Classic car enthusiasts urged to embrace environmental challenge to keep hobby alive

The classic car sector must embrace the environmental challenges ahead in order for the hobby to thrive.

Garry Wilson, the new CEO of the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA), a non-profit organisation protecting classic car enthusiasm, said the sector had to embrace change as well as highlighting how it’s already environmentally friendly.

The 58-year-old said: “A big part of the job will be making sure the sector has a share of the voice as part of the UK automotive industry and heritage sector.

“I think we need to embrace the environmental challenge and work with legislators to identify solutions – while at the same time demonstrating very clearly the environmental credentials of the classic movement.”

Wilson wants to collaborate with other classic car groups as well as mainstream car makers ‘to achieve sustainable results’.

He has been working on electrification in the automotive industry for the past seven years and wants to find a way for EVs and combustion-engined vehicles to co-exist. One way this could happen is through the use of synthetic fuels.

The classic car industry is facing numerous issues in the near and distant future. For example, the introduction of E10 petrol, which has a higher ethanol content than traditional petrol, is not compatible with classic cars.

E5 is still being used in premium fuel pumps, but this means running classics is now more expensive. It’s also unclear how long E5 will remain on forecourts.

The HCVA was founded in May and campaigns on behalf of individuals and companies in the classic car sector.

It says the industry is worth £18.3 billion in trade each year, with the British classics fleet worth over £12bn and generating close to £3bn in tax each year.