SYNTHETIC FUEL IS THE CLASSIC OWNERS' CHOICE
Synthetic fuels are the favoured zero-emission alternative for over three quarters of classic and collector car owners, Footman James has found. Asking its audience: ‘How do you think you would power your classic/ collectable car if petrol or diesel wasn’t available?’, 76% voted for synthetic fuels, and the other 24% thought they would convert their car to run on electric power.
While Footman James recognises that the classic car industry makes up a small part of the 34.4 million internal combustion engine (ICE) cars (including hybrids) on the road today, it is specifically looking at how UK drivers may power their ICE cars at a point some decades away when petrol or diesel is no longer available. Discussing the results with the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA), a not for profit organisation whose mission is to protect and promote the sector and secure its long-term future, it is clear they agree that e-fuels can be a sustainable method to power classic cars in the future. 'This is a fascinating question, and one that we are often asked,' commented Chief Executive of the HCVA, Garry Wilson. 'The reality is that if people want to keep running their classics on petrol, there will be plenty available for several decades to come. 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% of net-zero. That’s a huge environmental win that also protects the character of our classics.'
Synthetic fuels, or e-fuels, are made from bio waste, itself being a product of biological organisms such as plankton and algae that absorbed energy from the sun millions of years ago, or other synthetic CO2-neutral masses. Not only are they less harmful to create, they also produce fewer harmful emissions. While some large vehicle manufacturers are investing in synthetic fuels, these fuels may be one alternative way to power vehicles that have already been made and, due to the fact that a petrol pump infrastructure is already in place, work best for classics.