUV’s were not considered to be very environmentally friendly. They have traditionally gotten poor fuel economy compared to cars, light trucks, and even minivans. This is mainly because they are just heavy enough that they are exempt from a lot of the rules that light trucks must abide by when it comes to fuel economy. Because of this, SUV’s have never been known as a cost-effective purchase.

Pollution Factors

This has been a major selling point for eco-friendly hybrid SUV’s. Because of high fuel consumption, SUV’s have been regarded as major polluters on the roads for years, but with hybrid technology, that pollution has significantly decreased. In fact, the technology behind the Toyota Prius and its pollution cutting system was so effective on its release, that the first generation system was purchased by Ford and then placed into their first hybrid, the Ford Escape.

Eco Friendly Trends

Eco-friendly SUV’s have become immensely popular, and are now even outselling traditional hybrids. This is largely due to two factors. One, the mileage on fuel efficient SUV’s is now pushing into the 40mpg territory, an area that hybrids have dominated for years. Second, the cost of a standard SUV is less than that of a standard hybrid, which hasn’t hurt SUV sales in the slightest. Finally, there is a stigma that hybrids aren’t rugged. While this is a matter of interpretation, it has been noted that people want a car that looks strong.

With all of the advances in technology available for automakers to use, the choices before us are now vast, fun, and worth a drive around the block.