SUVs dominate the roads today. Here's why.
I assume the "footprint" rule will be covered in part 2.
One other characteristic did push folks to SUVs from cars, vans and a few ol' wagons. The latter's ground clearance was lowered as any easy way to get mpg and handling improvements. FWD cars which were initially good in snow became less so as rear weight increased with safety improvements. Many folks gave up on "cars" because they scraped off their mufflers and air dams and hung up on snowy berms or even speed bumps. No, most folks don't take SUVs "offroad," but that's not really the important distinction. It's Uncle Bob's driveway or the occasional two-track to a trailhead or the cobble in middle of the state highway. Or, being from low-gas-tax Colorado, the wheel-eating potholes.
But we did survive with smaller, lighter vehicles before the Expedition MAX and 4dr 4wd luxury pickups were everywhere, inspired by lame regulations and lame corporations.
Having said that, neighbors get real world 35 mpg in Rav4 true hybrids and even 33 mpg in the Highlander hybrid which is ginormous to me, so our mpg stds could go way up. My rides are one of the Fiat Jeeps, with typical crappy mpg but available as PHEV in the EU last I checked, and a little Kia PHEV with too short battery range. I covet the Rav4 PHEV, though of course it has some annoying lower air dam in front. Long (i.e. 40-60 mi) battery-range PHEVs would sell here and be in EV mode most of the time. BYD is cranking them out for the Chinese. So yeah, we need to stop compromising on lame standards and rules and regs that engender all kinds of teeth-gnashing and then don't really get the job (GHG reductions) done. Whew!
What does it mean for batteries, road and parking concrete weight, EV dispersion, to stay under 1.5 deg by 2030?