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A recent study undertaken by UK classic car and vehicle insurers Footman James claims that classic cars do less damage to the environment than new cars, including EVs.
The findings state that since an average classic car tends to have limited use each year over modern cars, which are largely used as daily drivers and generate large amounts of CO2 during their production.
The study says the average classic car in the UK emits 563 kg of carbon dioxide after being driven 1,931 km on average each year. Modern cars do emit less CO2 per km, but are driven more regularly and already have a sizeable carbon footprint during their build in the manufacturer’s respective factories.
The findings also suggest production of an average mainstream passenger car such as the Volkswagen Golf is capable of producing 6,800kg of CO2. Also, production of a new EV produces over 26,000 kg of carbon dioxide, yet when driven produces no CO2. To reach the same figure produced by EVs during production, a classic car will have to undergo close to 50 years of use, the study says.
“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,” says Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond. “It’s really about how these vehicles are maintained and used; 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”.