VCÖ deplores boom in SUV sales

By Lisa ChapmanThe Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) has criticised this year’s boom in registrations of gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUVs).VCÖ said today (Weds) the number of registrations of SUVs had increased year on year by 22.5 per cent in 2009. There was an increase of only 8.0 per cent for all cars.It said the biggest increases had been in Burgenland and Tyrol.The group pointed out though that a change in the system of penalties for greenhouse-gas emissions by certain cars as of 1 January will see a premium of 25 Euros a gram charged on all car emission levels above 160 grams. The current level is 180 grams.And VCÖ chiefs have called for the limit to be made even lower.VCÖ expert Martin Blum said: “Additional improvement of the framework for the purchase of low-emission cars is necessary.”The group recently reported that Austrians had spent less on petrol and diesel for their cars this year.It said drivers had spent 17 fewer cents a litre for petrol and 27 fewer cents a litre for diesel this year than in 2008, adding that petrol had cost an average of 1.044 Euros a litre and diesel an average of 0.973 Euros a litre in 2009.