Speaking to the BBC about his long-running campaign to tackle climate change, Prince Charles confirmed that his classic Aston Martin car had been converted to run on fuel partly made from wine leftovers.
‘My old Aston Martin that I’ve had for 51 years…that runs now on waste products,’ Charles said.
He said this includes ‘surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process’, although he added that he doesn’t get the opportunity to drive the car much these days.
Charles said he had the classic car converted as part of efforts to reduce his personal carbon footprint, which also include not eating meat or fish for two days per week within an eat ‘less but better’ quality ethos.
His comments echo broader interest in the use of biofuels, although some have questioned how widely such products could be used across society without compromising sustainability goals.
As recently reported by Decanter.com, new ‘bioethanol’ fuel partially made from French wine residues will be offered to motor racing teams at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race next year.
A study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal in April 2021 found that a fuel created from a blend of grapeseed oil and diesel had potential to reduce carbon emissions versus commercial diesel fuel.
Yet some campaigners argue that biofuels are not a long-term solution.
After last night’s BBC interview, Greg Archer, UK director of campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E), described Charles’ Aston Martin conversion as ‘quaint’ but not a serious way to decarbonise vehicles across society.
When used on a bigger scale, biofuels can cause environmental harm, such as deforestation, Archer said on Twitter – in a repeat of comments originally made to the Guardian newspaper. T&E has advocated for a widespread switch to electric cars.
The UK will host the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow in November.