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Government plans to introduce higher ethanol content in petrol

Date: 05 March 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

The Government is consulting on the introduction of E10 fuel, which blends ordinary petrol with 10% bio-ethanol.

As the ethanol is made from plants, it's renewable and slightly cuts the total environmental impact. The Government is now consulting on making E10 the standard fuel grade at forecourts from next year.

Older vehicles (pre-2000) are often not adapted to a higher ethanol content and can run poorly on E10 and can sustain damage to pipes and other fuel-related components. For fleets, however, the introduction of E10 should make little to no difference.

Ethanol has a lower energy content than petrol, so E10 can cause cars to use slightly more fuel than before.

Countries like Germany, Belgium, Finland and France have already introduced E10 as the standard petrol. In some instances, the switch made standard-grade petrol slightly more expensive, but as a large portion of the price of fuel is fuel duty, it's not certain this will also be the case in the UK. Premium unleaded will remain E5 as before.