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Help out a student

Had a message for members input if you spare a few minutes

I am a student at the University of Nottingham and my dissertation is on classic cars. I’m trying to develop a way to keep the beauty and sound of classic cars whilst improving their performance (and hopefully cost and emissions). I have created a short survey (11 multiple choice questions) to research how best to develop this. I would really appreciate if you could distribute this survey with your members to complete, or even just yourself – every little helps! The link to the survey is here if you wish to take part: 

https://forms.office.com/r/EDiw7U9P76 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

John

National Meet - 22-24 July 2022 @ Curborough Sprint Circuit

Re: Help out a student

Reply #1
This may be of interest.

Consider the social model where a consumer (Person A) is enticed into replacing their car with a new car every 3 years. To get the newest/latest tech and greenest solution - this is what governments and manufacturers want as it drives the economy.

Now consider someone (Person B) that's keeping a 30-year-old car roadworthy and in regular use, in those 30 years, Person A has replaced their car 10 times. The carbon footprint of vehicle production and shipping it halfway round the world 10 times versus the once of a single purchase is not offset by having a slightly greener car.

A well-cared for old car can run efficiently with minimal emissions. Tests have been done comparing real life situations (i.e. driving around normally - not in lab conditions) of old cars with the latest cars, the difference of carbon output is negligible.

Person B with their old car is saving the planet!!! Granted, many classic car owners also have new cars :-(

Lease hire and the way people buy cars now is geared towards the model for Person A.

Car manufacturers do not produce cars to be serviced and maintained, they build parts from cheap plastics rather than metal as they are not intended to last. Modern cars are disposable items now.

Battery production is harmful to the environment. Whilst the car might omit zero emissions once built it needs to be in use for 9+ years (Volvo recently published a report) to offset the carbon of its production. Can you imagine a modern 10-year-old EV, packed with outdated tech and depleted batteries? What would it be worth?


The future is sustainable vehicles, whatever their power source. That can be easily maintained in a cost-effective manner. Built to last longer. That can be repaired and serviced and potentially upgraded.

Imagine a modular EV, where the motors and batteries can be easily replaced, the tech can have firmware updates. Put this on a robust, built to last framework (a separate chassis like old cars used to have maybe) and you have a vehicle that will last 20-30+ years. You could even have a modular shell and wrap it on plastic replaceable panels so you could change the styling and update the styling as times change and to stop it from getting too dated.

Watch the American car shows where they put old shells on top of brand new chassis with up to date running gear and modern engines.

Remember if someone buys a brand new car and keeps it for 10 years, the manufacturer has to wait 10 years for a repeat customer, the government has to wait 10 years for more new car sales tax. The economy would slow down. The rich would not get so Rich. Trying to get everyone to buy a new EV is not about saving the planet, it's about driving the economy. Lockdown has proven many people don't need to travel to work, car journeys can be reduced. But everyone is encouraged to make those journeys back into the office to drive the economy.

Re: Help out a student

Reply #2
Well I'm not much help to the economy but apparently I'm environmentally friendly.  6 new cars since 1984 and two were replaced because they were damaged, one by me and one by a dealer.  As the dealer messed up one that's 5, one every 7.5 years.
Edit, I've been chewing this argument over, there was an indication I had doubts when I wrote "apparently environmentally friendly" above.  I don't see the first owner taking responsibility for the entire environmental burden associated with the manufacture of a new car.  New cars are more economical and pollute less so are good for damaging the environment less.  The argument that they are bad because they have to be made falls apart because after 3 years they are sold on to somebody who would have to buy a new car if they couldn't buy a used car.  So if a car has a 9 year life and changes hands three times then I would argue that each owner should be allocated 1/3 of the burden of manufacture on the environment.  The 3rd owner will be driving around in a car that requires more maintenance, every part has a carbon footprint and the car by then will be less economical than it was new. I believe the third owner is responsible for the greatest environmental impact.
A classic car that that is run at weekends only is a full on environmental burden, yes I know I include myself as an owner of such but I like old cars and also like them as old cars.

Re: Help out a student

Reply #3
I answered the survey but I’m not sure I helped much. It appeared to presuppose that hybrid cars are better than conventional cars. I’m not convinced about that in any environmental respect. Also that electric cars are environmentally friendly, granted they don’t pollute city centres, but otherwise I’m not convinced. So my refusal to mess with my classics and my suggestion that any new car right now would be a diesel will probably have me categorised as a petrol head nutter.
No the wrong questions were asked, I have an A2 that I would happily covert to electric if the diesel fails. Probably make a really cool electric shopper.

Re: Help out a student

Reply #4
The newest car I've bought was a 6 month old Zafira for cash back in 2005.
edit: My 91 Golf was 5 years old when I bought it.
I doubt I'd ever buy such a new car again. I hate the thought of car loans and depeciation. I'm fortunate that I don't have the overhead of a company car, but could see the financial advantages of an electric/hybrid if I did.
I can't think of personally buying an electric/hybrid car new and currently they have a "limited transmission life" so would be wary about buying second hand unless it was cost effective.
The thought of modding the Golf is a consideration in the future but again it would have to be cost effective.
I may have highly poluting cars but like Tim notes above, new cars aren't really that green.
I live on a street with about 4-5 Tesla 3s. How common they are!...
edit2:  There are no other MK2s.
1991 Tornado Red BB 8v GTI Moredoor
2008 Skoda Octy Scout aka dirty diesel

Re: Help out a student

Reply #5
I answered the survey but I’m not sure I helped much. It appeared to presuppose that hybrid cars are better than conventional cars. I’m not convinced about that in any environmental respect. Also that electric cars are environmentally friendly, granted they don’t pollute city centres, but otherwise I’m not convinced. So my refusal to mess with my classics and my suggestion that any new car right now would be a diesel will probably have me categorised as a petrol head nutter.
No the wrong questions were asked, I have an A2 that I would happily covert to electric if the diesel fails. Probably make a really cool electric shopper.

See what you mean about the heavy use of the hybrid questions.

Might be a little bit controversial, but I do actually own an electric car.
I bought a 2015 i3 Rex to commute to work and back in, only because it can save me between 1-2k in fuel costs a year.
Interestingly enough, it weighs a similar amount to a mk2 golf, yet has 180bhp, dare I say, it's actually quite fun when you stick your foot in. It was enough for me to be open to the possibility of adding electrical drive to a mk2.
I've always fancied the idea of a motor on the rear wheels of my blue one, because it's got fly by wire throttle, I can program no lift shifting (not lifting the throttle when the clutch is in) and then have the motor accelerating the car while I'm shifting gears.

Mk2 Driver
Mk2 Silver 8v
Corrado G60 Turbo
Mk2 Red 8v
Mk2 Grey 16v
Mk2 BBM ABF
Bora 20vt
Mk2 Green VR6
Mk2 Green ABF
Mk2 BBM 20vt
3.2 TT Roadster
Mk2 Red 16v
225 TT Coup
3.2 TT Coup
Mk4 Anniversary

Mk2 BBM R32
Mk2 Red 8v

Re: Help out a student

Reply #6
@Monkey nothing controversial about electric cars, I'm sure I will have one some time in the future.  Problem I have right now is, I'm not yet convinced the technology is sufficiently developed, I'm not convinced the technology is entirely environmental friendly and I think some of the renewable energy arguments are for the birds making the electricity used to charge them far from environmentally friendly.
If I lived in a city center and had a private charging point my next new car despite the reservations would probably be electric.  Keeps emissions out of the city.  However I live in a small market town miles away from any significant city center so my choice now would be diesel.  Clean, economical and easy to drive with a very good range.  Brings me to another bit of info missing from the questionnaire.  How does where you live influence your motoring needs?

Re: Help out a student

Reply #7
I agree, I don't believe the infrastructure is there for electric vehicles yet.
Not by a long way, and the 2030 end game for ICE vehicles seems far too soon for me.
Also, as you hinted, the range vs charge times are nowhere where they need to be.
That's why I went for the range extender. I travel 30 miles each way to work, on a good day, my car will get home with range to spare.
On a day like today, I'll be firing up the generator for the last couple of miles.

I'm lucky enough to have a private drive where I live and can charge up, but what about people without parking, or who live in high rise flats? On the i3 groups I'm in, I regularly hear about people not vacating electrical charging bays, or ICE vehicles using them as a standard bay.  This is with a small percentage of EVs on the road, imagine 15 years time when all company cars etc will be EV only.
Mk2 Driver
Mk2 Silver 8v
Corrado G60 Turbo
Mk2 Red 8v
Mk2 Grey 16v
Mk2 BBM ABF
Bora 20vt
Mk2 Green VR6
Mk2 Green ABF
Mk2 BBM 20vt
3.2 TT Roadster
Mk2 Red 16v
225 TT Coup
3.2 TT Coup
Mk4 Anniversary

Mk2 BBM R32
Mk2 Red 8v

Re: Help out a student

Reply #8
@Monkey as you highlight the i3 is cost effective for your commute. I've only been into work about 10x since March 2020 otherwise I'm WFH. Not great but I'm lucky I have the option even now we are approaching the 'new normal'. If I work from the city centre I can slum it on the bus or when fine use the cycle. Otherwise the alternate site is 20 miles away and I'll drive the Octy.
1991 Tornado Red BB 8v GTI Moredoor
2008 Skoda Octy Scout aka dirty diesel

Re: Help out a student

Reply #9
Don’t get me wrong I’m not against electric power, and I’m excited about the prospect of an electric motorbike but currently the cost is too high and the lifespan unknown.

I just think people are sold on the fib that electric cars are zero emissions full stop. And they are not, there’s a manufacturing and delivery considerations and I’m concerned the lifespan isn’t yet enough to benefit. Say it does take 9 years to be carbon neutral it’s only year 10 onwards that it starts solving the problems. What will a 20 year old EV be like to own?

How many series 1 Prius do you see on the road? Where are they now?

Re: Help out a student

Reply #10
Just to let you know that John wanted to pass on his thanks for helping with the questionnaire.
National Meet - 22-24 July 2022 @ Curborough Sprint Circuit