Classic cars do ‘less damage to the environment’ than petrol, diesel and electric vehicles

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Research from a specialist classic and collector vehicle industry report shows that when compared to modern vehicles, classic cars are much less damaging to the environment. The average classic emits 563kg of CO2 per year, yet an average passenger car has a 6.8-tonne carbon footprint immediately after production. 

Statistics in the extensive report show that the average classic car – travelling a national UK yearly average of 1,200 miles – generates 563kg of CO2 per year. 

In comparison, a typical modern car such as a Volkswagen Golf emits up to 6.8 tonnes of CO2 before it even departs the factory. 

The research study, from Footman James, also states that even though a modern car would, in fact, be more efficient and use less fuel if used on a daily basis, the environmental cost of manufacturing a new vehicle immediately negates this.

The Indicator Report also highlights the need for the classic car industry to modernise and diversify to keep the sector going.

It is believed that the classic car industry in the UK generates around £18.3billion and employs around 113,000 people, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond explained: “The Indicator Report is extremely useful in determining how much of an impact our beloved classics have on the environment. 

“It’s easy for one to assume that classic cars are more damaging simply because of their older and less efficient engines, however, the data in this report disproves that theory. 

“It’s really about how these vehicles are maintained and used.

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“It is clear that while new modern and electric cars might seem better for the planet day-to-day, the problem is how much of an impact their production causes.

“Speaking to our audience, we’re glad to discover that a substantial portion is concerned about the effects of climate change, and many would sign up for emissions offsetting schemes. 

“The future of classic cars is in our hands, and we must do everything we can to ensure they stay on the road.”

Two-thirds of classic car enthusiasts are already concerned about climate change.

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More than half of owners are open to using an emissions offsetting scheme to further benefit the environment.

According to the report, battery-electric vehicles have even more of an impact in terms of average carbon emissions footprint than a classic or modern internal combustion engine car.

The report highlighted the fully electric Polestar 2, which is said to create 26 tonnes of CO2 during its production process alone.

It is estimated that it would take a typical classic car 46 years to match.

Some classic car drivers have previously called on the Government to introduce a new vehicle class to include converted electric classics.

Around 70 percent of drivers say converted electric vehicles should be recognised independently on a DVLA V5C certificate, as a new class of vehicle.

Many classic car owners have taken the step to convert their old vehicle and run it as an electric vehicle.

This is done by stripping the internal combustion engine and running gear and replacing it with an electric powertrain.

To date, only modern electric vehicles are classed as an electric vehicle on the official documentation, the DVLA’s V5C form.

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