A new report by Futman James, a provider of classic and special vehicle insurance, states that classic cars are less harmful to the environment than modern cars, including electric cars. This conclusion, in contrast to modern cars, which are often used on a daily basis, takes into account the limited use of the classics throughout the year, as well as the fact that their production produces large amounts of carbon.
According to the report, the average classic car in the UK emits 563 kg (1,241 pounds) of CO2 annually, as owners of classic cars travel an average of 1,200 miles (1,931 km) each year. Although modern vehicles have significantly lower CO2 emissions per km, they travel much longer distances per year and follow a much larger carbon footprint from the plant.
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The study estimates that the average carbon footprint in a car like the VW Golf is 6.8 tons (14,991 pounds) of CO2. Modern battery-powered electric vehicles, such as the Polestar 2, increase this figure to 26 tons (57,320 pounds) before leaving the factory, which can be difficult to compensate for when driving at zero emissions. For comparison, the average classic car needs to be used for more than 46 years to achieve the same 26 tons of CO2.
To be fair, this comparison will be quite different when automakers achieve their carbon neutral production goals over the next decade. Polestar itself has promised to produce the first climate-neutral car by 2030, and many other companies are working to reduce carbon footprints in their factories and facilities. However, Volvo EV recently acknowledged that although it has low carbon footprints for its entire life cycle, it currently emits 70 percent more emissions than its ICE-equivalent.
The Indicator report Two-thirds of classic car owners are concerned about climate change, and more than half of them say they will be open to emission compensation schemes. David Bond, managing director of Footman James, said: “It is easy to assume that classic cars will be damaged by old and inefficient engines, but the data in this report refute this theory. It’s really about how these vehicles are serviced and used; New modern and electric cars may seem good to the planet every day, but the question is how much it will affect their production.
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