Is it fair to choose vans?

Is it fair to choose vans?

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Pickup trucks are a bane, at least according to Marcus Gee, whose Globe and Mail column criticizing Canada’s appetite for trucks has sparked enthusiasm among vehicle enthusiasts and enemies alike.

Gee said there are many issues associated with trucks – safety concerns, high fuel consumption, and a high manufacturing footprint – but strong pickup advocates disagree.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called the column “ridiculous.”

“Come to Saskatchewan where we use our vans to build and develop our province… and get a car out of the snow,” he said in a tweet.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has also championed the van, even changing his Twitter profile picture to show up behind the wheel of a van.

The column has put many pickup truck drivers west of Toronto on the defensive – and that makes sense, National Observer columnist Max Fawcett said.

“Especially here in Alberta, it’s kind of part of who we are,” said Fawcett. “It reflects our identity in the sense that trucks are freedom, trucks are independence, trucks are entrepreneurship. “

“You buy a vehicle based on your values, your identity, your perception of who you are in the world. And for a lot of people, the van is really a big part of that. “

Pickup trucks are popular

This apparent importance is reflected in the numbers.

Four of the five best-selling vehicles in Canada in 2020 were trucks, with the Ford F-150 leading the way. Twenty-eight thousand sold in Canada last year – which has been a bad year because of COVID-19.

Trucks are ubiquitous, fun to drive, and useful. But clearly, not everyone likes them. A recent story from Passage even called for their sale to be banned altogether.

“I think we’ve kind of allowed them to take over in a way that’s not great for the environment, or for the safety of our citizens,” Fawcett said.

He said we shouldn’t shame the truckers who drive them because their job or their lifestyle demands it. City dwellers who drive them for fun, however, may want to re-evaluate their decision.

“As we hear these promises about climate change and net zero emissions, maybe we need to own our own choices here as well,” Fawcett said. “And I think it extends to the cars we drive. “

Wes Siler, a regular contributor to Outside Magazine (and driver of a Ford Ranger), wrote an article titled In Defense of the Truck. He said his lifestyle requires him to drive a truck, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Trucks can be more responsible, much more environmentally friendly than other things we all do in our lives,” he said, citing air travel as a worse transgression.

“There are ways to think about using your van and your overall carbon footprint in a very consistent way that can reduce the amount of emissions you put out. “

Are trucks a game-changer?

The President of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, Stephanie Wallcraft has said that whether we like it or not, the mics are probably here to stay. But they could be different in the future.

“People are going to drive what they are going to drive. And it’s more on the automakers to give people options than if you live in the city and want to have this pickup, then there is something out there for you that is more fuel efficient, ”a- she declared.

Ford’s F-150 hybrids have just hit the market. Smaller trucks, like the Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline, and Ford Maverick, are also coming out. With these vehicles, you lose a bit of towing capacity.

“If you’re in the truck because you love it, not because you need all of that capability, then this is a great option to keep driving the truck but lower your overall emissions,” Wallcraft said.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener and the Alberta at Noon.

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