Photo voltaic panels are a standard sight on the roofs of the West Sussex city of Steyning. Why then, puzzled David Boyle, did so lots of his ecologically aware neighbours have gas-guzzling SUVs within the driveway?

Boyle, 62, a historian, tried to unravel the puzzle. In a report for the New Climate Institute and the local weather change strain group Doable, he regarded on the seemingly inexplicable rise and rise of the “sports activities utility automobile”.

Based on figures from the Worldwide Council on Clear Transportation, the typical weight of a brand new automobile purchased within the UK has risen by 208kg because the begin of the millennium — the mixed weight of an additional man, girl and teenage passenger — to 1,459kg, or nearly 1½ tonnes. That’s