GUEST POST - Are Classic Wedding Vehicles an Environmentally Friendly Option? Buttercup Bus Vintage Campervans Shares Their Thoughts
11th November 2019
Heline Bekker Photography
Outdoor weddings are continuing to grow in popularity – but remote wedding locations come with the challenge of transport…and with that comes the dichotomy of practicality vs being eco-friendly. Yes, the conundrum of electric vehicles vs classic engine power for your wedding transport.
Wedding car services offer a great opportunity to arrive at your wedding in something special – sure, styles and tastes change over time – and the classic VW Camper is currently up there as the perfect vehicle to pootle down a country lane and rock up to an idyllic, outdoor wedding venue…BUT…are those engine emissions not in contrast to your eco-wedding plans?
Buttercup Bus Vintage Campervans are keeping a close eye on trends in the electric car industry, watching initiatives such as classic car conversions to electric. It is possible to convert a campervan to electric power today – but we will need to wait until the technology advances a little before we can seriously consider a business wide conversion across the fleet, as classic VW Camper conversion specialists work hard to reduce the conversion cost, (which is currently at nearly £30k, according to electric-campers.com). There will also need to be a decent range of travel per charge, so as not to have passengers stranded for longer distance back-to-back trips – and during peak season, it may not be practical to have long re-charge periods for the batteries in between bookings.
However, it is not all doom and gloom, if you have your heart set on a campervan (or any other classic vehicle) for your wedding – because there are some surprising facts that may interest you…
Carbon Footprint – offset against their old age
Amanda Duncan Photography
The majority of the Buttercup Bus campervan and beetle wedding car family are over 40 years old – which means that the carbon footprint invested to build them has been offset against their many years in usage, unlike modern cars with a shorter lifespan (about five years’ use for the average private car driver).
Emissions – less than you might think compared to a regular engine powered daily driver
Electric cars may appear like a clear winner for emissions - They don’t emit any exhaust fumes… but they do use batteries which can emit toxic fumes. Also, much of the electricity used to power electric vehicles is generated from non-renewable energy sources, which can have a negative impact on both our health and the environment.
Despite MOTs being optional for historic status vehicles, Buttercup Bus get their campervans and beetle annually certified. This ensures that they meet the emissions standards (as well as being tested to be roadworthy).
Annually, the mileage covered in these old vehicles is significantly less than a modern car. The engines run for less time, adding less pollutants to the air compared to a modern car
It’s no secret that campervans would make the worst bank robbery getaway car - they can only be driven slowly (perfect pootling speed, with the Buttercup Bus fleet reaching a top speed of 50mph), which can be more environmentally positive with fuel consumption than modern, big engine cars running at high speeds.
Recycling Campervan and Beetle Parts
Amanda Duncan Photography
We have all heard about upcycling when it comes to arts and crafts – often a desirable feature showcased on many Etsy items – but this principle can also be applied to your wedding car.
It is true that older cars require more maintenance – but unlike the replaceable / scrapable components in modern cars (with materials being disposed into the environment), classics are often restored – making good with repairs to existing parts. Certainly, with the Buttercup Bus campervans, where new parts are required, (and over the years, they have required gear boxes, steering boxes, starter motors or even whole new engines), then they have to return the old part to be reconditioned (with a financial incentive). The old part can then be re-stocked for other people to purchase.
Shared Passengers – sharing the experience of the journey is always fun!
Wedding transport by it’s very nature, is an experience to share – be it with family members, your bridesmaids, groomsmen or a moment together as a newly married couple. Not only are you sharing the experience of travelling in a beautiful wedding car together – you are also preventing those passengers from travelling in an entourage of their own vehicles – unlike the rat race round the M25 in the commuter hours of the week!
Streamlining Your Suppliers to Reduce Vehicle Traffic
Left to Right: Photography by Michaelangelo, Stonelock Photography
It is true that for those remote wedding venues, wedding suppliers will need to get to the venue with any team member, and this is most likely to be by car. There is an opportunity to look at options where a supplier offers multiple services with one team. For example, Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers offer a wedding transport service – but their campers can be converted into a campervan photobooth in the evening. Not only does this give everyone the fab opportunity to enjoy sitting in a campervan as part of the experience (with the engine off), but it also means that one trip to the wedding venue enabled two different services from the same supplier.
An environmental policy is applicable to all wedding suppliers -and it is always worth asking to see a copy of your supplier’s policy, if it is not already visible on their website. It can cover a range of ways that they take environmental responsibility for the way that they operate their business.
Buttercup Bus spent time thinking about ways that they can put this into practice, and annually review their policy. It was an interesting exercise to undertake, as really got them thinking about their daily tasks – even the most eco-friendly way to clean their vehicles – which is a whole topic in itself!
So where wedding car transport is required, there are many options out there – be it modern vehicles with electric power or the use of a classic - both will have an environmental impact - but by checking the environmental policy, you are able to make an informed choice.
Heline Bekker Photography
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