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New initiative aims to 'maximise efforts' and decarbonise historic vehicles

Classic cars are being helped to become net zero thanks to a new initiative launched by the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA).

The HCVA estimates that most classic cars have an annual usage of below 1,200 miles per year. Despite this, they are looking to further decarbonise the classic car sector, without impacting the heritage or enjoyment of the vehicles.

They are set to embark on a programme of work with their partners to review a range of options, including the use of sustainable fuels.

Previously, the HCVA campaigned to raise awareness of challenges around the introduction of E10 fuel.

Since its launch in September, classic car owners have been advised not to use the new “greener” fuel over fears it could damage the cars.

The RAC warned owners of cars built before 2002 that they should steer clear of E10 petrol.

Garry Wilson, CEO of the HCVA, commented on how classic cars could shift to a net-zero future.

He said: “The historic and classic vehicles sector is a vanishingly small contributor to the UK’s CO2 emissions yet contributes nearly £3billion to the exchequer each year.

“Classic vehicles are also an important part of our cultural heritage so we want to ensure that the wider classic sector has the ability to achieve a net-zero status ahead of the mainstream automotive sector.

“We need to maximise our efforts to support this initiative which means growing our funding and that means growth in membership.”

Their new project, in collaboration with Net-Hero, is called ”Instant Offset” and is set to help classic car drivers reduce their carbon emissions.

The platform will enable drivers to become more environmentally friendly starting at a cost of two pence per mile.

If a motorist drives 1,200 miles a year, the fee they pay per mile would be channelled towards supporting high quality, ethical carbon credit projects around the world.

This would include afforestation and the restoration and protection of vital carbon rich peatlands and grasslands.

Every driver using the scheme will receive a certificate and vignette to demonstrate their status as an environmentally responsible driver.

The HCVA said that historic and classical cars are already the epitome of sustainability with “reuse, repair, recycle” at its core.

Henry Pearman, Director of the HCVA said: “This new initiative accelerates us on a journey to net- zero.

“As the sector already has strong environmental credentials this project, together with others, could make us sub-zero!”

According to the HCVA, the three-million-strong British classic fleet is valued at over £12billion and annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer is close to £3billion.

The trade, in which British craft skills and engineering excellence lead the world, supports around 113,000 jobs in thousands of specialist small businesses and supply chain firms.

Following the conclusion of the COP26 climate conferences this weekend, the UK Government and other world leaders are dedicated to lowering vehicle emissions.

Steps have already been taken in the UK, with massive investments into electric vehicles and their infrastructure.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, with a similar ban on new hybrids coming in 2035.

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