What is E10 petrol? Will it affect you?

What is E10 petrol? Will it affect you?

This month, the UK government introduced a cleaner blend of fuel known as E10 petrol as the new standard petrol with the aim of reducing the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. However, this bioethanol blend is nothing new. In fact, since 2009, it has slowly been making its way into EU markets. It is now available in 14 EU countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands. So what exactly is E10 petrol and what will this mean for motorists in the UK? Keep reading to find out more.

What is E10 petrol?

What is E10 petrol

E10 petrol is a fuel mixture containing about 90% unleaded petrol and up to 10% ethanol, which is double the amount of ethanol that is used in the E5 petrol that is already widely available. Ethanol is a form of alcohol which is made through fermentation and distillation. It is considered to be a renewable fuel, since it is produced using common materials such as grains, sugar, straw and waste wood. It is possible for a car to run on a much higher amount of ethanol fuel, as initiatives in Brazil have proven; the country currently uses petrol blends which contain up to 28% ethanol.

E10 follows the same standards as regular petrol and is becoming the new standard petrol grade with a minimum octane rating of 95. The new mixture should not have a negative impact on engine or vehicle performance, as long as the vehicle is compatible with the amount of ethanol used. This initiative will therefore primarily affect older, carbon-intensive vehicles.

Advantages & disadvantages of E10

  • + It is a much more cost-effective way to implement the use of green energy in transport, as ethanol fuel is one of the least expensive biofuels and most countries have the ability to manufacture their own ethanol. This may also help to create more jobs within the biofuel industry.
  • + It is a step towards less dependency on fossil fuels, helping the UK and other countries across the globe to reduce their carbon footprint and meet international climate targets.
  • + According to various reports, E10 could reduce carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year in the UK, which is equal to taking 350,000 cars off the road.
    Advantages of E10
  • - Motorists may notice a slight increase in fuel consumption (around 1% to 3%).This is due to the lower energy content of ethanol and higher oxygen content. Cars with smaller engines may be more affected by this reduction in efficiency, however, this should not be significant.
  • - If used in incompatible vehicles, the fuel could cause engine blockages, seal and gasket damage, and serious corrosion.
  • - Some petrol stations may not have the capacity to offer both E5 and E10, and prices for E5 petrol will likely increase as a result of this initiative. This means that motorists with incompatible vehicles will be disadvantaged, particularly those living in rural areas.

Which cars are compatible with E10 petrol?

Which cars are compatible with E10 petrol

According to the government website, all new cars produced since 2011 are compatible with the fuel and the majority of vehicles produced since the late 1990s will also be compatible. However, it is critical that motorists check the compatibility of their vehicles themselves if they are unsure, as the government will take no responsibility for damages related to incompatibility.

There are certain types of vehicles that are less likely to be compatible with E10, such as classic or vintage models, specific models from the early 2000s, and mopeds. Examples of models that have been declared incompatible include the Audi 4 Saloon (model years 2001-2008), the Ford Mondeo 1.8 SCI (2003-2007), the Fiat Punto (Type 188), and Porsche’s Carrera GT.

If your vehicle is compatible, you should be able to mix E5 and E10 petrol without any problems. Using one tank of E10 petrol in an incompatible vehicle may not have any serious consequences, however, prolonged use is strongly advised against.

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