UK petrol being replaced by E10 fuel: how might this affect you?

By 29th June 2021No Comments

This summer, UK pumps will swap our current standard petrol for E10 fuel, which contains up to 10% renewable ethanol. Currently, petrol in UK filling stations contains up to 5% ethanol.

Why the switch?

The switch is coming as part of ongoing efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. It’s thought that the introduction of E10 could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

While the use of renewable fuel blends like E10 reduces overall CO2 emissions, they have little impact on air quality and public health. Using E10 fuel can in fact reduce fuel economy, if only by a tiny fraction – around 1%. Other factors – such as your driving style or driving with under-inflated tyres or a roof rack – have a much more significant impact on fuel economy than using E10 petrol.

Are you compatible?

Around 95% of petrol-powered vehicles on the road are compatible with E10 petrol, including all new petrol vehicles produced since 2011, meaning this percentage is constantly increasing.

To check whether your vehicles are compatible, use this service on the UK Government website.

This list does not include many manufacturers of older or classic cars, so in some cases some further research may be needed. If in doubt, continue using E5 fuel, which will remain available as ‘super’ grade petrol from most fuelling stations.

The good news is that filling a non-compatible vehicle with E10 fuel on a single occasion should not be a major problem. Just fill up with E5 next time, or if only partially filled, you can safely mix the two fuel types and finish filling with E5. Prolonged use of E10 in an incompatible vehicle, however, may cause harm.

E10 will be the new standard petrol grade in the UK, meaning the vast majority of petrol stations will supply it. Stations that offer two grades of petrol will still offer E5 fuel. Some very small, remote or rural stations may only stock either E10 or E5 fuel.

Getting ahead of change

Vehicle standards continue to shift as technology and green policies change our world. Staying up to date with what’s changing is crucial for fleet and health and safety managers in order to keep drivers safe, efficient, and to protect vehicles from accidental damage.

CHOICES is an excellent way to ensure your drivers are as low-risk as possible. A fully online driver risk management and e-learning platform, CHOICES is designed to solve a multitude of challenges faced by fleet and health and safety managers with minimal effort and cost.

Charlie Reynolds

Author Charlie Reynolds

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