A Transport & Environment (T&E) study showed that the average width of new cars in the European Union has already exceeded 180 centimeters – the size of a standard parking space. However, they have not stopped growing: for 23 years in a row, cars have added an average of 0.5 centimeters to their width. The European Parliament and Council will consider new measures to regulate SUV dimensions in early 2024.
T&E noted that perhaps half a centimeter a year does not seem like a big increase. However, without legislative reforms, luxury SUVs will become as wide as trucks and buses, leading to a traffic collapse on European streets. Already, they leave too little space for other road users.
About half of new SUVs do not fit into the 180 centimeter space – the standard parking space in many European cities such as Paris, London and Berlin. For example, the width of the Mercedes-Benz GLC is 203 centimeters, the Range Rover is almost 205 centimeters, the Volvo EX90 is about 204 centimeters. And BMW has several models stretched two meters wide at once.
In addition to the fact that the roads simply become crowded, large dimensions threaten safety, T&E notes. Height is especially important: raising the hood by 10 centimeters increases the risk of fatal collisions with pedestrians and cyclists by 30 percent, a study conducted in Belgium from 2017 to 2021 found.
Meanwhile, Porsche believes that the European Union will change its mind about banning internal combustion engines. The manufacturer, which recently presented the electric Macan, recalled the possibility of using synthetic fuel. So far, efforts have not led to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, and therefore voices are growing louder about revising the ban strategy.
Big cars with small engines