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Classic car owners want synthetic fuel

Thursday, 10 November 2022 at 10:00:00 UTC


Al Suttie

Three quarter of classic car owners favour synthetic fuel over EV conversion

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Synthetic fuel is the preferred option for the continued use of classic cars by three quarters of owners.

A study by Footman James has found that 76% of classic car owners believe the sustainability of classic cars lies with synthetic fuels rather than EV conversions. Only 24% of those asked said they would be prepared to convert their car to run with an electric conversion.

The rising cost and availability of high-octane E5 fuel, which is more suitable for classic cars in comparison to E10, which has a higher ethanol content, puts pressure on owners and shows the automotive sector is right to look at alternatives.

Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond, said: ‘I’m pleased owners are thinking about the future and how they may be able to align their classic cars with a net-zero future. Understanding the power that alternative fuels have for our industry shows not only a potentially positive outlook ahead, but also highlights to organisations the power that e-fuels have to secure ICE cars’ relevance and sustainability in the future. If we can keep more cars on the road rather than manufacturing new ones, that will save millions of tonnes of embedded carbon.’

Some vehicle manufacturers are investing in synthetic fuels and synthetic fuels may be one alternative method to power vehicles that have already been made. Due to the petrol pump infrastructure already in place, this would work well for classic vehicles.

Garry Wilson, Chief Executive of the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance, added: ‘This is a fascinating question, and one that we are often asked. Some classics are deeply impressive converted to electric, but do it because you like how they drive, not because you think you are contributing to saving the planet, which you won’t be unless you drive it enough miles to recover the CO2 spike caused by battery manufacture.

‘Sustainable fuels on the other hand are a drop-in solution that, when they become widely available, we can all use without any modifications to our engines, slashing our carbon emissions immediately to 80 per cent of net-zero. That’s a huge environmental win that also protects the character of our classics.’

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