Classic cars pollute less than electric cars, study finds

Deepak Gupta June 22, 2022
Updated 2022/06/22 at 4:49 PM

Systems and technologies have improved significantly, from the first cars to those that are available today. However, a new study has concluded that classic cars pollute less than electric cars.

Or is it not that linear?

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How is it possible that a classic car pollutes less than an electric car, developed, we believe, to be a sustainable and more environmentally friendly alternative?

According to one report developed by insurance company Footman James, a car produced decades ago is less harmful than an electric vehicle that is highly prepared for today's environmental challenges.

Although the conclusion seems surprising, it is important to emphasize that the study took into account the low average mileage of classic cars compared to modern cars. Now, classic cars emit 563 kg of carbon dioxide per year, covering an average of 1,931 km during that period of time; modern cars travel much longer distances, consequently emitting more.

In addition, the study also considers the emissions associated with the production of a new car. As exemplified, the production of a Volkswagen Golf, with a thermal engine, represents 6.8 tons of carbon dioxide. On the other hand, the production of an electric Polestar 2 emits 26 tons. Therefore, a classic car needs 46 years of use to pollute as much as a Polestar 2 during its production.

It's easy to assume that classic cars are more harmful simply because of their older, less efficient engines. However, the data in this report refutes this theory. It's really about how these vehicles are maintained and used. Clearly, while new, modern, electric cars may look better for the planet on a day-to-day basis, the problem is the impact their production has.

explained David Bondmanaging director of Footman James.

In fact, the report reveals that two-thirds of classic car owners are concerned about climate change, and more than half welcome emission compensation schemes.

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