Half as polluting as a mobile phone

02 July 2022

Vehicle pollutants harm our health and contain greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Burning gasoline and diesel fuel create harmful by-products like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, benzene, and formaldehyde.

According to a recent study, the average use of an old car hardly pollutes the environment.

How polluting is driving a classic car? Half as polluting as a mobile phone.

The classic car market is booming; crucially, it has increased again enormously during the lockdown. Additionally, the supply market has expanded in Europe and the US, which is far more than a niche market; according to UK government reports, the classic car industry turns over £20 billion annually.

‘No matter how environmentally friendly modern cars operate, their production can sometimes be extremely harmful to the environment. Almost everything is new; the metal is melted and often produced thousands of miles away and transported by sea in huge ships. The electronic components contain lithium, cobalt and zinc, all extracted from the earth in open-cast mines, which can lead to toxic wastewater.’ 

Additionally, many components are made from plastic, and we all know plastic waste has become a challenge.

A rather alarming statistic, Polestar, which manufactures EV’s, states that 24 tonnes of CO₂ are emissions generated to produce its Polestar 2 mid-size car.

Shigemi Kagawa, a professor at Kyushu University’s Faculty of Economics, in a study, reported that when new car production increases with electric and non-electric vehicles, the emissions increase rapidly.

As to classic cars, although the engines are far less efficient, on average, a classic car is driven around 1,000 miles per annum. Equally importantly, classic cars were manufactured many years ago; therefore, their manufacturing emission is zero.

To round up, this corresponds to about half the emissions caused by the annual use of a smartphone. Or a one-week holiday in the Mediterranean.