Equiterre on a crusade against SUVs

Équiterre is launching an advertising campaign with the stated aim of discouraging you from buying an SUV at a time when light commercial vehicles are proliferating like never before.

Posted yesterday at 11am

Vincent Larin

Vincent Larin
The press

“A perfect SUV to go to the north coast, but you only go to the south coast,” says one of the advertisements that the organization will publish from Monday.

Launched at a time when SUV and light truck sales are peaking in the province, the aim of this promotional campaign is precisely to make Quebecers aware of the “consequences of choosing a large vehicle with a can bring,” says Équiterre.

Because if sales of these vehicles have risen so sharply in recent years, it is mainly because they attract more public attention because they bring manufacturers higher profit margins, the environmental association believes.

For example, according to an analysis conducted by the organization, 79% of the automobile advertisements broadcast across the country feature light trucks.

Advertisements for these vehicles, while flaunting their advantages, often neglect the disadvantages of a large vehicle, explains Équiterre mobility analyst Andréanne Brazeau.

“One observation we made is that in advertising we bring up concepts such as safety for the people on board [des véhicules] in natural landscapes, etc., but in reality there is a lot of information that is not said,” she explains.


Andreane Brazeau

More expensive and dangerous

Higher prices, excessive fuel consumption, additional greenhouse gas emissions: all this information is indeed left out in advertising for SUVs and other light commercial vehicles. In addition, studies have also shown a link between the size of vehicles and the risk of death for other road users who might hit them, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

“An SUV is twice as likely to be involved in an accident involving pedestrians as a car,” recalls another commercial that will be heard on the radio and which, borrowing the accent from the car commercial, has already been played on a continuous loop.

Équiterre therefore hopes to offer people who decide against buying SUVs “a guide to self-defense”, as the arguments in favor of these large vehicles are numerous and persistent, says Andréanne Brazeau.

Recognize the problem

The mobility analyst also states that this campaign is being carried out “in parallel” with several other actions by Équiterre to fight against the proliferation of large vehicles on the province’s roads.

The organization also started a petition last November to urge the federal government to ban advertising for all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025.

But the different levels of government must first recognize that the proliferation of light trucks is “a problem”, stresses Andréanne Brazeau. “Once you realize there’s a problem, you can look at the situation,” she says.

Between 1990 and 2019, sales of SUVs and light trucks rose 284%, while passenger car sales in the province fell 29%, the province’s 2021 edition showsEnergy status in Quebec.

Learn more

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    Number of SUVs sold per electric vehicle in Quebec in 2020.

    Source: Equiterre

    Portion of the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Quebec between 2015 and 2019 attributed to the increase in the number of light trucks.

    Source: Equiterre

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