Driving a classic car for 37 years produces less emissions than producing 1 electric car

Updated: Oct 30

Producing 1 Polestar 2 releases more emissions than 37 years of classic car driving
2021 Polestar 2 - Credit: topgear.com

cc: Just Stop Oil

What’s going on here?

The average classic car can be driven for 37 years and still produces less emissions than an electric car does before it has even done a mile.

Tell me more

A study from Polestar themselves shows that a Polestar 2 (Standard Range, Single Motor) produces 23.8 tonnes of CO2 across the production process (inc. materials production and lithium-ion battery modules and the manufacturing process).

Polestar 2021 Life Cycle Assessment
Polestar 2021 Life Cycle Assessment - Credit: Polestar

A study by Loop out this month shows that driving a classic car produces 641.6kg of CO2 per annum, when travelling the average distance a classic car does each year (1,200 Source: a sample of 14,000 classic car owners from across the UK).

Quick maths break: 23,800 / 641.6 = 37.09

That means then you can drive a classic car for 37 years and produce less emissions than the production of a Polestar 2.

And in the spirit of fairness, the Polestar 2 that's being referenced above in the data is their Standard Range, Single Motor. In other words, the variant with the smallest environmental impact of all 3 variants they've provided data for.

Why should I care?

Electric vehicles are a solution, not the solution. Classic cars and electric vehicles can co-exist.

The point here is not that classic cars are better for the environment than electric cars. The point here is that we need to start the conversation to demystify the concept that classics are terrible for the environment. The data shows, that's clearly not the case.