Making Petrol Guzzling Cars Eco-Friendly

The common mistake is that petrol cars cannot be eco-friendly. With classic cars having old technology, they can be modernised to fit with today’s eco-conscious world. There are many ways to reduce emissions of a petrol or diesel fuelled car. Here are the reasons why we should.

Carbon emission rates of petrol-powered cars

Between 2017 and 2019, the average emissions from new passenger cars increased after a consistent decline in the years prior. The SUV market grew in popularity leading to heavier petrol powered vehicles being produced. As a result, fossil-fuelled cars released an average of 122.3 grams of CO2 per Km in 2019. Which was a major concern for EU targets of 95g/km for 2021.

Transport makes up 25% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and the European Green Deal says a 90% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions needs to take place from the transport segment, for EU target of 2050 to become net-zero.

But some classic car owners are conscious about the environment and love their prized vehicles. The thrill of driving these elegantly designed machines put smiles on generations and protects their heritage. But classic car owners know, they can be difficult to upkeep. As old technology phases out, question marks are being placed on how polluting these vehicles can be.

electric car conversion

Electric Car Converts: Converting classic cars to electric

What are the environmental benefits of electric vehicles?

Without exhaust emissions, Electric vehicles have lower environmental impact than petrol or diesel. Even when accounting for the production process and the way EVs are fuelled during their lifetime.

As a result, air pollution in congested cities is reduced. Going a long way towards zero emissions targets set out by UK governments for 2050, with the upcoming ban of new combustion engine cars by 2030.

Noise pollution is also reduced in electric vehicles. With just one moving part in full electric powertrains, like this Series 3 converted Land Rover components are much quieter. Leaving city centres a calm and relaxing place where even wildlife can thrive.

Current EV energy use and emissions

Currently, new electric vehicles are more expensive than petrol or diesel. But over their lifetime they save owners money due to the cheaper way of refuelling. The energy use, on average, is 0.2kWh/km, or 3.1 mi/kWh for a typical electric car. This varies in winter and summer months as accessories such as heating, and air conditioning are used in the vehicle. Along with external temperatures affecting the battery condition.

With some cars requiring battery temperature controlling in extreme weather. If battery electric cars are charged using cheap renewable energy, then they offer a cost saving over petrol or diesel. As typically it costs around £15-20 to fully charge an electric car with 60kWh battery, which will give you around 200 miles of range.

How do electric cars reduce air pollution?

Our electric cars use batteries and electric motors which do not emit any greenhouse gasses during their operation. This reduces air pollution in a vehicle lifecycle compared to a petrol-fuelled car.

EVs are also not limited to one way of refuelling. Meaning the electricity can come from anywhere. With renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, it is possible to charge EVs emission-free.

Hydrogen storage

Hydrogen storage is another hot topic in alternative fuels for transport. With a host of car brands, including Land Rover announcing a new Hydrogen fuelled Defender, is it a realistic alternative?

The ICCT study stated that hydrogen fuel cells accounted for 50-60% of the car cost, and 85% of powertrain costs for small volume production. They have a much more complicated setup over BEVs. Hydrogen fuel cells require pressurised storage tanks, a complex fuel cell and battery packs that a fuel cell charges for operation.

With hydrogen fuel cells, water is the only output from their exhausts. Meaning they are also a zero-emission alternative to petrol gas guzzlers. Toyota are leading the race with their Mirai that has been around since late 2014. However, sales are low and the minimal number of hydrogen fuel stations across the world limits their usage.

Electric car charging infrastructure

The charging infrastructure has improved in recent years. With most owners opting for home charging on the driveway or in their garage with wall boxes. It is however still an issue for those living in urban areas, that do not have access to a home charger. But governments and councils are closing the gap with innovative ideas such as street charging sockets and encouraging workplace charging.

The introduction of rapid chargers has seen a wider adoption of EV ownership. Due to their fast-charging speeds of 150-300kw, it is now possible to charge 0-80% in as little as 30-45minutes with modern EVs.

Tesla has arguably revolutionised this space by being a brand that installs chargers which accompany their EVs. With the widest network in the world, Tesla are trialling their chargers to be used by any EV and not limiting them to brand only charging.

electric car conversion
Charging a classic land rover defender

Greenhouse gas emissions and energy use reductions

With lean production and efficient assembly machines, the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing is also now a reality. With major brands such as Volvo committing to net zero by 2040 in both manufacturing and with their vehicle fleet.

The introduction of EVs is vital, the 2010 to 2020 chart from ‘energy demand from plants’ shows full battery electric vehicles having the least demanding for energy. Being as low as 40kWh/100km and just 65-70g CO2e/km of emissions in 2020.

Can electric vehicles create sustainable transport?

With the correct sourcing, manufacturing, and fuelling methods, it is possible to have sustainable ground transport with electric vehicles. During material extraction, new mining equipment should be zero emission. Along with ships that carry materials, and the plants that process the material to produce the vehicles.

Ownership of EVs is increasing, it is important that sustainable electricity is generated to charge batteries. Whether that comes from government investment into wind and solar power generation, or personal investment in solar panels and home battery packs – a net zero future is possible.

The ultimate way to keep your petrol-guzzling car eco-friendly is by converting the powertrain into electric. We at Electric Car Converts take the utmost care in converting your classic car to electric in a unique way that works for you. Contact us today for more information and how we can get started on your electric car conversion!