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Government confirms E10 fuel is coming in September

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

The government has confirmed that petrol with a higher ethanol count will be introduced at UK pumps from September.

The new E10 fuel has up to 10 per cent ethanol in it, whereas the existing fuel, E5, has up to five per cent.

It comes as part of the government’s plan to cut fuel emissions, with the major announcement recently being a total ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

However, this new move will help to cut emissions from vehicles currently being driven, with the government claiming it will be equivalent to removing 350,000 cars off the road. For context, this is around the number of cars in North Yorkshire.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re going further and faster than ever to cut emissions from our roads, cleaning up our air as we accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.

“Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.”

The move will also create up to 100 jobs with the reopening of AB Sugar’s Vivergo plant and increase production at existing biofuel plants, to ensure the materials needed for E10 are produced and refined in the UK.

However, industry experts have voiced concerns about older vehicles, which should not use the E10 fuels. The government has noted this, and says E5 will continue to be used in premium fuels.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The switch to E10 petrol is clearly good news for the environment and will not affect the vast majority of the UK’s 33m car drivers although some may see the number of miles they get from a tank go down as research suggests E10 is potentially slightly less efficient.

“It’s estimated that around 700,000 cars registered prior to 2002 shouldn’t use E10 as seals, plastics and metals may be damaged by its corrosive properties if used exclusively over longer periods. It’s vital that anyone with an older vehicle gets the message about the switch otherwise they could end up with a big repair bill.

“Those with no option but to continue using E5 will have to fork out quite a lot of extra money as super grade unleaded is currently 136p a litre which is over 13p more expensive than regular petrol. There’s also a danger that E5 premium grade petrol may be harder to find in some more rural locations.”